Everyone who commits a crime should be tried and sentenced equally. Everyone knows the difference between right and wrong.
A 14-year-old who commits armed robbery knows that it is wrong. We are taught that robbery is wrong by our parents and teachers. There is no excuse for those who perform an illegal act. Why should those under the age of 18 be protected from the law? The law is meant to protect the victims, not the felons. The perpetrator will keep committing these acts until he is punished. There should be a strict sentence for each crime.
Juvenile delinquents should not be placed in a regular penitentiary with older offenders, but instead be put in a special prison, to be schooled and rehabilitated. They should be forced to serve the whole sentence, and not be released automatically when they reach the age of 18. If, however, during the sentence, the offender should turn 18, then he should be brought in front of a jury to decide if (a)he should be transferred to a regular prison or remain in the special facility or(b)he should be released because he has been sufficiently rehabilitated and is not a threat to society.
Crime knows no age. Just because teenagers can't drink or vote doesn't mean that they don't know right from wrong. Once a crime has been committed, it can't be undone. Once a life is taken, it can't be replaced. Don't feel bad for those under 18. They have brains and can think for themselves. The underage argument seems to be an excuse so that they can escape the punishment.n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.