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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AaronLawrence said...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm
I agree, but if we get punished in the same way then i'd say we should also be allowed to drink and VOTE and that their should be NO age restrictions. 
xSuzyxQx replied...
May 28, 2013 at 1:12 am
We get punished the same way because we violate the restrictions. They don't set up those rules for nothing. Act like an adult if you want, but be prepared to be tried in rpoportion to your actions.
SoulxFinder said...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm
I totally agree with this. These young kids who commit big offences and are let off easy, grow up to be adults who "go for gold". When they got off scottfree twenty years ago, it was all just practice. They could evolve from assaulting a few classmates to murdering whole families. Why let it escalate?
musicgirl757 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 12, 2010 at 4:47 pm
BRAVO! Finally man, I agree 100%. It's not fair that teens can rape someone or kill someone and get out in a few years simply because they are juviniles! I can understand if they are, like, under ten or something but teens comiting crimes and not getting the full punishment is jsut wrong. Justice needs to be served for the poor families who suffer.
mommabird 24 replied...
Mar. 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm
I believe a child eight and up should be tried as an adult they know what is right and wrong and have choices and with those choices come consequences and they know this. My child is being used in a case as a witness and he told the judge he knows what good and bad is and what the truth and a lie is if a child can determine these two things then they know they should not do it.
PunkAngel said...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm
I also agree. Adult crimes are adult crimes no matter who commited them. The people trying the teens only think about the teens. They don't think about the grieving familes or hurting victims.
Jane_P This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 7, 2010 at 4:31 pm
I agree. For adult crimes, they should be tried as an adult. Don't tell me that not every single teenager in our country doesn't know that murder, rape, etc. is wrong. Well written article.
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