In re Derrico G.Annotate this Case
The trial court concluded that section 5-615 of the Juvenile Court Act, 705 ILCS 405/5-615, was unconstitutional, and ordered a continuance under supervision in a case involving a minor, rejecting a negotiated plea agreement. The minor had been the subject of multiple charges and had failed to appear for court dates. The Illinois Supreme court vacated. The provision at issue grants a State’s Attorney, among others, authority to object to the entry of an order of continuance under supervision in a juvenile case before a finding of guilt. The court noted that juvenile proceedings are fundamentally different from criminal proceedings, a difference which extends to the role of the state. The purposes and objectives of the Juvenile Court Act are protective in nature, to correct and rehabilitate, not to punish, and the Act lists the State’s Attorney among those who would undoubtedly be concerned with the children’s best interests. The State’s Attorney has a duty to see that justice is done not only to the public at large, but to the accused as well. In this case, the state exercised its authority under section 5-615 in accordance with that duty.