Briefly identify the U.S. Supreme Court findings in the case of In re Gault

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This case, from 1967, is an important case in the field of juvenile law.  Put basically, this case held that juveniles who are accused of crimes have to have their due process rights upheld.  They have to be given the same rights to due process as adults who are charged with criminal offenses.

It is also important to note that this was part of the process of selective incorporation where rights from the Bill of Rights were held to apply to the states.  Before this process, only the federal government had to adhere to the Bill of Rights.

So this case was important because it told the states that they had to give juvenile defendants the same rights as adult criminal defendants.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gault was a 15 year old who had been arrested for making obscene phone calls.  He was taken into custody and hauled to juvenile hall without parental notification and the juvenile court committed him to a state industrial school for delinquents until the age of 21.

His lawyers argued that due process under the 14th Amendment was not followed in Gault's case, and therefore the arrest and sentencing were unconstitutional.  The court agreed in 1967, by an 8 - 1 majority, that Gault's 14th Amendment rights were not followed, and that his parents should have been notified, and he should have been made aware of both his legal rights and provided with legal counsel prior to charging.