Teen Judges (Good News Week 27/10/08: What’s the Story)

Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls has announced a plan for teen judges, prosecutors and jurors to dispense justice to young offenders. Though they wouldn’t be allowed to pass any serious sentences, just Chinese burns and wedgies. / just sulky silences and cutting themselves. / but they would be allowed to gang up on the accused on Facebook.

But who better to judge teens than other teens? Other than someone with experience, skills, and an in-depth knowledge of the legal system.

“I find the accused – whatever.” / innocent, guilty, whatever – let’s go grab some burgers.”

There’s nothing better than being sentenced by someone who has mood swings every ten minutes, massive insecurity issues, and a throbbing hangover.

Nothing makes for a good even assessment of justice more than raging hormones and a low self-esteem. / All those hormones and mood swings make for good solid justice.

Can you imagine who will be chosen as the judges? Juvenile court will become Revenge of the Nerds.

Verdicts will be decided by SMS vote.

Unfortunately, cases have to be retried several times, as the judge and jury have been too busy listening to their iPods. / have refused to come out of their rooms until they’ve finished checking Facebook. / have just spent all day in their rooms listening to My Chem and cutting themselves.

Yeah, that’s who I want judging me – someone who’s full of hormones, was up all night chatting on Facebook, and is wearing their iPod.

The standard sentence for drugs charges will be to hand it all over to the judge.

Judgment by a teenager’s peers leads to a lower rate of reoffending, although admittedly a higher rate of judges getting the shit kicked out of them. / getting beaten up after school.

Judgment by a teenager’s peers leads to a lower rate of reoffending, but only if the court is cool enough to be worth impressing.

And if teens are found guilty of a really serious crime, they’ll have to be the next judge. / they get sentenced to be the next judge, nyer!

As well as the standard verdicts, juries will also be able to declare defendants “guilty as”. / juries will also be allowed to just be like totally random.

Because you’re never too young to miscarry justice.

Defendants can now be found “guilty”, “not guilty”, “guilty as” and “whatever”.

Verdicts of “guilty” and “not guilty” have been replaced with “did too” and “did not”.

“I hereby declare this case totally totally bad-ass!” / random.” / radical.” / crunk.” / the shit.”

Rather than “innocent” or “guilty”, the court will rule “owned” or “fail”.

Unfortunately many teen judges dispense whatever sentence they like, because they’re just like totally random.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls said that, in trials overseas, they’ve found that judgement by peers is more effective than using the legal system. As long as the judge is totally hot.

Of course, the accused can always dispute a ruling by storming off to their room screaming “It’s not fair! I hate you!”

There’s not many other places where you can get sentenced to a week’s grounding. / sentenced to missing the formal. / being sent to your room to write sulky poetry.

The defendant has to prove they are innocent by winning two out of three games on the PS2.

Some kids really get into the responsibility of running their own court. And then there are those who just like to yell “Objection!” every 10 seconds. / Others are just there for the gavel.

The legal community objects to the legislation, mostly because it’s their kids who are up on charges.

Cases are usually decided by whoever can shout the loudest.

As punishment, youth judges can order the offender to write a letter of apology or carry out community work. And repeat offenders get a dakking.

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