What is the key juvenile legal issue involved in the Yarborough v. Alvarado case?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The key issue involved in this case was whether there should be a different standard for juveniles than for adults with regard to when Miranda rights must be read.

In this case, Alvarado confessed to participation in a crime during a two-hour questioning at a police station.  He was brought there by his parents at police request but the parents were not allowed in the interview.  Alvarado was not read his rights.

The appeals court overturned his conviction in part because of his age.  It said that his age made it less likely that he would have understood that he could end the interview at any time and leave.  It said that, because of this, the interview was a "custodial interview" and Alvarado needed to be read his rights.

The Supreme Court said that age was not a factor.  They said there was no need for a different standard for juveniles.  Alvarado should have realized that he was free to go at any time.  Therefore, his confession was admissible.


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