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February 24, 1945

SENESCENCE, SENILITY AND CRIME

JAMA. 1945;127(8):460-461. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860080032011
Abstract

The relation between age and crime is significant socially. East1 emphasizes that most magistrates are not appointed until they have reached middle age; this preponderance of middle age and elderly judges, he feels, may be far from desirable in cases involving juvenile crime. East quotes a circular in 1936 which declared that, "apart from the obvious advantages attaching to quickness of hearing and of sight in a justice, there is the fact that as time goes on men and women justices are apt to lose the freshness of mind and sympathy and the up to date knowledge of social conditions which are of extreme importance for successful work in the juvenile courts." The particular problems of the aged or senile person who commits a crime deserve special study. Although this report cites British figures and British problems, there is ample reason to believe that the situation in the United

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