I remember when I got into a fight in third grade. I was a very opinionated, strong-willed kid, and on the playground one day I became enraged at a boy for disagreeing with me. At the time, I decided beating down the opposition was the best way to handle the situation. Now that I am older, I realize how ridiculous that was. But in third grade, I didn't know any better. I was punished by my teacher, received the consequences from which I learned my lesson, and moved on to the other wonders of the third grade. But what if I were to be punished for the rest of my life for what I later understood as wrong and regretted doing? That is unjust and unfair.
Some people believe that children should be tried as adults when prosecuted for certain serious crimes. Others feel that children should be tried as minors because they are not yet adults, and therefore, they should be treated differently. This is an important debate because how we choose to punish juveniles affects both our current and future society. Kids all over the United States are being tried differently in court, and it is not fair to judge and punish them inconsistently for the same crime. I believe that, without exception, children under 18 should be tried as minors.
Our society has set 18 as the age of adulthood. Eighteen is when a person is expected to know right from wrong and understand his or her responsibilities in the community. The responsibility to vote, sign contracts, make out wills, sign leases, and decide on medical treatment are not acquired until the age of 18. By 18, a person has experienced enough to know what he should and should not do. So why are those under 18 being tried as adults? A person under 18 is a child and should be treated as such by the courts.
When juveniles receive a life sentence in adult prison, they never get a second chance. When children commit crimes and are punished properly, they should learn that their action was wrong and not to do it again. Juvenile...
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