What age defines a person as an adult? In some states, such as Texas, you are considered an adult at 17 years of age. Other state's juvenile systems make you liable to be tried as an adult at the age of 18. Law enforcement officials have been questioning the age of being tried as an adult for the past 40 years. Recently, they have come to the conclusion that children between the ages of 16 and 18 who commit adult crimes should be tried and sentenced as adults. After researching information and cases of minors being tried as adults, I have concluded that if minor offenders were punished in the same degree as adult offenders are, the number of minors committing crimes might be reduced significantly.
While it is not appropriate for these individuals to be placed in the same facilities as adult offenders, they should receive the same degree of punishment in a younger environment. These perpetrators are protected by a lenient and highly outdated juvenile system and violent youths have taken advantage of this system. In some jurisdictions, a child may have to commit 10 to 15 serious crimes before anything is actually done. Many people believe that the juvenile system is not adequate enough to handle the serious crimes of today's juveniles, but trying them as minors for their serious crimes isn't helping to eliminate crime. I refer to the system as "the easy way out." Many of the offenders get a slap on the wrist and non-judicial sentences. Simply sentencing these juveniles with restitution to the victim, community service, or a forfeiture of their driver's license isn't enough. In 1998, The Los Angeles Times states that today more than a half-million people are locked up in this country; that total grows by more than 1,000 inmates each week. The numbers have grown quite a bit since then. Not trying minors as adults for serious crimes may increase the crime rate with letting the offenders go without serious sentencing. With this taking place, it sends a...
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