Teens Should Absolutely Be Tried as Adults When They Commit Adult Crimes

January 11, 2010
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Murderers, rapists, and other criminals are being released from jail everyday after serving only very short and lenient sentences. Who are these criminals and what makes them so special? The criminals are juveniles who commit adult crimes. They are being tried every day in juvenile courts, they are receiving shortened sentences, and they are being released and given new identities to continue to live their lives in peaceful and happy bliss, all while their victims and their families are left to suffer forever. Because the courts and juvenile rights advocates believe that second chances should be given to youths who commit crimes, criminals are walking the streets, living as our neighbors, and in many instances committing additional crimes.

When it comes to trying teens in court as adults. Some say stop trying them as adults and try them as juveniles, others say they must be tried as adults when they commit adult crimes. I believe that teens should be held accountable for their actions and tried as adults. If I knew somebody who hurt or killed someone I loved, I would want him or her to experience the worst possible punishment for his or her actions. Some people say that children learn bad behavior from their parents, things like murder, rap or drug abuse; but I believe that children should learn from their parent’s mistakes. I agree with Jessica Wilde when she say’s “Morals are inherent from birth”(Wilde1). To me this is saying that kids, and even adults, should know the difference between right and wrong. Finally, put yourself in the mother’s position, if your son or daughter just died, how would you want their killer to be punished? How would you feel if you never got to see your child alive again while their killer served only a short sentence before being released from jail?

Now then, some people believe that we should stop putting teens in adult prison; they believe we should be lenient with them and give them easier sentences. These people argue that children are capable of learning from their mistakes and because they are children, they can be rehabilitated. Others say that teens are too young to understand the consequences of there actions, or that they don’t know their limitations with drugs or alcohol. I believe this is a ridiculous argument because teens shouldn’t be drinking or doing drugs in the first place. There are some people, like Hendricks, in his article “Stop Trying 13-Year-olds in Court as Adults”, who believe “They’re abused and come out more dangerous and damaged then when they went in”(Hendricks 2). This is a good argument; however, can’t we say the same thing for adults? Why should juveniles be treated any different than adults when the crimes they are committing are every bit as heinous as adult crimes?

Youths who commit crimes are criminals; they are walking our streets, living as our neighbors, and in many instances committing additional crimes. I strongly agree with Jessica Wilde when she says, “All crimes committed by juveniles should and must be treated in the same regard, it not to punish heinous acts, then to provide justice to the families of victims (Wilde 2). As a child myself, I was raised in a family who believes in punishments, spankings, and repercussions for the actions of the children. Some say morals are learned, others say we inherit morals at birth, either way, a criminal is a criminal and must be punished as such. Should we punish all juveniles as adults? Probably not with lesser crimes, but some crimes are certainly more heinous than others, and those crimes like murder and rape are adult crimes. It really doesn’t matter the age of the criminal, it they are committing crimes that are inherently adult in nature, then yes, these criminals absolutely should be punished as an adult regardless of their age. Our courts, our schools, nor our societies, should ever allow anyone, child or adult, get away with murder.

Join the Discussion

This article has 166 comments. Post your own now!

