Should Teens Be Tried as Adults

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As more minors are committing violent crimes, the question of whether they should be tried as adults is on the rise. Children as young as 13 or 14 are committing violent crimes such as murder, rape, and armed robbery. Some of these children are being tried as adults while others are being tried as juveniles and receiving milder punishments. A juvenile offender may receive a few years in a juvenile detention facility and possibly probation following his release at age eighteen. An adult committing the same violent crime will receive a much harsher penalty, often years in jail, possibly a life sentence, with little or no chance of parole. The only difference between the two offenders is the age at which they committed the crime. Juveniles over the age of fourteen should be tried as adults when accused of violent crimes. Forty-one states currently have laws that make it easier to try a juvenile that has committed a violent crime and is over the age of 14 as an adult. At age fourteen the average person is mentally mature enough to understand the consequences associated with committing a crime. A juvenile offender should be tried according to his crime. If they have committed a juvenile crime, then juvenile punishment is fitting. However, if they have committed an adult crime, or violent crime, a harsher punishment is needed. A teenager will not be taught anything or learn to take responsibility for their actions, if they are treated with special care and consideration when acting as an adult. A fourteen year old has the mental capacity to determine right from wrong, even when it comes to committing violent crimes. In my opinion an adult crime deserves an adult punishment, even when the offender is a juvenile.

The Juvenile system is very similar to New York’s Family Court. The New York
Family Court was originally sought to protect children who were getting in trouble with the law that still considered them infants, because of their young age. A teenager that...
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