Seminal cases that defined the further process of considering specific cases in the U.S. justice system represent scenarios of particular interest due to their significance and the effect that they have produced on the further shaping of court processes. The decision passed in the In re Gault case represents an example of such judgments. In the case under analysis, an instance of verbal abuse conducted via telephone call by 15-year-old Gerald Gaunt was considered in court without Gault’s parents being notified first (In re Gault, 1967). Moreover, in the course of the court proceedings, none of the parents or the plaintiff were present, which, nevertheless, did not prevent the judge from conducting the habeas corpus hearing. Despite the parents filing a petition after the hearing, the verdict in favor of the plaintiff was affirmed. Therefore, the case at hand represents a situation in which the rights of an underage defendant were violated.
The core legal issues to take notice of when considering the case include two core concerns. Namely, one must mention the fact that the parents were never notified, as well as the problem of approving the incarceration of an underage defendant during the delinquency proceedings (In re Gault, 1967). The described issues represent tow major instances of the breach of a defendant’s rights and, therefore, should have been seen as the premise for appealing to reconsider the verdict. However, the case also features the idea of upholding and acknowledging the rights of all citizens by reinforcing the core tenets of the Fourteenth Amendment (In re Gault, 1967). Nonetheless, the fact that the case was finally reconsidered as the parents filed the habeas corpus appeal served as the fundament for establishing the principles of managing juvenal crimes in court, which should also be seen as a tremendous leap in the right direction.
In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967).