In re Gault

In re Gault

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  • Gerald Gault makes a prank phone call to one of his neighbors (Mrs. Cook).
  • Mrs. Cook reports it to the police and Gerald gets taken into custody.
  • Gerald has two hearings, neither of which were attended my Mrs. Cook. At the first hearing, nothing is recorded.
  • At the second hearing, however, Gerald was sentenced to spend 6 years in juvenile detention for the same crime that an adult would only have to spend only two months in jail for (and only pay a $50 fine).
  • Gault's parents, however, did not like this ruling. They filed a petition for a writ of habeus corpus. Unfortunately for Gault, this petition was quickly denied by both the Superior Court of Arizona and the Arizona Supreme Court.
  • The case was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court and it was unanimously decided that the state of Arizona had violated his 14th Amendment right which states that "a state deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". The previous rulings were then overturned.
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