annycs13 said...
Feb. 21, 2015 at 7:59 pm
I think this article speaks the truth and is very well written. I do have one thing to say however, and that is that what if the teen didn't know what they were doing and was simply coerced into committing an adult crime? Or what if a teen is charged as an accessory to an adult crime? Then what? I think that after a certain age the teen should be charged with an adult crime, like after age fifteen or something, but if they're thirteen or something, I think that they should be treated as a ju... (more »)
Brody Hall replied...
Mar. 31, 2015 at 11:28 am
I strongly agree with what Bob Case said in this recent post.
The_Narrator said...
Feb. 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm
While I agree that the punishments of juvenile crimes should be altered in favor of adult crimes, I disagree with your statement entirely. The reason why: teens aren't adults. It's that simple. Change the punishment of juvenile crimes, make teens get life in prison, but they are teens. Don't classify them as adults on one aspect and juveniles as another.
Mockingbird101 said...
Feb. 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm
I have to agree with the author. Although some teenagers and kids lack judgement, they should know that rape and murder are wrong and can wreck a person or family's life. Even if they are brought up in a family who did not bring them up correctly, the children should know better.
1233333 said...
Feb. 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm
This is a powerful article and it does reflects the problems we have right now. I personally think that even though they committed a crime, however, they are not the same as adults. Everyone is born equally and no one is born evil. A person forms their personality depends on their family, parents. Although you are saying that the youths should be punish the same way as the adults, but maybe they have a very irresponsible family and maybe they are lonely all the time and no one is there to teach ... (more »)
TheUnpopularOpinion replied...
Apr. 7, 2015 at 9:25 pm
I agree completely. There's an article called "The Teen Brain: It's Just Not Grown Up Yet" by NPR. It's a good article and I think you could enjoy it.
Ridlians said...
Feb. 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm
I agree with this opinion that teens should be seen as adults when they did adult's criminal. Because although teens are lack of education or mind of crime things, but they are almost adults and they've seen almost everything that adults have seen, they know what they are doing when they murder a people and should be punished for their movement.
BruhBruh said...
Feb. 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm
I personally believe that teens should be punished to the same extent as adults. I think that they should have the same length in their sentences, but be placed in a different facility than the older inmates of prison. Although teenagers have not matured mentally as much as adults, as long as they do not have a mental illness, they are old enough to know that their actions are detrimental to others.
ThatKidFromRidley said...
Feb. 6, 2015 at 1:23 pm
I personally believe that people who commit crimes such as rape or murder should be charged with the same punishment as adults. Although kids lack decision-making, it does not mean that they lack the ability to understand that murder and rape is unacceptable.
Mikey123 said...
Feb. 1, 2015 at 6:46 pm
Children lack the decision-making capability of an adult. Our society obviously believes that, as they cannot vote or drive (or drink or smoke, but there's a medical aspect to that). So why should they be treated as adults if they commit a crime?
William E. said...
Jan. 29, 2015 at 10:17 am
This is true. Teens should be punished as adults when they do adult crimes.
Quenton said...
Jan. 27, 2015 at 10:18 am
This is a very true article and I agree with it strongly.
123ihm123 said...
Jan. 9, 2015 at 1:02 am
what date was this article published?
I hate school replied...
Jan. 13, 2015 at 5:18 pm
Research paper? Me too. xD
sayyestomocha replied...
Apr. 7, 2015 at 4:27 pm
did anyone find out when it was published..? i need it to xD
a person said...
Dec. 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm
I'm sorry if I am offending anybody, but I disagree with this article. being a kid myself, I have to wonder. Why can't we drink, or smoke, or sign legal documents like adults can? We are treated the same in court! Because We don't have the reasoning skills, or concrete Idea of consequence that adults do. We mostly act on impulse when we do bad things. That doesn't excuse us from whatever we did, I agree that every crime should be reacted to, but rehabilitation is also an option. ... (more »)
mplo replied...
Sept. 4, 2015 at 8:38 am
A juvenile (a person under the age of 18) who commits violent crimes such as rape, murder, or armed robbery should definitely be punished severely, but I also agree that putting him/her in the same kind of prison as older inmates isn't a good idea.
yass boo said...
Nov. 26, 2014 at 11:49 am
i think teens should be charge as adult when they do adult crimes so they can learn the 1st time.  
The Grammar Police said...
Nov. 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm
Paragraph 2, yea i hate it when juvinile offenders rap my loved ones... eminem is that you?!?
illusion? replied...
Nov. 7, 2014 at 10:24 am
Ya it does kinda suck when someone raps my love ones. Yeesh i went to this article to find good things for my aff case, but all i got was personal opinions. XD
Melissa replied...
Nov. 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm
It's pronounced "Rape".
Site Feedback