Thirteen Is Too Young

January 8, 2010
By kiersten koenig SILVER, Houston, Texas
kiersten koenig SILVER, Houston, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Young children all over the place are committing crimes, and for what cost? Do they know the consequences of there actions? Or is there no one there to tell them? Would you send a thirteen-year-old girl to prison for stealing something? How about a boy? Recently a young twelve-year-old boy, who was taking anti-depressants, has been sentenced to thirty years in prison for killing his grandparents. Should this boy go to court and stand in front of God and everyone to be sent to prison? Or does he deserve a chance at rehab in a juvenile facility? Keep in mind that this boy was taking pills, and there is no way he could have done this on purpose. This boy deserves a second chance, the chance to turn his life around. Children should not be tried as adults in a court, they are not adults and don’t think like adults.

Mike Hendricks, author of “Stop trying 13-year-olds in court as adults”, strongly believes that these kids have no idea what they’re doing and that they deserve a second chance. “14 is too young to be considered an adult”, so why are twelve and thirteen year olds being tried as well? (Hendricks 1) Kids don’t just walk out on the street and steal something or kill someone for fun, they usually have a reason, or maybe they don’t know any better. Something tragic could have happened to them in their life and they feel they have to take it out on the world. Or maybe they don’t have anyone around to tell him or her that what they’re doing is wrong. Many children who commit crimes do it because that’s what they’re surrounded by. People in their community or in their home commit crimes everyday and go to prison for it, so they think it’s perfectly normal. Because these kids don’t know any better they should be sent to a juvenile facility where they can learn that what they did is wrong and why. Hendricks says:

Excuse me but 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 among juveniles. The fact is kids are not adults. Their brains are wired differently. They don’t think things out they 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)
He says in this paragraph that kids brains are wired differently. What does he mean by this? Kids don’t think the same way adults do. Adults are obviously older and know more about the world and about life. Kids brains aren’t quite fully developed, they don’t know enough. Kids deserve a second chance, how would you feel if it was your kid?

Some people in this world believe that kids, even though they’re young and don’t know, should still be sent to prison. “Juvenile criminals must be tried as adults” by Jessica Wilde, says exactly this. She believes that “morals are inherent from birth, the acknowledgement from right and wrong and the respect following those lines are unchangeable” (Wilde 1). How can she honestly believe that having good morals is inherent? Having good morals is something you acquire, not something you’re born with. Good morals come from your environment, how you’re raised, and your surroundings. These kids who don’t have good morals should be sent to rehab so that they can obtain good morals, Wilde on the other hand doesn’t think so; “rehabilitation will not fix these young criminals”. How does she know this? Sure they could just go to rehab, get out for good behavior, and go right back committing crimes. But they at least deserve the chance to change. Kids could go into rehab thinking that they don’t need or want help, and then get there and realize that what they are doing is really wrong. Kids minds today are corrupt and they need the help that a lot of them aren’t getting.

All I’m saying here is that kids are going to commit crimes and there is nothing we can do about it after they’ve done it. But we can at least show them that what they did is wrong and help them to not make the same mistake. So why do we care if these young criminals go to juvenile or prison? No one in your family has ever committed a crime. But what if they did? Or maybe someone in your family was killed or hurt by a minor who had absolutely no clue what they were doing. I don’t know about you, but I would want that person to know that what they did is wrong, and I would want them to get help so they didn’t harm anyone else.

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