Kids Are Adults?

January 11, 2010
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Last time I checked, we, kids aren’t adults. We are considered adults at eighteen; we can’t serve on juries, get tattoos, or move out of our parents’ homes until we are 18. So if kids are not adults, then why are we being tried as adults? Yes, it is true that kids are being tried as adults in some states, and being sentenced to jail and not rehabilitation. In the article, “Stop trying 13-year-olds in court as adults” by Mike Hendricks, it states, “Kids as young as 10 can be tried as adults under Kansas law. In Missouri, there is no minimum” (1). Many other states don’t try kids as adults. The problem is that there are kids out there who are committing adult crimes, and that makes it hard to decide whether kids should be tried as adults or go through rehabilitation. The harshness of the crime committed, not their age, should determine whether they are sentenced to rehabilitation or jail.
You might think this is harsh, but in the article, “Juvenile criminals must be tried as adults” by Jessica Wilde, it talks about how two 10-year-old boys took, mutilated, and murdered a 2-year-old “for fun” (2). Try saying that they don’t deserve to go to jail to the mother of the 2-year-old. Those two boys deserved to go to jail, but all they got was a couple of years in rehabilitation! Why do I think this, you may ask? I believe that those kids knew exactly what they were doing.
There are some kids that don’t know what they are doing. Some kids have mental problems and need help from rehab, instead of being thrown into jail where they are abused everyday. Also, some kids just don’t realize what they are doing until it is too late. On the other hand, there are those kids that know exactly what they are doing. For example, in this case, “Brown allegedly shot 16-year-old Scott Sappington Jr. in the head at point-blank range” (Hendricks 1). How could she have done that on accident? I feel like this 14-year-old deserves to be sent to jail. How can someone so young stand there and watch as they shoot someone point-blank in the head? You can’t do this on accident, and that is why kids like Brown should be sent to jail. I just don’t understand why some kids who commit these severe crimes like murder, aren’t sent to jail immediately, while some get off with rehabilitation.
It is frustrating, because people won’t search for a more logical answer. People want to throw them all in jail or send them all to rehab. If they all go to jail, then we are hurting those who deserved rehab. A compromise would be a lot easier, because if you send them all to rehab, then we reward the undeserving who have committed terrible crimes. But the one thing that bothers me the most is how Jessica Wilde can say:
A lack of human morals cannot be treated or cured in rehabilitation centers. Morals are inherent from birth, the acknowledgement of right from wrong and the respect of following those lines are unchangeable foundations a person has built upon from the beginning (1).
That is a lie! There is proof that people can change. Maybe they all won’t change, but is that is no excuse to deprive the deserving of their second chance in life. Rehabilitation centers wouldn’t exist if they didn’t help. I have friends that had bad morals, and they changed. I watched them change. I have been to a rehabilitation center that my grandmother works for, and she has told me many stories of these boys turning their lives around. I have actually met some of them too. I like how they see my grandmother as their own grandmother. They never really had a parent figure that cared for them, or showed them right from wrong. That is why I think they look up to my grandmother, because she is helping them learn right from wrong.

Now don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe that there are juveniles out there that deserve the punishment of prison. I don’t like that we are letting of some of the juveniles that murdered people go to rehabilitation centers. Hendricks says, “The fact is, kids are not adults. Their brains are wired differently. They don’t think things out the way we do” (1). These statements are only partially true though, because not all adults think things out while some kids do. For example, the two 10-year-olds (as mentioned earlier) had thought things out and knew exactly what they were going to do. Jessica Wilde talks about in her article, that the two ten 10-year-old kids left that morning with the purpose of hurting/killing a child for their own amusement. On CCTV, they were even seen searching for their prey. They found poor Bulger as he wandered out of the store his mom was shopping at. They obviously thought things through, but they didn’t even care. Hendricks states, “They [kids] don’t think things out the way we [adults] do,” but last time I checked, driving under the influence (DUI), a crime committed by many adults, is not thinking things out. Also, when an adult is married and cheats on his wife, goes to a strip club and drinks, or hires a prostitute, how is that thinking things out? I am not saying all adults are like this, but there a lot of adults like this in the world. So this is why I think kids who murder, rape, and do other severe crimes should be thrown in jail, because it is impossible for them to not know what they are doing.

Juvenile delinquents should be sent to prison or sent to rehab, depending on the crime is severe or if it is not. We can’t send them all to jail or we deprive those who deserve rehab. Yet, we can’t put them all together, because some of them are more dangerous than the others. Some of the kids who commit the more severe crimes and a good bit of the less severe crimes have never seen or been taught about good morals. They need to be put in rehab to be taught what is right. On the other hand though, what Jessica Wilde said is partially true. I do believe there are some people who are born evil, this is shown if they are committing severe crimes, and those are the ones who should be sent to jail. I want people to get active and help fight for what is right, because kids are out there murdering people and are sent to juvenile detention. The only problem is that most of them don’t change. They should be sent to jail. Some of those who need and deserve the rehabilitation aren’t getting it and are sent to jail. There, they are abused, and by the time they get out, they are a lot worse then when they went in. I believe the topic of whether kids should be tried as adults should be brought up to the President, and I will do it myself if I have to. It is time that we stand up and fight for the deserving, and get them their second chance. We can do this by coming together and compromising, so we can give the kids the reward or punishment they deserve.

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