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Should Juveniles Be Charged as Adults?

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Should Juveniles (under 18) who commit a Serious Crime be charged as an Adult? The debate over the topic of juveniles in our justice system rages on. There are numerous of arguments and valid points for both sides. Barely tapping the surface of major controversial points of view; the examination of both sides may help you reach you own thoughts and ideas about this much debated topic. Everyone should be held accountable for their actions and like the Supreme Court concluded in Stanford v. Kentucky in 1989, the death penalty was not inherently disproportionate to the culpability of adolescents and that individualized assessments could reliably sort out which juveniles were sufficiently morally culpable (Fagan & West 428). The Justice Department estimates that about 10 percent of all homicides are committed by juveniles under the age of 18. Nearly every year, the FBI arrests more than 33,000 young adults under the age of 18 for offenses.
The number of violent crimes committed by young people declined substantially from the 1990s to 2003, but then surged again that year, with the estimated number of juvenile murder offenders increasing 30 percent, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

n their 2008 book "Rethinking Juvenile Justice," MacArthur researchers Dr. Laurence Steinberg and Elizabeth Scott concluded that young people under age 15 should never be tried as adults.

Steinberg and Scott make clear that mitigation because of youth -- the fact that teens are less blameworthy than adults -- is not the same as an excuse. That is, trying youths in juvenile court is not the same as absolving them of responsibility.

Refernces

Juvenile Justice: Too Young for Life in Prison?
July 12, 2010
By HUMA KHAN ABC NEWS

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