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Wash. & Lee J. Civ. Rts. & Soc. Just.


There is no federal juvenile court system in the United States. Rather, teens can face charges in Article III courts and can be transferred to be tried and sentenced as adults in these venues. This Article is the first of two articles in the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice seeking to shed light on the largely invisible processes and populations involved in federal youth prosecution. This Article focuses on the federal transfer and prosecution of American youth as adults. It considers constitutional and statutory law relating to these federal transfers and then considers why current practices are incompatible with Kent v. United States and evolving standards of decency doctrine. It also warns of other dangers relating to prosecuting youth as adults in our federal criminal justice system.