The Ohio Supreme Court is weighing whether to require juvenile offenders facing the possibility of detention to consult with an attorney before deciding to waive their right to a lawyer.
Current court rules don't require such a meeting. The proposal is pitting youth advocates against some judges who say the requirement hinders the rights of parents and juveniles to make the decision themselves.
Kim Tandy, executive director of the Children's Law Center in Covington, Ky., says too many children are going through the juvenile court system without legal representation.
The Ohio Supreme Court has struck down a state law requiring juvenile sex offenders convicted in juvenile courts to register as sex offenders for life.
Today (Tuesday) the court ruled 5-2 that the requirement enacted in a 2007 law is unconstitutional because it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and violates children's due process rights.
Justice Paul Pfeifer said the mandatory registration undercuts the rehabilitative purpose of the juvenile system. He said it also eliminates the role of juvenile judges in determining the best punishment for young offenders.