Trying an Adult in Juvenile Court

A 96-year-old woman is now on trial in juvenile court.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

 96-year-old Irmgard Furchner is finally on trial in Germany for her role in nearly 11,000 murders when she worked at a Nazi death camp between 1943 and 1945.  As if there weren’t a long enough delay already, when she left her assisted living facility last week to attend the trial she instead tried to flee.  She was quickly apprehended after what must have been the slowest police chase since OJ.

But the case is odd in another way—the 96-year-old’s trial will be held in juvenile court because she was eighteen or younger at the time of the crimes.  In the US, crimes committed when someone is seventeen or younger who is charged as a juvenile are tried in juvenile court even if the perpetrator has since become an adult.  As for the Nazi nonagenarian, while she’ll be tried as a juvenile for her role at the death camps, she’s certainly an adult if she gets charged with fleeing.

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