Juveniles Should be Tried and Treated as Adults

Juvenile trials in adult courts have been a serious debate over the years. Everyone is asking if it is right for juveniles to be treated and tried as adults. Some crimes are serious, no matter who commits them. Murder, rape, robbery with violence are serious crimes regardless of the offender. Why then can’t the punishment be equal? One cannot commit these crimes without thinking about them first; it means that the person was well aware of the consequences. We have detailed some reasons why juveniles should be given the same trial as adults.

1. Suitable Penalty for the Crime

If any teenager below 18 years is worried about being punished, the best thing is to avoid committing the crime. Trying juveniles as adults gives them a suitable punishment for the serious crimes that some of them commit. In as much as they are under age, juveniles still commit serious crimes that need the same sentence as adults.

2. It Reduces Chances of Committing Severe Crimes

Trying juveniles as adults helps reduce the chances of repeating the crime or committing more serious crimes. That also serves as a lesson for other youths to refrain from committing the same crimes leading to a significant drop in juvenile crimes

3. Serves the Purpose of Justice

Treating juveniles as adults serve the purposes of justice by putting them in the same system as adults. These young ones who feel they are almost adults do not receive any credit for the fact that they are just a few years from becoming legal adults.

4. Creates Certainty in the Justice System

The justice system needs to be equal and just for everyone. Giving juveniles trials the same as adults give certainty in the system for victims. The case may not be the same often as many young children at times decide to commit crimes, including murder. In this case, the justice system has to respond accordingly.

5. It Provides Consistency for the Severe Crimes

When juveniles are treated and tried as adults, it creates consistency for even the most severe of crimes. Imagine letting go of a 12-year-old who commits a triple homicide but sentencing a 30-year-old for life for the same crime. It is not sensible and unfair; murder is murder, be it by a child or an adult. Therefore the punishment should be the same at all levels.

6. It Offers Services to the Youth in Detention

As juvenile systems focus on programs such as vocational guidance and access to schools, adult prisons don’t. When juveniles get sentenced to prisons meant for adults, then they can get access to programs like addiction support. It helps to equip them properly so that when they finally get out of prison, they will know what to do in a given situation. Other programs like carpentry and masonry can equip them for employment opportunities. That way, they may try to be out of trouble as possible.

7. It Teaches Accountability

Children will always grow to emulate the characters in their immediate environment. If you teach your children that it is wrong to steal, they will grow up knowing that. Nonetheless, if you teach them that it is no issue to take other people’s belongings and bring them home, they will grow up doing just that.

They will tend to imagine that such behaviors are acceptable in society as a whole. It is the work of the community, to cultivate the art of accountability in children. It does not matter their background; they should know both acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.

And this is done for the greater good of the whole society. Therefore, juveniles receiving the same treatment as adults is the number one way of ensuring they learn their lessons well.

8. Gives Seriousness to Severe Crimes

Source: UNICEF

What makes society is the people in it, and what makes it safe enough is the sanity of the people living in it. Some children commit some serious crimes that will leave you wondering if the society will be safe. That is if they are left unpunished or given a lesser punishment.

If these children are given lighter punishment and then released back into society, they will be free-roaming the streets again. They know that there is no severe punishment for them as long as they are under the age of 18 years. Giving them the same trial as adults will ensure the justice system conducts rehabilitation on them before they are released back into society.

9. It Allows the Community an Opportunity to Participate in the Process

In juvenile courts, it is the presiding judge that has the final say. That means he decides the innocence of the juvenile, the sentence period, and the type of sentence. But if the hearing is in adult court, it allows the community to decide whether the case should be held there or not. If not, they have the power to make their preference known.

It is the work of the justice system to ensure that every crime is punishable according to its weight. The public should be made aware that no one is above the law or can escape justice because of their age.

Therefore, punishing juveniles the same as adults will ensure that young children learn to respect the law. And to avoid companies and peer pressure that might lure them into committing serious crimes.

One Reply to “Juveniles Should be Tried and Treated as Adults”

  1. Trying juvenile offenders as adults is legalized severe child abuse. It is dead wrong. In all but 5 countries globally what we are doing is considered a gross human rights violation. Several recent exhaustive peer-reviewed studies have concluded that trying juveniles as adults results in recidivism 400%-800% higher than trying juveniles as juveniles. Those of us who so favor adult revenge against juveniles and young adults also favor a much-higher violent crime rate with far more victims.

    Keep this in mind. Today 13 US States don’t have a death penalty for adult offenders. More than 30 States don’t sentence juveniles to life without parole. Today 30 States have some sort of close-in-age legal protection for teens and teens and young adults who engage in non-abusive consensual sexual conduct. The other 20 States want to brutalize kids and ruin them for life for engaging in perfectly normal otherwise-consensual teen and teen/young adult conduct. That’s wrong. What is wrong with you people? If you want to cut teen pregnancy give away condoms for free.

