Tried as Adults

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Rene Bustos
English II
December 11, 2010
At the age of 17, Robert Acuna was convicted of killing two elderly neighbors, James Caroll and Joyce Caroll. The young teenager shot them “execution style” as prosecutors described it (Liptak 1). Should this young man be tried as an adult? Why yes, of course he should be tried as an adult. It is because of devastating events like these why teenagers should be tried as adults when they commit violent crimes such as murders, rape, or robbery.

Regardless of their age, a murderer is a murderer, a rapist is a rapist, a thief is a thief, and they should be tried for the violent crimes they commit. To say, “Hey, they’re only kids.” (Lundstrom 5) doesn’t take away a teenager’s “brooding and volatile adolescent demeanor” (Liptak 2). If an adolescent criminal weren’t to be tried as an adult, they would later be released back into the society knowing they just got away with murder. Knowing this, it would make them think that if they did it once, they can do it a millions times.

According to Adam Liptak, a journalist for The New York Times, “Crimes committed by teenagers are often particularly brutal, attracting great publicity and fierce prosecutions.” For example, Lionel Tate was twelve when he savagely beat to death a six year old girl but didn’t get tried and convicted as an adult until he was fourteen (Lundstrom 13). Some argue that “the adolescent brain is not fully developed” to understand or be capable of being tried as an adult (Liptak 6). This is a foolish argument because if Tate, at the age of fourteen, were to be tried as an adolescent and later released, it is very unlikely that his brain would develop for him to become a productive member of society. “And in examining 1,400 males and females in four jurisdictions, researchers concluded that age and intelligence- not gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic factors or even prior run-ins with the law- were the most significant factors in determining a youth’s...
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