A discussion of whether juveniles should be tried as adults or not

The world was in shock but what we all had to remember was the fact that these two teenagers would be punished but the punishment would not fit the crime since they are below Standards for judging culpability may be different in juvenile and adult courts as well.

should juveniles be tried as adults pros and cons

Transferring juveniles to criminal court has three sets of implications that need to be considered in discussions about whether they should be tried as adults. The views expressed in this article are those of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association, the Section of Litigation, this committee, or the employer s of the author s.

However, this does not describe the tens of thousands of young people who currently are being prosecuted in the adult system, a large proportion of whom have been charged with nonviolent crimes. Adult prisons already have been experiencing significant overcrowding, with the majority of those incarcerated being nonviolent offenders.

It merely means that they should be punished and held responsible within a system designed to treat children, not fully mature adults. A fair punishment tot an adult is unfair when applied to a child who did not understand the consequences of his or her actions.

Benefits of juveniles being tried as adults

In addition, according to the U. When research has shown young people kept in the juvenile system are less likely to re-offend, why do we keep making the same mistake? In adult court, the outcome of being found guilty of a serious crime is nearly always some sort of punishment. For those few a couple years of detention and programs are not enough. A fair punishment tot an adult is unfair when applied to a child who did not understand the consequences of his or her actions. Nearly every state uses a variety of legal processes to transfer youth to the adult system sometimes, either through judicial or prosecutorial discretion or through laws that prevent certain alleged offenses from being heard in juvenile or family courts. Yet nine states still place year-olds in the adult system for any offense — including simple misdemeanors or traffic related offenses — building permanent adult records for juveniles before they are even out of high school. For North Carolina and New York , the age one goes into the adult system is When a case falls under one of the statutory exclusion laws, it is mandated that the case be filed in adult court rather than in juvenile court. Any teenager who tortures and kills a human being or commits rape should not be treated as a child and should not be allowed to get away with it. In juvenile court, the outcome of being found delinquent may be some sort of punishment, but juvenile courts typically retain the option of a rehabilitative disposition, in and of itself or in combination with some sort of punishment. Conclusion The reason that juvenile courts were originally created in the nineteenth century was because society recognized that juveniles did not have the cognitive development that adults had, would benefit more from rehabilitative services to prevent recidivism, and needed more protections. Young defendants may simply not have what it takes--by the standards established in the Constitution--to be able to defend themselves in criminal court.

Email At the age of 16, Cameron Williams lives a life far removed from the world of other teenagers. I am not saying that if a teenage boy or girl enters a mall and shoplifts, try him and sentence him to a year in jail.

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No One Younger Than 18 Should Be Tried as an Adult