52-Year-Old Convicted of Murder— as a Juvenile
Cold case solved, but punishment is tricky
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2012 8:37 AM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Under normal circumstances, it would be a clear-cut sentencing: A 52-year-old New Jersey man got convicted this week of raping and murdering his neighbor, reports the Star-Ledger. The catch is that the crime occurred more than three decades ago when Carlton Franklin was 15, explains the New York Times. As a result, the trial took place in juvenile court, and now the judge must figure out whether to sentence Franklin as if were still a teen, with an emphasis on rehabilitation instead of punishment.

“I don’t even think I can answer, because it’s so unusual,” says Franklin’s lawyer. “I’ve never seen it before.” Franklin could get up to 20 years if the judge goes by 1976 guidelines, but, under those same guidelines, it's unclear whether he can be sentenced to an adult prison after being convicted in juvenile court. We'll find out in January.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
jagerhans
Dec 23, 2012 9:11 AM CST
this case belongs to juvenile courts, no space for doubt here. the shortcomings and failures of the system aren't his faults and no one can be asked to accuse himself but i guess that the judge is afraid about how the public opinion will feel about this.
Marelicia
Dec 23, 2012 2:28 AM CST
"Franklin could get up to 20 years if the judge goes by 1976 guidelines, but, under those same guidelines, it's unclear whether he can be sentenced to an adult prison after being convicted in juvenile court." This is really goofy. The prosecutor knew or should have reasonably known to try him as an adult in criminal court so that he could be sentenced without delay to an adult prison after being convicted. How can the State even consider sentencing this crustry 52 year old child-rapist-neighbor-killer to a juvenile center with troubled little boys and teenagers ???! IMHO, In January 2013, he should be either sentenced to a PA adult prison cell with serial-child-rapist Jerry Sandusky or to a CT adult prison cell with with child-rapist-neighbor-killer Michael Skakel (Kennedy family cousin), really.
JimAroyo
Dec 22, 2012 11:20 AM CST
RAD45, then a 12 year old who blocks an abortion clinic should be tried as an adult for criminal trespass. Put him in with the adults in jail if convicted. Works for me.