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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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?
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.
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.
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 »)

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.
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. 
nessarobin replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm
well yu dnt kno whuut another person has ben hrough bhut obviouslt this website is for ppls personal experiences and opinions an lyk i said !!! IT IS NAWT OKAY TO KILL YOUR PARENTS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE !!
Fizzle said...
Jun. 5, 2011 at 5:16 am
Since we're taliking about murder cases, I believe that teens should be tried as adults. If not, they are most likely going to repeat the crime knowing that they won't get in any serious trouble. For example, I know people who have stolen things of mine because they figured they were only 10 and there was no one who would really punish them if they were caught. Now, at 13 they are still stealing because they think it's okay. Now if you're a teenager, you know that murder is wrong (unless it's in... (more »)
thia44 said...
Jun. 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm
that would be fair your thinking an eye for an eye witch makes the world go blind (come on imean its simpel as preschool)and it depends if the kid was mentaly capabel or what he was tought or his background every thing maters.
thia44 said...
Jun. 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm
I compleatly disagrea, i am 14 and have never done any thing that is ileagale. You can never judge a persons capabilty to un erstand or know the right thing or wrong by looking at the general population that is basicaly steriotypeing. And you have to take in the particulare childs age the crime the background every thing counts and it all means some =thing will difer in the type of trial they get. Some teen's if found capabel are tried as adults but others really can not be tried as adults, your... (more »)
Brittbyheart said...
Jun. 1, 2011 at 10:36 am
I read a lot of your comments, and I love hearing each one's opinion. Now here is mine. I am 15. I was raised with a teenage sister, and a lot of kids in my block. I dont know why, but I was always more grown up then I needed to be (maybe devorce of my parents at the age of 5?) I knew stealing was bad and lying was terrible. So I hardly did them, because when I got caught, even though my punishment wasnt really big, I was extremly disspointed in myself. Now, I see TONS of kids who act like they ... (more »)
violenttiger said...
May 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm
Children should not be tried as an adult, just because one person knows right from wrong doesn't mean that everyone does, some people have different backrounds.. Maybe they wern't taught. I don't think any kid below twelve should be tried! they dont know what they are doing, and don't know coniquences! Even teens don't always make mature honest desicions... THINK ABOUT IT
new york replied...
May 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm
to violenttiger... so let say if a 13 year old murder one of your family member the kid will only be locked up only for 5 years do you think that would be enough time for a kid that comitted a first degree murder?
Brittbyheart replied...
Jun. 1, 2011 at 10:26 am

I agrre 100% with this article. I know some cases where a teen murdered someone and faced life in jail, and Im proud to say I'm happy about that. Teens know better. You may say that they dont know better but, really? You have kids and your oldest smacks the youngest accross the head, aare you going to let it slid because "they dont know any better"? Im darn sure thata they DO know better, because Im 15 and ALWAYS smack my sisters haha. Even though its wrong, I do it. I get in trouble and next... (more »)

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