Prosecutor is right to keep Sayreville football players in juvenile system rather than try them in adult court

Affiliate: ACLU of New Jersey
November 12, 2014 10:28 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of New Jersey
Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

CONTACT: 212-549-2666,

ACLU of New Jersey Senior Staff Attorney Alexander Shalom made the following statement about reports that seven Sayreville football players charged with sexual assault will be tried as juveniles:

The decision to prosecute the seven Sayreville High School football players as juveniles is the correct one, and we commend the Middlesex County prosecutor for making the right choice in a sexual assault case that has shocked the public conscience and roiled the community.

The decision does not diminish the seriousness of the crimes alleged in the Sayreville case. Sexual assaults — indeed, rapes — such as those reported in the press should not be condoned as horseplay or trivialized under the term hazing. But asking that kids be treated like kids — that children get access to rehabilitative services that will reduce their likelihood of recidivism — is not the same as suggesting that they evade punishment. It is, however, recognizing that finding justice is not as simple as seeking retribution.

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The latest in Criminal Law Reform

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Criminal Law Reform

Criminal Law Reform issue image

The Criminal Law Reform Project seeks to end harsh policies and racial inequities in the criminal justice system.