Murderers, rapists and many other criminals are being released from jail everyday, from only serving a short lenient sentence. Who are these criminals and what makes them so special? These criminals are juveniles who commit adult crimes. They are being tried in juvenile court and given shorter sentences than they really deserve. Adults, who commit the same crimes as most juveniles, are given long, harsh sentences that sometimes result to the death penalty. For these reasons I’m standing on the affirmative side of the resolution “In the United States juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.” The value I advocate is public safety.
Contention One: Crime will decrease, safety increase.
In terms of violent crime rates, the U.S. ranks highly in every category, and the same is true in the realm of juvenile crime. For example:
•In 1998, teenagers in the United States were suspects in 1,609,303 crimes, and 1,000,279 juveniles were prosecuted.
•That is as many juvenile prosecutions as the next seven highest countries combined. Those countries are England/Wales, Thailand, Germany, China, Canada, Turkey, and South Korea. •According to 2002 World Health Organization statistics, the United States ranks third in murders committed by youths and 14th in murders per capita committed by youths.
Contention Two: Greater safety from gangs
Gangs are becoming more violent and mobile. Handguns, assault rifles, and grenades have replaced brass knuckles and blackjacks. Cars allow members to commit drive-by shootings and recruit new members in other communities and states. This is why we need stronger punishment and the advantage of doing so will guarantee longer period of incarceration for juveniles. Lengthier incarceration ensure the public that these juveniles wont be walking our streets freely and whenever they want to, and also, in some cases, wont be committing another crime....
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