Should Youthful Offenders Who Commit Serious Crimes Be Tried and Given The Same Punishments as Adults? Marrion P. Turner
University of Memphis
Throughout the progression of society, there has been much controversy about if youthful offenders should be tried and punished to the same extents as adults. Although a vast population of the American public view juvenile crime as a serious problem and support strong punishment for violent crimes, a substantial portion of the public believe in less harsh treatment for first-time juvenile offenders. Americans are increasingly challenging the traditional belief that minors who commit such heinous crimes should be held accountable for their actions. Should young offenders who commit serious crimes be tried and given the same punishment as adults? This has been a question that has surfaced for many years. There have been many different speculations to why youth do the things they do. Some effects include the crime itself, the intent to commit the crime, the mental status of the offender, and many other factors. No matter the case, most children are aware and capable of the crime being committed. Maturity and the mental capacity of a juvenile offender should be taken into consideration when deciding to try juveniles as adult. Vast populations of society’s teenagers know the difference between right or wrong. Yet, they still commit the crime knowing the consequences that follow along with it. “The simple fact is that fully competent and mature juveniles are fully capable of committing the same crime as a competent adult” (Chiou, 2002). They might commit these crimes due to high levels of stress. A lot of times, their actions tend to mirror how they are feeling mentally. Therefore, they react During the controversial case in 2001, twelve year old Florida resident Lionel Tate was tried and convicted of killing a young female child with wrestling moves that he saw on television. Due to his psychological state of mind,...
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