Critical Analysis of Juvenile Justice Cases

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At least 10,000 juveniles are housed in adult prisons and jails across the country each day. In the United States, there are over 250,000 youths who are tried and sentenced as adults each year. The cases where children get tried as an adult usually involve serious charges or remarkable criminal history. Most juveniles being tried as adults end up being sentenced to life without parole. Life without parole means you would spend your whole life in prison. Some of these minors are given unfair trials and do not deserve to be tried as an adult.

At the age of 14, Greg Ousley killed both of his parents and was sentenced to sixty years in jail. Greg had the intention to kill his parents as he plotted their deaths very carefully. During his consultation, he said, “I had been thinking about killing them every time I get mad, they don’t seem to understand me”. Killing someone is taken very seriously, so his case was swiftly waived to the adult justice system. Greg didn’t have the best relationship with his parents, as he described it as being rocky. When he got home from school one day he got in a fight with his parents, in which The New York Time Magazine stated, “It was a normal day at his junior high school, but when Greg came home, he fought with his parents and defiantly locked himself in his bedroom”. His mom ended up getting the door to open and tried to talk to him, but he was being combative when she was asking him questions as to what was wrong with him.

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When Nathan Ybanez was 16, he had beaten his mother with fireplace tongs and strangled her to death. Him and his family moved houses a lot, but moving cities never fixed the tensions they had between each other. Nate expressed, “Both of my parents were unhappy, I think. My father, he was kind of a violent man at times. And my mother, she was unstable”. Nate didn’t feel stable when he was at home. When the dad wasn’t home, his mom’s needs turned into sexual abuse. The PBS article states, “Julie was extremely controlling of his behavior and her emotional instability led to a warped and abusive relationship with her son”. Even his childhood was filled with abuse. Nate’s friends knew he had issues at home, but they were too afraid to ask about the problems they suspected. A social worker was even called, but no caseworker was ever assigned to investigate what was happening in the house. I would consider his act of crime a type of defense rather than a first-degree murder.

The juvenile justice system is very different from adult prisons. In adult prisons, children lose more than their freedom. They lose out on the benefits juvenile detention facilities provide, such as education and psychological help. Adults’ minds are different and much more developed than minors. Because prisons can carry minor juveniles it can get dangerous with sexual abuse between prisoners. As said in ‘The Steep Costs of Keeping Juveniles in Adult Prisons’, “they are much more likely to suffer sexual abuse and violence at the hands of other inmates and prison staff”.

When comparing two prisoners, there are a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration. Both boys committed close to the same crimes, just Greg killed two people while Nathan killed one. I feel that Nathan was in a worse mental state and needed therapy to get his thoughts rights instead of making him suffer in an adult prison. He was getting abused mentally and physically and could not take it anymore, so he ended up killing his mother. Greg Ousley knew what he was doing and had the intent to kill both of his parents which deserves parole. Regardless of how young he was he still knew what killing was the jury made the rightful decision of putting him in an adult facility.

Juvenile justice cases are important cases that can impact a child’s life forever. To be sure juveniles are sentenced right, many factors play a role in deciding what they deserve. I have concluded that Nathan Ybanez should be released early from his sentence. After looking at the hardships and uneasiness he went through I feel sympathetic towards him. He will now end his parole and re-enter society as an individual.

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Critical Analysis of Juvenile Justice Cases. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
“Critical Analysis of Juvenile Justice Cases.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
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