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!

ProudRepublican said...
Feb. 24 at 2:20 pm
I don't agree. For one very substanial reason. The brain is not fully devolped until the age of 25. Adults process problems with the prefrontal cortex, the most rationald part of the brain. Teens do not. Teens use the amygdala, a part of your brain which reacts to problems with implulse, agression, emotions and instinctive behavior. That is why I dissagree with this article. Teens act on impulse and can't control it, adults can. (Unless you are mentally disabled, but that's a different topic)
C">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 11, 2017 at 6:14 am
I very much agree.
C">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 11, 2017 at 6:13 am
So ignorant.nice
Tinyperson said...
Aug. 27, 2017 at 7:07 pm
I agree 100%. During the Civil War, General Stuart once told a woman impersonating a soldier something along the lines of "If you're man enough to go to war, you're man enough to go to prison." Well, if you're grown up enough to commit a terrible crime, you're grown up enough to receive the punishment.
The Rose said...
Apr. 20, 2017 at 2:27 am
So ignorant.
kkkitty said...
Mar. 7, 2017 at 9:06 pm
this is really informative and helpful for my english asibnment. you have put a lot into writing this piece. however i just would like to point out that you said rap instead of rape. sorry im a bit of a grammer-nazi. alla in all good work
Drfootball12 said...
Jan. 26, 2017 at 4:41 pm
I truly believe it depends on the crime but I'm also worried about the ages some of these kids get tried as adults. The Slenderman case in Wisconsin is a good starting debate. Two 12 ur old girls, that were tried as adults for attempted murder. I'm not going to go over the facts here but I think 12 is way too young to be charged as an adult. 16-17 is a different argument. I'm not a bleeding heart either, I certainly can understand the victim and her family, as well as their commun... (more »)
LilliC replied...
Apr. 18, 2017 at 9:18 am
A 12 year old is not a teenager. A teen is 13-19
ThatDebateGirlSav said...
Dec. 7, 2016 at 10:59 am
For one thing, there is no such thing as an "Adult Crime". That's ridiculous. Whether you're and adult or not, if you commit a crime, it's still a crime so matter how you put it. I agree that some should take responsibility for their actions but what about minors as young at 10 or 11? You'd send them to prison to be broken and traumatized only to end up hardened, or dead? That's messed up no matter what the crime is. If your child did murdered someone in self d... (more »)
John said...
Jul. 28, 2016 at 6:05 pm
Well, is society ready to treat teens as adults in other areas? That's what it really comes down to.
Melliferania said...
Jul. 10, 2016 at 1:47 am
The juvenile justice system exists for a reason: kids are not adults. Research shows that adolescents' brains keep developing through their mid 20s, and society acknowledges that fact with its laws and the existence of the juvenile justice system. Teenagers cannot legally drink alcohol, rent a car, smoke, or sign leases, and so must be treated as teenagers by the justice system, not the adults to whom those privileges belong. Anything less would be a double standard. Certainly most teenager... (more »)
KS627 said...
May 26, 2016 at 3:33 pm
I honestly believe that your research is not fully complete. "The Rest of Their Lives: Life without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States" This article and several like it show that currently 42 states have laws allowing children to receive life without parole sentences. Most of these children were between the ages of 13-15 when they were sentenced. So For you to be arguing that Kids need to be charged to the full extent is pointless when 84% of US states already charge kids to the ful... (more »)
sassy_scribe_777 replied...
Jun. 6, 2016 at 12:20 am
I didn't know that
http.katrina.xd said...
May 16, 2016 at 7:44 pm
I think juvenile should be tried as adult because what happen if they come out and do the same thing again
machelle said...
May 11, 2016 at 10:59 am
this article/rant gets a 10/10 if you're old enough to think about killing someone, you're old enough to consider consequences.
Ballsack said...
May 10, 2016 at 10:29 am
This is not how to treat juveniles.
Guest replied...
May 21, 2016 at 8:32 pm
Why do you think so?
JMDS replied...
Dec. 14, 2016 at 9:14 pm
It doesn't matter on how we treat juveniles, jueveniles are doing way too much. I understand its not just the juveniles its also adults but when an adult do a crime is bad I understand because they older they know better so there's more consequences but when a juvenile commit a crime they just get a second chance. A juvenile knows when there killing someone, even though their young they know what it means when to kill someone, march 9th lionel tate who is 12 savegely beat to death an s... (more »)
iluvmykid said...
May 6, 2016 at 4:59 am
What is a person called that has paid their debt to society by serving time in jail? Why do you insist on calling him a criminal? If a person has been given a second chance by being released , stop throwing their past in their face. Secondly, a person obtains experience with age, with this the ability to draw a thought process of making decisions that affect ones life, what life has one lived at 11? I believe in looking at the whole picture, what action was brought for a child to react in away t... (more »)
caro said...
May 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm
I totally disagree. Many children, young people or young adults come from bad families, where parents are alcoholics or take drugs and so on. Children often are neglected, often sexually abused... Moreover, many studies suggest that children brain is not totally developed, therefore children can't express their feeling or remorse... You should realize that children are not the same as adults...so, in my opinion, we should not punish them in the same way...it's not fair... aaa and what is also im... (more »)
Site Feedback