1. Procedural justice is the best justice any government can promise.
2. Punishment is excluded from the conversation (since methods of punishment aren't inherent in the way that due process rights are).
3. Juveniles deserve the same procedural protections / rights as adults.
4. They don't receive those rights in the juvenile justice system.
5. Affirming the resolution ensures that juveniles get the rights they deserve.
If you'll notice, these arguments include two implicit values: justice as desert or justice as fairness, the moral aims of procedural justice. (If you doubt this, simply ask yourself: why do we care about procedural justice? If your answer is "because we deserve it," or "because it's fair," there you go.)
What process rights are juveniles due?
A 1967 decision by the Supreme Court [In re Gault] affirmed the necessity of requiring juvenile courts to respect the due process of law rights of juveniles during their proceedings.... The Supreme Court decision, delivered by Justice Abe Fortas, emphasized that youth had a right to receive fair treatment under the law and pointed out the following rights of minors:Conspicuously absent is the right to a jury trial. This alone could be the basis of an Aff case; the jury is seen as an essential component in a democracy, as a way to ensure that the community is represented, and that the power of the State is kept in check.
- The right to receive notice of charges
- The right to obtain legal counsel
- The right to "confrontation and cross-examination"
- The "privilege against self-incrimination"
- The right to receive a "transcript of the proceedings," and
- The right to "appellate review"
Even if sentencing comes into the equation, jury trials are potentially less arbitrary than juvenile procedures, thanks to a unique feature of the system called a dispositional hearing. In Juvenile Justice: A Social, Historical, and Legal Perspective, Preston Elrod and R. Scott Ryder explain:
It is at the disposition hearing that formal plans designed to meet the various needs of the youth, the family, and the community are initiated. It is also at this hearing that the judge or other hearing officer attempts to balance the "best interests" of the youth and the need for community safety. Judges and other quasi-judicial hearing officers often have great latitude and discretion in making dispositional decisions (p. 271).Furthermore, there's a gap between the guarantees of rights and their implementation in the juvenile justice system. The names you'll hear most often in support of this argument are Feld and Ainsworth.
Feld takes an empirical tack, arguing that the Supreme Court's decisions don't match the reality on the ground.
Ainsworth takes a more philosophical approach, not only discussing the structural deficiencies of juvenile courts, but calling for these courts' abolition, as they are based on outmoded, essentialist views of children. I'd recommend her work for advanced debaters.