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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laurenz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Of course a teenager is not a child; he or she is old enough to comprehend cause-and-effect relationships and know the consequences of breaking the law.

But consider the fact that teenagers do not have the developmental capabilities of critical thinking that adults possess.  The prefrontal cortex - involved in complex decision making and regulation of emotions - does not fully develop until a person is about 21.

Now consider the implications of having a brain with an underd... (more »)

eagle replied...
Apr. 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm
If kids in my class (10th grade) are able to smoke weed (illegaly) in the morning before school, somewhat mask the smell, hide some in a secret compartment in their shoe and get some eye drops via 5 finger discount and get connections to avoid being caught by dogs on the days they bring them in im thinking for some reason they have some idea what they are doing and that if they get caught they will get the full punishment available. Thats just me, i mean anyone not in highschool or jr high proba... (more »)
coxknowsbest said...
Mar. 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm
you all are forgetting to think of the mental state of that adolescent and you guys are just folcusing on one side of the coin.... you all are thinking....OH WELL THEY DON"T HAVE ANYTHING WRONG" imagine if there is any emotional scarring...
John_L. said...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I mostly agree. Anyone of high school age (i.e., 14 to 17) should know right from wrong. Why shouldn't they be tried as an adult.


We actually, there's an answer to that: Teenagers AREN'T viewed as adults in the eyes of the law. If they're tried as adults, they would have to have other rights and privileges as adults. (In my mind, anyway. Otherwise that borders age discrimination.)


So is there a middle ground? I think so. Let's say, perhaps, that teens... (more »)

codes said...
Mar. 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm
well if they get tried for murder as an adult they will stop, but if it's a robbery they'll keep doin it over and over. now if it's a robbery and they get tried by adults then something will click in that persons head then he'll think twice
wysopalman said...
Mar. 11, 2011 at 2:19 am
if teens had the same right sas adults i could see the argument but its hypocripsy to deny teens things they want to do because they don't know whats good for them then to turn around and hold them acountable as an adult saying they know fully well whats right and wrong.
eagle replied...
Apr. 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm
um im 15, if i would kill someone right now id almost expect the chair or jailtime depending on the brutality. I dont care about the voting drinking and driving, if those are the things you talk about.
jess said...
Mar. 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm
i agree with Allthegoodnamesaretaken.yeah,teens get affected by that stuff but they dont have to let it bother them.i dont.i dont listen to the high schoolers & jr im not bothered bythat stuff.i just do what i know is right.i dont listen to gossip or anything else that goes around school & i dont think anyone else should either
The_Doctor said...
Mar. 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm
Is this from the recent LD topic?
Allthegoodnamesaretaken said...
Mar. 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm
I disagree. I'm a teen so I know that teens know right from wrong but that's not really the arguement. The more important arguement is that teens are affected by: hormones, peer pressure, alcohol & drugs (admit it, most of us have already started all that & it affects us more cuz we're JUST NOW strting it), arrogance, the need for freedom, anger, etc. more than adults. I agree with that. I'm not affected so much by peer pressure, but I will admit the rest have affected me and made me wan... (more »)
stay real replied...
Mar. 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm
really?/ well yeah there's a lot when it comes to be a teen, i am one but please we know from right or wrong so instead of letting drugs or other issues in our teen life affect us to a point to do someting wrong, we should step up and learn from it. everyone has had bad times or bad life at all but it doesn't mean that then out wrong actions have an excuse.  the only excuse on teens are the hormones cuz Adults also face big pressure, like the support of their families, not just the main but... (more »)
eshsgirl2012 replied...
Apr. 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm
I'm a teen. I'm less than a month away from being 18. Have I commited a minor crime. Of course, what teen hasn't? Anything severe. Never. Instead of making up excuses and blaming it everyone, how about BE an adult and be a man. (in my case woman) If we want the freedom, well we should have the responsibilities and consequences. Simple as that.
eshsgirl2012 replied...
Apr. 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm
I agree with you. Step up to the plate and be a man! (A woman in my case) We commit the crime, like something severe throw us in jail. We commit something minor, punish us so we learn not to do it again.  Simple as that.
ang365231 said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm
Well, I think that they SHOULD be.... but not as kids ._.! Like, if you were a kid that shot ur mom.. u should go to juviniel(yes... idk how to spell :PP) THEN at age, lets just say... 21 yrs. old, u should be going to jail. I dont know... its my opinion :D
love2012 replied...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm
its supposed to be an e instead of i
bhjevjk said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

yes i think they should be punisht because there no good people shut up nooobs


killa247 replied...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 10:18 am
smd who ever think that
chicken-nuggets3345 said...
Feb. 14, 2011 at 8:56 am
kids/teens should only be tried as adults when it comes to murder.. if you ask me anyone who can murder should be more than happy to receve the death penalty..
the rook replied...
Mar. 5, 2011 at 10:27 am
really? I always thought the death penalty was a little harsh, even for mass murderers. I'm not saying that they don't deserve it, but if we turn around and kill them, are we really better than them? What if they were mentally ill when they committed the crimes, what if they were actually uncable of remorse. I don't know it's just my opinion though, i feel like anyone who needs to kill people to feel powerful is sad, and killing them would just brush the problems aside
mizzshantel replied...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm
I agree with you if you can think of murdering someone then you and go to prison. there is to much tv that explain the consequenceses on murder or any other criimal actions.
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