Cmrj 302 Should Juvenile Be Tried as Adults

Topics: Crime, Juvenile delinquency, Criminology Pages: 8 (2886 words) Published: October 22, 2012
Since the beginning of human time there have been sins, delinquent actions, crimes, and with all of this, punishment for those actions. From Cain and Able until today, the 21st Century, we still deal with these problems. And what’s worse is that now it is the children who are committing these crimes. Our, so called, future of tomorrow. The next generation of this country. Throughout recorded time, juvenile delinquency has been the very biggest issue to tackle. In the 15th century, the parens patriae concept was common and described parental care by the state or guardian of the community. Children were property and punishment was delivered from the family and/or public punishment dealt by the village and in public. The juvenile justice system in the 19th Century adopted the parens patriae concept and provided the legal structure for the juvenile court system. In the late 1800’s reform schools were created and started, where reform was the main ideological theory, to instill in delinquent children; principals and morals to attempt to stray they away from future crime. Today, we still have trouble determining whether or not to try juveniles as adults, how to punish them, what works and what doesn’t. When a juvenile kills, do they instantly become an adult? Do they maintain some kind of innocence of childhood, despite the severity of their actions? These are the plaguing questions in our American judicial system today. The violent acts of juvenile offenders continue to make headlines and are becoming more violent and unfortunately more frequently. So today, the question is, should juvenile be tried as adults? Yes. Yes, I believe that juveniles should be tried as adults. However, I also believe there should be a few exceptions. This is not really a black and white issue. Exceptions should be put into place regarding, what type of crimes, age of the offender and what kind of punishments should be issued. This is what I will attempt to explain. The criminal justice system serves two primary functions: protecting society and providing retribution or punishment for a crime to achieve the value of justice or fairness. Concerning the protection of society from violent or even not violent offenders, the judge can ensure an appropriate penalty without having to try someone as a juvenile. I believe that juveniles can and should be tried as adults. The judge and/or the jury can take the defendant's age into consideration while deliberating and determining a suitable penalty for their crimes. The defendant's attorney can make a legitimate argument in their defense based on their age, maturity and mental abilities or state of mind because age is not always the best indicator of maturity or personal accountability. This can ensure each case is evaluated individually not based on standards or common practice, but on an individual basis and attention which is what each case deserves. Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida said in (2001) after a 14-year-old juvenile was found guilty for killing his English teacher; “There is a different standard for children, there should be some sensitivity that a 14-year-old is not a little adult." To this quote I have to disagree. All but five states allow children of any age charged with murder to be tried as adults. The death penalty generally not an option, at least not for defendants under the age of 16 since the U. S. Supreme Court has ruled capital punishment unconstitutional. In fact, it was only in 2005, in Roper vs. Simmons , that the Supreme Court finally ruled the juvenile death penalty was unconstitutional. In arguing, the text describes a paradigm that informs legal reasoning in US law and specifically the Eighth Amendment’s barring of cruel and unusual punishment for anyone who hasn't celebrated their 16th birthday. Some states, however, will consider 16 year olds and 17 year olds for the death penalty (Reaves, J. Time Magazine, (2001), Should the Law Treat Kids and...
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