In Nashville’s youth courts, a true jury of peers

Nashville (The Tennessean) – In a classroom at Whites Creek High School, wooden benches have replaced the desks. When the bell chimes, students file into 12 plastic chairs to face a judge.

On a recent morning, the volunteer in the black robe was attorney Yvette Cain.

“Do you solemnly swear or affirm to listen carefully to the evidence presented in arguments presented today, and fulfill your duty to determine a sentence that’s fair to the victim and to the respondent and the community? If so, say ‘I do,’ and you may be seated,” Cain said, sitting below a state seal flanked by the U.S. and Tennessee flags.

“I do,” 12 voices responded.

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