KIds Gone Bad

January 11, 2010
By JoySha SILVER, Houston, Texas
JoySha SILVER, Houston, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Currently, in America, there is a debate about whether or not juveniles should be tried as adults or not. Juveniles are not adults, but they can be held accountable for their actions because they know the difference between wrong and right. Two journalists, Mike Hendricks and Jessica Wilde, both have different views on this subject. Jessica Wilde’s point of view is that the juveniles should be held fully responsible for their actions and be tried as adults. Mike Hendricks, on the other hand, believes that children should be tried as juveniles and not be dealt with so severely. The kids are old enough to know morals and, therefore, should be tried as adults.
I argue that a child should only be tried as an adult depending on the severity of their crime. On one hand, Wilde’s argument of juveniles being knowledgeable of their actions is one that I support. Almost all people are raised with morals and even if they are not, they are most likely to know the difference between good and bad. In fact, I think “situations like... [these] should never arise in the first place” (Wilde 1). Also, why has the child even done such a thing at an age when children start to become aware of the world around them, which makes me wonder on the upbringings of juvenile delinquents. By the time a child turns ten, at least, they know that if they do something bad it will not go unpunished On the other hand, I agree with Hendricks that juveniles should not be dealt with severely. Though, even as children, people are held responsible for their actions so even a ten year old should know that consequences ensue his actions. After all, a child is almost brought up on the basis that if they break the rules they I believe that, “kids are not adults. Their brains are wired differently” (Hendricks 1). It is true that children do not know everything bad and may not understand laws and such. They do know, though, that if they do something bad they will most likely get disciplined. It depends, though, on the nature of their crime. If it is stealing candy or something of the sort, then yes, the kids should definitely not be tried as adults. Though when it comes to homicide, I do insist that some severe punishment be taken into action. I believe so because if the juvenile did it once, who is to say that they will not do it a second time?
Some say that trying kids as adults is just too harsh. Is it really? They argue that kids don’t know the difference between right and wrong like adults do. That can’t be true because all throughout a child’s life they are told to “do this” and “don’t do that,” so kids do have a perfectly clear understanding of wrong and right. Wilde argues that “morals are inherent from birth…[they] are unchangeable foundations a person is built upon from the beginning” (1). This is correct because being surrounded with principals gives a child a good sense of what is accepted as right and wrong. They also say that kids don’t know the consequences of their actions and their brains work differently. That is not true; with actions come consequences, either good or bad. Children grow up with their parents telling them what to and what not to do. After all, anytime a child did something that their parents did not approve of, they probably had some form of punishment. Though if the child was brought up with parents teaching them bad morals then, in that case, they should be sent to rehabilitation to teach them right from wrong. If you let a juvenile go, after brutally murdering some one else, you are basically saying that it’s OK for them to do that, and they possibly could grow up to do worse.
Though juveniles are not adults, they know what good morals are and can be held responsible for their actions. The option of sending a child murderer to jail or not affects our society. We can either release them out, back to their lives, possibly to do worse, or do we send them to jail where they can receive help and think about their actions. Though this is true, people still believe that children such as these do not know severity of their actions, and so the child is given rehabilitation and sent off to their lives, almost as if nothing happened. People need to start realizing that juveniles such as these know full well that with their actions ensue consequences.

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