About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

9 Akron L. Rev. 566 (1975-1976)
Contributing to Delinquency: An Exercise in Judicial Speculation

handle is hein.journals/aklr9 and id is 578 raw text is: CONTRIBUTING TO DELINQUENCY: AN EXERCISE
UVENILE DELINQUENCY, like many diseases, emanates from           a complex
meshwork of causes, many of which are unidentified. The obvious, although
perhaps oversimplified, solution to prevent juvenile delinquency has been to
isolate and control through legislation some of its suspected causes. Many
of these enacted solutions, however, have failed to accomplish their intended
In legislative efforts to protect minors from potentially corrupting adult
influences, the drafters went too far. They did not enact specific criminal
statutes, which would permit the prosecution of those who actively and
knowingly expose children to venal, immoral or perverted acts. Instead,
they have adopted criminal contributing statutes encompassing broadly
stated behavior for which a person may be prosecuted irrespective of any
prior notice as to the criminality of his or her conduct or influence. The real
victim in many prosecutions under contributing statutes has become the
accused and not the minor.
An overwhelming majority of states have statutes making it a criminal
offense to contribute to the delinquency of a minor. Although the statutes
have proved to be a fertile source for the prosecution of adults in a wide
variety of circumstances and relationships involving minors, the scope and
constitutional validity of such statutes have seldom been appraised.1 In the
wake of State v. Hodges,2 declaring the Oregon contributing statute' invalid
as being unconstitutionally vague, reappraisal is necessary.' Without consider-
ing, except as alluded to incidentally, the affect which marriage5 and the
reaching of statutory age limits6 have upon the status of a minor, the conceived
purpose, scope and application of contributing to delinquency statutes shall
be considered within the penumbra of the constitutional void for vagueness
1 See Gies, Contributing to Delinquency, 8 ST. Louis U.LJ. 59 (1963) [hereinafter cited as
Gies]; Comment, Contributing to Delinquency Statutes-An Ounce of Prevention?, 5
WELLAMET-rE L.J. 104 (1968) [hereinafter cited as An Ounce of Prevention].
2 254 Ore. 21, 457 P.2d 491 (1969). See also 15 VILL. L. REV. 767 (1970).
3 ORE. REV. STAT. § 167.210 (1968) (repealed 1971).
4 The State v. Hodges decision held that the Oregon statute was unconstitutional not only in
its failure to meet the demands of due process, but also in its prohibited delegation of legisla-
tive power to the judge and jury, contrary to Article 1, Section 21 of the Oregon Constitution.
254 Ore. at 28, 457 P.2d at 494.
5See Annot., 14 A.L.R. 2d 336 (1950).
6See Annot., 73 A.L.R. 2d 874 (1960).

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most