Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction (EJJ) in Minnesota

Extended juvenile jurisdiction, or EJJ, is a Minnesota court policy that allows a judge to administer double jeopardy to a juvenile if the nature of the offense and age allows the case to be treated as an adult. In other words, the EJJ empowers the court to try a juvenile under adult sanctions. The advantages of this policy include increased fairness and consistency with public morality since a child murderer is expected to be punished to the fullest extent, rather than based on his or her age. At the same time, it increases the level of personal responsibility for the child, who understands the severity of the punishment for a potential crime.

For example, if a child dislikes their classmate and contemplates killing them, understanding adult responsibility for the action may be a stopping factor. This leads to the idea that EJJ should be expanded and implemented throughout the United States. In contrast, the EJJ does not address the ethical issue of age. In more detail, the question remains where the line is drawn between stealing at age 21 and at age 22: there is no answer.

In turn, this creates vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the EJJ system because it does not fully answer these questions. In addition, the EJJ threatens child offenders with more severe consequences and thus may not be helpful to them. Finally, the EJJ complicates the judicial process by requiring an examination of the severity of punishment: this increases the hearing time and slows the court.

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