Should juveniles be tried as adults?

Topics: Crime, Criminology, Criminal justice Pages: 6 (672 words) Published: September 23, 2004
President Bush stated "When America teaches her

children right from wrong and teaches values that

respect life in our country, our country will be

better off". This quote was released after a 15-

year-old boy shot and killed two classmates and

injured 13 at a high school near San Diego,

California. He will be charged as an adult under

state law.

I firmly believe that in cases of felonies such

as murder or arson committed by juveniles over the

age of reason, those juveniles should be tried as

adults. The ability to know the difference between

right and wrong is defined by as the age of reason.

In some states, they overlook the age of reason and

imply that juveniles under the age of 18 be tried

as adults for serious crimes and serve longer

sentences for the type of crime committed.

Some people who oppose trying a juvenile as

an adult may come to the conclusion that young kids

do not realize the finality of death when

committing murder. These people would argue that

since a juvenile does not directly know a person

then he doesn't understand that this person is a

human being. The juvenile may not consider the fact

that the victim may have a family and friends just

like themselves.

I disagree with this argument because the

juvenile understands that he is taking a life and

taking a life is not only wrong but cruel. Not

severely punishing this young adult could lead to

more criminal activity and convictions due to the

belief that punishment will be less severe because

they are a juvenile. If the state does not punish

the juvenile as an adult for the first severe

crime, then certainly the next time that same

juvenile commits another criminal act, the court

system should consider adult punishment.

Some other people would argue that the court

should punish the parent and not the juvenile.

How can parents control every action of their

child? By the age of sixteen, most teenagers have

their own cars, have gained much more freedom,

and can make many more decisions without parental

guidance. Saying that parents are the only ones

that can influence their child to make decisions is

not fair. Even though some parents are physically

or even mentally abusive to their child, that does

not condone the child to take out their anger on

someone else. Parents are not the only ones that

can influence a child, but teachers, coaches, and

most importantly friends are the ones that can

influence juveniles to make decisions whether they

be good or bad.

I believe that if courts were to punish

juveniles as adults for felonies committed, then it

would defer other juveniles from committing crimes.

The peer pressure to commit such crimes wouldn't be

there knowing that the punishment would be much

more severe. As a result, crime rates would

decrease. Not only would punishing the juvenile as

an adult save the public from one criminal but you

could save us from many criminals being created and

pressured into illegal activity throughout the

United States. Many adolescents would have more

caution to what they did and think about the severe

consequences before they break a law.

One of the biggest issues of this argument is

the death of a loved one. The loved ones of

somebody killed by a juvenile want that young adult

to be punished as an adult. They do not want for

the juvenile to be convicted and then let out of

jail at the age of 18. If they believe this person

knew the justifications for their actions then they

would want for them to have a lifetime to think

about their mistake. They wouldn't want for this

person to have another chance of hurting someone

else or even committing the same crime. Justice

is what people would want and expect to get at the

expense of a loved one's life.

Finally, there are others who are opposed to...
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