Should Juveniles Be Tried as Adults
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Throughout the years this topic has been a heated discussion. To those that have never experienced a fellow persons murder by a juvenile they often side with the idea they should not. To those who have known someone who has they often declare that they should. There is evidence to support both sides but it is truly a personal decision. Should juveniles be tried as adults, I would go as far as to say that it depends on the circumstances. From personal experience I have had friends killed by Juveniles and had acquaintances tried as both adults and juveniles. This is a very touchy subject to all.
There is the case that maybe juveniles are not able to emotionally or intellectually contribute to their defense. It depends upon the individual. In examining 1,400 males and females in four jurisdictions, researchers concluded that age and intelligence – not gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic factors or even prior run-ins with the law – were the most significant factors in determining a youth’s ability to understand the judicial process.(Krikorian, 1) In one case, Dylvan age 14 died due to a 16 year old drunk driver. What was the courts decision? They gave him 5 years because he was unaware of the consequence’s of what he did, but he was able to get out in two years on parole. Where is the justice in that? When it comes to murder there should be no grey line. It is either black or white.
That is something that from the day we enter into this world is instilled in us that is an ultimate wrong. There should never be a questions if it is wrong or right. Adolescent recklessness may suggest diminished responsibility to some and a terrible danger to others. (Liptak, 4) Even though normal teens are experiencing a wildfire of tissue loss in their brains, that does not remove their accountability.(Thompson, 8) That goes to prove that when a teen does something they are responsible, even if it is unintentional.
In another case, we will call him “John”, was tried as an adult for possession of drugs(weed) and trafficking of drugs. He was given ten years once he turned 18 he would be sent to adult prison. He was 16 at that time. Yes, drugs are wrong and should not be done, but they should not be considered worse than murder.
Taking a step back and looking on both of these examples a question is left in my mind. Why was the drug case treated worse than the murder? In many ways our court system is very good, but in others it lacks tremendously. When it comes to Juvenile cases I have come to the conclusion that they should only be tried as adults when it comes to certain murder cases. If it comes down to life in prison, parole should be given still. Drugs should never be treated worse than any murder.