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The wrong answer to a serious problem: A story of school shootings, politics and automatic transfer

Traver, Daniel E.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Loyola University Chicago Law Journal 31 (Winter): 281.

In recent years, a number of shootings at schools has shocked the American people and generated a variety of responses in attempts to deal with the offenders and prevent future incidents. Many state legislatures proposed new laws intended to prevent school violence by creating harsher punishments for offenders. Illinois, for example, amended its juvenile justice legislation to permit the criminal prosecution of fifteen year-olds charged with aggravated battery with a firearm in a school setting. The amended legislation removes juveniles charged with this crime from juvenile court by automatic transfer to criminal court. In this paper, Daniel Traver chronicles the history of transfer laws in Illinois and the reasoning behind the recent amendment in Illinois, reviews recent studies that analyze the inefficiency of automatic transfer laws, and argues for repeal of the amendment mandating automatic transfer.


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