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.

Join the Discussion

This article has 323 comments. Post your own now!

garthgirl8888 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm
However, studies have shown that many teens don't have the necessary brain function to make mature decisons the way adults do. There are always exceptions, and you are obviously one of them. Most of the people on this site probably are. However, many kids aren't like us and might make an impulsive decsion that they would regret later simply because their pre-frontal cortex isn't operating the way it will be in a few years.
Maggie replied...
Oct. 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm
You have a great point. I think that teens should have a fair trial, but that their punishments should (usually) be a little less severe than it is for most adults.
Rein_Soprano said...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Yes we should be tried as adults. Murder is murder. THough there should be an investigation of the cause. In self defence or ignorance a child/teen should be sent to juvinile delinquence center.

there was a boy who didn't like a girl he shot her he was 5. This is the fault of the parent for having a gun not stowed out of harms way and full cocked gun in the hand of a child is leathal.

Sexyy Beast!! said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Blahhhhh!your all wrong!!:{)
spadeOfhearts replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm
screw you. first off, noone's going to ask you what you think because who wants to talk to such shallow, conceited people? and second, are yu one of those teens who commit crimes? bcuz this essay proves a great point about how teens like yu are being carelessly stupid when it comes to behavior and actions.
kem86 replied...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Both of you would be taken more seriously if you spelled correctly and had a better understanding of the English language.  "Sexyy Beast"- It's you're, as in "you are." "Spade of Hearts" - it only takes a few second longer to write out that "o" in "you" and the word "because" rather than bcuz.
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 5:22 pm
yeah thats true. btw yur profile picture is disturbing and should be changed immediately
Naomi518 replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm
...that's a picture of me...are you calling me disturbing? I take offence to that
spadeOfhearts replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm
no it looks like someone is kissing yur neck. im sorry to offend you but hey, it offended me too (hem hem)
Naomi518 replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm
nope. just me.
spadeOfhearts replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm
Oh. Sorry then :'(
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
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?
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 »)

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.
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 »)
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback