Judge Steven Teske on the Politics of Fear: Debunking the Superpredator Myth

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

April 5, 2011


I took the bench and asked if the parties were ready to proceed. “Yes, your Honor,” they all announced in unison. I looked up and saw a young man, 16 years old, trying hard to hold back his tears. His parents sitting to his left, his attorney to his right — his hands quivering. His name was Jay. He was arrested the day before for criminal attempt to commit a burglary. He had never been in trouble before. He was with an 18-year-old he knew from school. His spurious friend wanted to “hit a lick”— break into a house — and goaded Jay to join him.
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