Florida has four ways that juveniles can be prosecuted as adults: Discretionary Judicial Transfer: The prosecutor may request the court to transfer any child 14 years of age or older to adult court. Normally, minors are processed through the juvenile court system, but in some cases, they can be prosecuted as an adult. A juvenile offender may be legally tried as an adult in court if they committed a serious crime. In Florida, whenever a juvenile is charged with a felony offense, he or she faces the possibility of an adult prosecution. In our coverage of the Longs, we listed cases involving nine other juveniles who were convicted of adult offenses in Colorado during the 1990s, … Based on statistics by the Department of Juvenile Justice, almost 10,000 adult transfers have been filed in the state since 2011. In addition, the Southern Poverty Law Center did a case study on two juveniles who had been tried and are currently in the Alabama prison since the age of 16. This is known as a mandatory direct file. According to the Marshall Project, Florida leads the nation in charging minors as adults, and transfers on average 164.7 out of every 100,000 juvenile cases to the adult courts. Minors who are 16 and 17 years of age can be tried in adult court for any felony offense. When Juveniles Are Charged as Adults. Juveniles tried as adults for nonhomicide crimes cannot be sentenced with no chance of release to “nonlife” prison terms that will likely exceed their natural lifespans. Following the same offenders six years after their initial study, the researchers agin found higher recidivism rates for most juveniles transferred to criminal court." A total of 120 juveniles were "adult transferred" out of the juvenile system, the equivalent of about 6.5 percent. Florida requires that all people over the age of 16 charged with a violent crime be tried as adults; prosecutors there can also try people younger than 16 as adults, at their discretion. The child’s age is also a factor, and teens are more likely than younger children to face similar criminal penalties as adults if they are found guilty of the crime they’re charged with. But more kids are charged as adults in Florida than anywhere in the country. In 2009, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 393 Florida juveniles entered adult prison. Despite the existence of juvenile courts, many youth are still tried as adults. And a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that juveniles convicted of murder cannot be sentenced to life without any sentence review applies retroactively in Florida.
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