How to Get into Jail with a Few Easy Steps

January 11, 2010
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When is a person considered able to care for themselves as an adult? ? There are arguments of say that you are only an adult when you can take care of yourself and not require parental consent, yet when a person actually plans to harm another, they deserve to be convicted as criminals. There is no middle ground when it comes to committing a crime and having debates whether it is right to being sent to jail or not for preventing another’s continuation of their life. In the reality of the world, there are teens out there who are committing horrendous acts and are sent to prison for the lack of faith in rehabilitaion.
Mike Hendricks makes a good point by say that “fourteen14 is too young to be considered an adult” ((Hendricks 1). Teenagers are raging masses of hormones who are impulsive and don’t take the time to think things through. They don’t really know any better than what they are taught. It seems unjust for “Keaire Brown, fourteen14, will be tried as an adult for a murder she’s accused of committing when she was just thirteen13” (Hendricks 1). Yet there are the people who don’t deserve the pity of others, those who commit crimes just because it is fun. A small two-year old boy was murdered outside a building by a couple of ten-year olds who thought it would be fun. They multilated him and left him there to die and to be found by his mother.
A sufficient age to be referred to as an adult would be 18, seeing as “you have to be at least 18 to serve on a Kansas jury” (Hendricks 1). People begin to develop a conscience and a moral compass in their early teen years. By 18 they will have a good idea of what is right and wrong. It could be considered human nature, for if we are all honest with ourselves, we can admit that when something we did was wrong, we had a gut feeling that it was bad.

Ignorance is a common issue in the misdemeanors caused by teens.A tragic lifestyle would lead anyone to try to make it better, perhaps by stealing from someone else. In their mind, maybe taking a car was the key to their happiness, and if anyone tries to stand in their way they would harm them. But with experience comes knowledge, and “Antwuan Taylor will…[be] tried as an adult in a homicide that occurred when he, like Brown, was 13” (Hendricks 1). An motive is often considered when “Brown allegedly shot 16-year-old Scott Sappinton Jr. in the head at point blank range” (Hendricks 1), as people wonder why she would try to steal a car in the first place. She may have grown up in a rough environment with a difficult family life, so there is a possibility that it is not entirely her fault. Is it her fault for being born to a life that no one should have to live? The children deserve a chance to be rehabilitated and given a second chance. “It’s also shocking that ours is a society in which kids so young are denied a chance at rehabilitation in the juvenile system”, and yet the adults who have had time to learn from their mistakes get the extra chance. This is unfair in the minds of some, and it might just be down right wrong, but it is a parent’s job to take care of their children and if the child fails to listen, then there is no question about whether they are guilty or not. Though a the current system seems to work fine,

“…I am not interested in having legislators justify why they erected this ridiculous system in the early 1990s in response to a spurt of violent crime amoung juveniles. The fact is, kids are not adults. Their brains are wired differently. They don’t think things out the way we do. Most states recognize this. Not until you’re 18 are you assumed mature enough to vote, sign contracts, make out wills, sign leases or decide on medical treatment without parental consent” (Hendricks 1). There is something to be said for growing purposes. Children are in such a hurry to grow up. Well now is their chance. It is time to treat them like adults. This is the responsibility that they crave so much. We should give it to them.

Even though the current laws are atrocious, they have improved in other areas. For instance, the marital laws that raised the required age which, “by the way, [is] a big improvement over the way the marriage laws were a few years ago” (Hendricks 2). Most of the population doesn’t seem to have a problem with the system that was established “yet where is the outrage over trying kids as adults…[as] they are abused and come out more dangerous and damaged than when they went in” (Hendricks 2)? How could they possibly defend themselves when the system is out to get them? People may argue that the courts don’t want to hear excuses because they are so desperate to have order that they don’t fully take the time to think about what may have really happened. But there is always help out there for them; lawyers in particular.

The arguments against sending teens to jail are valid, yet they arguments for sending teens to jail for crimes that they meant to do are far stronger. The sense of justice the families of the victims would be compelling to desire revenge for their loss. Teens want to be trusted and they can be, but it’s time to start taking responsibility for their actions and not blaming it on their youth or family. If nothing else, people like that make me sick to my stomach.





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