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Should Teens Be Tried As Adults This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Should teenagers be tried as adults? Opinions differ. Some people argue that teenagers don't know what they are doing when they commit a crime and are still too young to comprehend what is right and wrong. I totally disagree. I am old enough to know that committing a crime is wrong and that if I commit one, I will be punished. Anyone who says teens can't tell right from wrong is either too old to remember what being a teenager is like or they are a teenager who has committed a crime and don't want to be tried as an adult. In either case, they are wrong. All teens know that killing is wrong, yet they do it anyway and get away with a light sentence because of their age. Even if a teen didn't know it was wrong, it doesn't mean it's right. They should still be punished. If they aren't, they willthink that crimes are okay and continue to commit them.

Teens today don't fear the law because they don't think they will get caught. And if they do, they know they have a good chance of getting off because they are tried as teens and not adults. We have to get tougher on crime. There should be a law that everyone over eleven years old will be tried as adults. That way more teens would be discouraged from committing crimes. They would know that murder would get them a very long sentence instead of staying in juvenile hall until they are eighteen. If we want to cut down on teen crime, we have to have tougher laws. ?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Naomi518 said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm:
the thing is, people under 18 are still required to have an education. that's why they are sent to juvie (at least where I'm from)
spadeOfhearts replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm :
Oh. Sorry then :'(
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RuLiZ18 said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm:
I think that they should be tried as an adult because even tho they are a teen they should the between right and wrong.
DirtyBirdy35 replied...
Dec. 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm :
you might want to learn how to talk before you comment
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patriots#22 said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm:
i think that there is just know way of knowing what other people think and what is going through their minds. Therefore i do agree as 15-17 year olds being punished as adults but anyone younger should be given a lighter sentance/tried as a juvinile. and anyone who is crazy enough to kill someone needs to be checked out mentally. with proper parenting there wouldnt be crimes like this and we wouldnt even be having this commenting session...
HonorThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm :
Well if you think that then don't you think the "minor age" should be changed from 18 (or whatever it is) to 15?
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Mommy2010 said...
Sept. 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm:

I Don't think teens should be tried as an adult becasue they are not adults the are children and they still got time to change there life around and make it better but if you trie them as an adult then they are never going to be able tochange there life. For example When I was younger I was bad and I did what I wanted and one day I got in trouble and they was trying to put me in prison until I was 21 years old but I got lucky and they threw that out of court and every since that day I havent ... (more »)

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Kimberly S. said...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm:
Teenagers know what is right from wrong. We have been taught those things since before we could walk and talk. Stealing a pack of gum should not get tried as an adult case but killing someone should definately get tried as an adult. Police officers and court systems should look at the severity of the case before making that decision.
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TheDance said...
Aug. 28, 2011 at 9:32 am:
Teens shoud definetly be tried as an adult. My uncle was murdered by a 17 year old and they didnt try him as an adult, and he should have been. If your stupid and smart enough to come up with a plan to murder or steal or commit any crime you are mature enough to be tried as an adult.
Aztec replied...
Sept. 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm :
I just want to commet on something, I know that is wrong taking anyones life no matter how old you are but, its not fair to give life to a teenager, I think that everyone deserves a chance in life to change. If we dont change the system right now and try to help teenagers instead of just locking them up and throwing away the key that does not help them at all. It just makes them more mad at life and at the system so they do more harm in jails. I just think that they should not give life to teena... (more »)
Gatorfan replied...
Oct. 17, 2011 at 7:51 am :
If anyone deserves a chance to change their life around then any genocidal maniac should as well. If we had caught hitler before he killed himself, should he of had a second chance and walked free? Should bin laden or saddam Hussein?
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Wpetrie1 said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm:
U couldn't post this 15 years when I was 16, & went 2 prison 4 12 years for drug use, stealing a car, drug distribution, & felony armed robbery, if I had known I could use that as a defense I would've.
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authorkid said...
Aug. 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm:
Isn't 11 a bit harsh? Maybe like 14 or 15, but 11? Seriously? some states its better to be tried as a teen. Because if your not, you get the death penalty. So if the law says 11 is the age to try people as an adult....then the government is killing kids, and thats just heinous.
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little-miss-mistakes said...
Jul. 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm:

I see you point... kinda... but you didnt quite sell it as much as you did restate it.... alot.... Besides 11 year olds havent even graduated eleentary school, they might know whats right and wrong, but there are a million different ways their judgement could be clouded manipulated or altered.... Although some teenagers had full knowledge of what they were doing and how wrong it was, not al do.Each case is different and a one size fits all rule would not help nyone.

Besides to be tried... (more »)

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writer-in-pearls said...
Jun. 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm:
This is so simplistic, both in argument and in writing style. The argument for trying teens as juveniles, as opposed to adults, is not that they don't know killing is wrong. There is significant research showing that teenagers brains are not fully developed, making us less able to make rational decisions and control our impulses. 
nessarobin replied...
Jul. 6, 2011 at 11:50 am :
i think it is not fair to try teens as adults, sometimes teens are munipulated by older people , or they may have been throught hings.. i think they should be punished but not as an adult !
Atheena replied...
Jul. 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm :
I disagree with your comment, because an adult can also be manupulated by another person, and an adult could also not think things through completely. I don't think there is any excuse for committing a crime.
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rockyraccoon said...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm:
i think it depends on the circum stances. what if a kid kills their physicly abusive parents in those cases their should be special treatment. However crimes of passion and maybe drugs should they should be tried as adults.
Mal15 replied...
Jun. 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm :
I agree to your post but if a kid kills an abuzive parent it is self defence and doesn't matter anyway
nessarobin replied...
Jul. 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm :
it is never okay to kill your parent ..if the child feels physically or emotionally abused then call child services and ask to be removed ...duh you dont have to kill them
writer-in-pearls replied...
Jul. 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm :
not every child knows to call CPS, or feels that CPS can help them, leading to further abuse. Abuse may lead a child to feel that they have no way out, and that killing their abuser is the only way out. It is obviously still very serious, but you oughtn't judge a situation that you have not been in. 
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