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One-quarter of the public think a minor charged with murder should be given a heavier punishment than an adult, according to a Supreme Court research institute poll released Wednesday, while no judges surveyed believed they should be treated more severely.

The Legal Training and Research Institute polled 1,000 people over age 19 in eight cities nationwide and 766 criminal trial judges to see what the public’s feelings are about sentencing ahead of the introduction of the “citizen judge” system for criminal trials by May 2009. The survey was conducted between last August and September.

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