    Here is Colorado’s close-in-age law. Imagine how many fewer teen sex offenders we would have if every State had this same law? Young people under age 15 are allowed to consent to penetrative sex with any other consenting party within 4 years in age, and young people age 15 and 16 are allowed to consent to penetrative sex with any other consenting party within 10 years older. Our legal adult age of consent is age 17.

    Our close-in-age law protects young adults from lots of high-grade fake ID lately thanks to computers and laser printers. Here in Colorado we even protect otherwise-consensual teen and teen and young adult incest within a 4-year age range as only a misdemeanor with no requirement to join the sex offender registry. Even limited consensual photo sexting at age 15-17 is a misdemeanor here. Here being a juvenile and even a young adult is about learning and growing-up. Our kids will grow-up to become adults if we are willing to let them, guide them, and protect them when need be.

    Sex at any age after entering puberty is perfectly normal and perfectly healthy. Why try so hard to prohibit non-abusive consensual sex between teens and between teens and young adults? Don’t you people have anything better to do?

    There is no such thing as an “adult” crime. The age of the perpetrator and how we protect them is the only difference that matters. Do we have a presumption of innocence in this country or not? I could see giving a juvenile court judge increased sentencing latitude, and I could see allowing young people sentenced as juveniles to remain in juvenile and young adult rehabilitation facilities as late as age 25 or even 27, just to please some of us who want a little bit of blood, but trying juveniles as adults on the mere worry about how badly we can abuse offenders is plainly wrong.

    I even favor giving young adults an honest second chance as plenty of peer-reviewed evidence shows that young adults lack the brain development to rationalize consequence in an adult manner just like juveniles. We have been dead wrong on this issue almost our entire history as a nation. I just can’t figure you revenge-mongers out. I could see perhaps creating an intermediate stage of young adult development, let’s say between age 16 to and including age 19, trading some additional freedoms for some additional responsibility, but young people this age still don’t think like adults.

    Brutalizing more and more kids won’t make other kids think so what good is your policy? None. Revenge is not a component of the American justice system. Every kid we try as an adult we are badly abusing. Inflicting severe child abuse in the name of justice must be illegal. I don’t care.

    I know an awful lot about being a victim of hundreds of felony crimes and even I don’t want revenge against any of the 7 juveniles who sexually abused me. I just wanted them to get the help they need to grow-up to become non-abusive responsible adults. I would still like to get even with the 5 adults who violently abused and sexually assaulted me though. I would like to get even with the police in Chester, VT who didn’t believe me in February, 1974 and the assistant high school principal who didn’t believe me in December, 1973 too.

    My own mother refused to believe me and then violently assaulted me for accusing a church friend of hers. My dad relentlessly beat me because I was suffering 20 different symptoms of being sexually abused and physically abused as far back as age 6. I got kicked-out of high school at age 16 because I had complex PTSD. Nobody did one day in jail because I was never believed once. Would you believe that of the 5 juveniles who abused me that I knew their names, all grew-up to be very-responsible non-abusive adults who have raised families, just because they were never charged with sexually abusing me. Why try to get revenge when it doesn’t do anyone any good?

    I even feel strongly that first-time violent offenders deserve an honest second chance. Today 60% of juveniles sentenced to life without parole in the US are first-time violent offenders. About half suffered abuse as children. Child abuse is pretty easy to treat in teen and young adult victims with a fairly high recovery rate. In-fact the recidivism rates of such programs are 1/8th as high as trying juveniles as adults results in. When we try juveniles as adults they kill themselves at rate 36 TIMES AS HIGH as when we try juvenile offenders as juveniles for the same crimes. Are you revenge-mongers proud of that?

    Deterrence doesn’t work with juveniles and young adults. If we brutalize a teen offender today it doesn’t make other teens think before they act. Teens don’t know right from wrong in an adult manner because they don’t rationalize consequence in-advance of acting. Most-often teens act on the spur of the moment, often trying to impress their peer-group. Teens often take wild chances with their safety and the safety of others because they don’t think in advance of acting. .

    I would really like to see the US ratify the juvenile justice provisions of the UN Rights of the Child legal covenant, which prohibits trying juveniles as adults, and end this national madness. We can easily give our kids who offend a fair chance to become a responsible adult after treating what is wrong with them with a fairly-high success rate. Repeat offenders may have to be more-harshly dealt with.

    When I was a kid growing-up in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s the US sought to protect human rights all over the world. Now because of you revenge-mongers the US is the world’s worst human rights violator. Maybe the rest of the nations of our world should blockade us over it. Why do you so badly want to abuse other American’s kids? I feel strongly your position is insane and I am not happy having to share the same country with you revenge-mongers either.

    Abusing kids in the name of revenge must stop no matter what these kids did as I know full well how damaging suffering lots of abuse is and how hard it is to get help and get over being abused too. Badly abusing kids and young adults in the name of justice is wrong.

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