Children Should Never Be Tried as Adults
March 24, 2013
Article Rebuttal – Children Should Never Be Tried as Adults
Article controversial subject: Should children be tried as adults?
Robert Schwartz is the co-founder of the Juvenile Law Center in 1975 and has been the executive director there since 1982. This is a nonprofit public interest law firm that ensures the youths in foster care and justice systems are treated fairly and have the same opportunities in life in their adult years. Studies also show that the juvenile justice system protects the public much better than the criminal justice system. He argues that “kids are incompetent to be tried as adults, trying them as juveniles it not excusing the crime.” (Schwartz 2010). He thinks that at a young age a child could not process information and plan horrific crimes like an adult can. Youths struggle with impulsiveness, immaturity, undeveloped decision making, susceptibility to negative peer pressure and lack of future orientation. They do not have the common sense, problem solving or thinking capabilities like an adult. Young teens lack the skills to consult with a lawyer and come up with a courtroom strategy. The MacArthur Foundation Research Network recognized “that legal sanctions for misbehavior should not be based only on the harm a youth causes, but on the youth’s culpability.” (Schwartz 2010). You see people everyday getting different sentences and consequences for the same crimes. This happens because defendants differ when it comes to mentality, past crimes, culpability and blameworthiness. There has been recent brain imaging technology that shows from the “prefrontal cortex to the limbic area, the teenage brain is undergoing dramatic changes during adolescence in ways that affect teens ability to reason, to weigh consequences for their decisions and to delay gratification long enough to make careful short and long term