Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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

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 49 comments. Post your own!

KaytlynKay said...
Apr. 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm:
Some people, like this article states, think that giving a second chance to minors helps them to not make the same mistakes. How many second chances should be given to these minors who have committed horrible crimes that are equal to crimes an adult can commit.
Joe Mama replied...
Apr. 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm :
It's impossible to give more than one second chance. 
Your kidding right? replied...
May 2, 2013 at 11:11 am :
Second chance is just a phrase for a do over, you can give as many as you want.
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
JaneBrooke901 said...
Mar. 27, 2013 at 12:59 am:
First, I'd like to say that while teens may know right from wrong, the specific area of their brain that is under-developed includes that for DECSION making and implulse control. Also: for really awful crimes WE ALREAD TRY JUVENILES AS ADULTS. The question is, should it be automatic for violent offenses, or whatever.    Also, Juvenile's are still being punished; however, due to their age and their CONSTITUTIONALLY RECONIZED DIFFERENCES from adults, and they are easier to re... (more »)
aiman4 replied...
Nov. 16, 2013 at 9:21 am :
how does an 18-10 year old differ their emotions from highschoolers?i mean they are still basically have the same thinking,you might will prove i'm wrong,but treating an 18-19 year old as an adult is no different than punish highschoolers
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Bryce W. said...
Feb. 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm:
i  agree i mean if commited pedy crimes like attempt to assult and trospasing and you now the funny thing is i found out that all this was because of the one person i was hanging out with all he wanted was for me to go to jail so part of that is the people we hang out with  
etoya replied...
Sept. 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm :
thank u i agree with 100% i wish other was thinking like u poeple on here are so worng and need hlep    
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
emmm999 said...
Oct. 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm:
there are kids serving life without parole and adults get less sentence than they do! over 51% of children are in adult prisons!  
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
george021094 said...
May 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm:
I agree, reason why is because they are teenagers ! not kidss ! teenagers ages 14-18, true their minds are not fully developed yet but their minds are for sure developed to know wrong from right by now. They should be tried as adults for a crim they commited. how would you feel if a teenager killed some you you love ? of course you would want the worst for them. Once he gets out your still have the pain the your love one is death and the one who killed him/her is free. think about it
Amiyah replied...
Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:30 am :
I think u right
aiman4 replied...
Nov. 16, 2013 at 9:24 am :
you sir deserve a coockie!
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Ohkay2 said...
Apr. 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm:
Disagree. Children are not as fully mature as adults and have not had the time to learn from their mistakes as adults have. If we're going to be charged as adults, then why dont we get treated like ones?Why dont we get to drink, vote, get married, enlist in the army or make decisions for ourselves? Because we're children. We're young. We're not responisble enough for any of those things. So why are we considered reponsible enough to be tried as adults in criminal courts? We're not. 
sweets replied...
Dec. 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm :
thank you so much...... finally someone who feels the same as I. Why should teens be tried as adults when we're not even considered adults. It's either an irony or contradicts itself.... or both
jackie1 replied...
Mar. 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm :
If they are committing adult crimes then they are obviously adult enough to pay the price.  
wise1 replied...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm :
we might not be old enough to get married , vote or join the army but if we are old enough to steal get drunk and do drugs then we can pay the price of our actions. if we want to act like adults befor we r 1 then we should be tried as adults before we actually are one.
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
darkall said...
Feb. 1, 2012 at 9:55 am:
on some counts i agree but on others i think its completely BS im 17 and being charged with a crime i didnt commit but guess what!? im getting tryed as an adult. yay for ruining my life when i was an upstanding morally good citizen
fawar replied...
Apr. 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm :
Yah right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
galfam said...
Jan. 11, 2012 at 7:09 am:
I completely agree, once you get to a certain age, around 13 years old, you can think for yourself. If you act similarly to an adult, you deserve to be treated as if you were one. If you thought about it when you were 15 years old and still did it, what will stop you next time?
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
saracool said...
Jan. 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm:
i love that
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Charlesm26 said...
May 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm:
Completely disagree with this article. There are age restrictions on kids for a reason: the reason is because kids cannot always make the right decisions because their brains are NOT fully developed which is a fact. We cannot set all these age restrictions, and then say they are responsible for their actions of they chose to be a criminal. This is complete hypocrasy. It cannot go both ways.

There should be a difference between adult and kids because KIDS do have a chance to be rehabed... (more »)
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
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. 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Site Feedback