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

January 11, 2010
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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.

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beingrealistic said...
Jun. 3, 2014 at 10:35 am
Children sent to adult prisons have a higher rate of recividism than those sent to juvenile prisons. By treating a child, who is NOT an adult, because s/he is a CHILD therefore NOT an ADULT, as an adult, you are simply creating more criminals. A child who commits murder out of impulse and desperation who receives the necessary attention and treatment will most likely grow up a standing member of society. A child who commits murder and is thrown into a box with a bunch of other angry old hardened... (more »)
AYC4 said...
May 30, 2014 at 11:46 am
100% disagree.  You are either an adult or not.  There is no middle ground.  If someone is tried as adult, they should enjoy the priviliges of being an adult.  It's not an ala carte package. Do you know what is juvenile?  Becoming so frustrated and allowing emotion to take over that you disregard a firmly drawn boundry regarding age simply because you want to see "your way" come to pass.  An adult understands that there are limits.  The +/- of 1... (more »)
locoforchoco01 said...
May 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm
where's the evidence?????????????????????
Mama Bear Langdon said...
May 15, 2014 at 7:14 am
Being the stepmother of a (at the time) 13 year old who sexually abused my 7 year old son from a previous marriage, a student he attended school with and his 2 year old half brother from his mom's second marriage, I just have to ask...at what age does everyone consider a child/adolescent responsible for their crimes against other children? Does the fact that he sexually offended against at least 3 known victims not justify that others have the right to know of the offenses and have the right to ... (more »)
JTown95 said...
May 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm
Perfect statement!
Zhadum said...
Apr. 14, 2014 at 11:40 am
The author of this article has just stated blanket opinion without looking into the issue.  All I am hearing is if this happened to my relatives I would demand the maximum penalty…..   Blah Blah Blah Honestly a waste of time reading the article…. This is however the top google result so I am going to bother responding.   First we start with the US justice system and why Murder 1 gets a harsher sentence than Murder 2.  It is about how culpable the pe... (more »)
kadman said...
Apr. 2, 2014 at 2:08 am
To any of you that think kids should be tried as adults, you are absolute morons with no compassion or understanding of the mental development of children. We should be doing everything in our power to save, teach and nuture our children. A kid is a kid, NOT an adult, so it makes no sense at all to try them as such. AND I further have the gall to suggest that anyone thinking the opposite would not be open their private life being open to thorough inspection of society.
Thisismyscreenname replied...
Nov. 13, 2014 at 7:45 am
A kid is a kid, yes. But the people who usually commit crimes like these are teens. Teenagers who know that their actions have consequences. Instead of expecting that their age could get them a free ride, they should accept the sentences they are given. 
Jdean1 said...
Mar. 12, 2014 at 1:03 am
Have you considered the fact that trying these teens as adults actually has inherent harms, not inherent benefits? In some cases such as murder, obviously we may want more serious measures, yet we do have to be careful with our developing minds.
mplo replied...
Sept. 4, 2015 at 8:20 am
Regardless of what age the criminal is, even if violent crimes such as rape, murder, armed robbery, etc., are committed, s/he should still undergo some type of tough punishment, and not go free. As the saying goes "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."
Jesuslefttoe said...
Mar. 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm
wow you just saved me from failing engles 
stephaslice said...
Feb. 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm
I completelly agree with you. When someone commits a crime as serious as murder or rape, the age should not even play a factor in the punishment. If someone commits a serious crime, their punishment should be just as serious and not toned down because they were a minor when they commited the crime. 
jennamarie3437 said...
Jan. 31, 2014 at 2:31 pm
It depends because, the kids may get off easy with their punnishment because, they're young...but a crime is a crime. 
amanjotkaur replied...
Apr. 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm
i so agree with you crimes are crimes no matter what you do. if you think your old enough then you better step up your game because this isnt a timeout corner for elementary kids this is some deep stuff so you better get ready for it.
IronRapture replied...
Dec. 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm
Can they drink, smoke, have sex, vote, live alone, ect. also?
vcsalexl said...
Jan. 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm
great topic
jayelittle said...
Jan. 17, 2014 at 10:56 am
thats true
UnkownUser said...
Dec. 11, 2013 at 11:40 am
Kids should be tried as adults simple
puppy said...
Dec. 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm
great artical
Ryuketsubara said...
Nov. 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm
I strongly agree with this statement. Juveniles should be tried as adults. They did the crime, now they should do the time.
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