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Law School Case Brief

Scott L. v. State - 104 Nev. 419, 760 P.2d 134 (1988)

Rule:

The integrity of the criminal law is maintained by seeing to it that those who commit crimes are punished. Punitive incarceration may be justified in juvenile cases for serious criminal violations because the youthful offender deserves to be punished.

Facts:

Appellant juvenile was adjudicated delinquent and committed to a youth camp following his sale of marijuana to an undercover drug enforcement agent. The juvenile appealed, contending that there was not sufficient reason to depart from the presumption that a child should be placed in his home rather that in confinement.

Issue:

Is the judgment declaring the juvenile delinquent and committing him to a youth camp proper?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The juvenile court judge was correct in declaring that it was in the public's interest to institutionalize the juvenile and in focusing on the deterrent effect that the disposition was to have on others. The "paramount" public interest purposes of the juvenile courts were optimally served by the juvenile court judge's decision "to institutionalize this young man" for purposes of deterrence. The record supported a conclusion by the juvenile court that the best interests of the juvenile were served by commitment.

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