Is Age Applicable?

January 10, 2010
By Ricky Wolfe BRONZE, Houston, Texas
Ricky Wolfe BRONZE, Houston, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Is Age Applicable?

Could juvenile crimes get any worse? I thought bullying was bad enough, but apparently teens are now committing gruesome criminal crimes like rape, robbery, and murder to citizens like you and me. Many state that it is too harsh and overwhelming for a child to go through criminal court while others argue that juveniles should be tried as adult criminals where they get the punishment they deserve. So, is it right for a child to be let of the hook from facing adult court simply because of their age?

I believe those who commit such scandalous crimes should be tried according to the severity of their illegal action(s) and past criminal record. What I mean by this is that sentences should be chosen depending on the brutality of the crime. If the crime includes millions of dollars or has relations with the direct death of another citizen, he/she shall serve the punishment he/she deserves in prison. If the crime consist of an adolescent slightly vandalizing a neighbor’s yard or stealing a couple candy bars from a local store, obviously it would be rather extreme to throw the adolescent in jail because the crime was not of such magnitude (even though the adolescent who committed the small crime will indeed have to reimburse the victim for the stolen or broken objects). But, for example, if an adolescent does rob a bank fully armed or horrendously rapes and/or murders another citizen he/she should have to be tried as adults and face adult forfeit.

Now, you may be asking yourself should or do I really agree with children going to prison? Yes, you should and why? Because those who commit such cruel acts of malice, young or old, clearly do not have the correct foundation to decipher right from wrong. That is why instead of sending them to a rehabilitation center where they will indirectly or directly refuse to learn righteous morals, put them in a closed cell so that over time they may think on their own on what they did was worth doing or not. If you send them to a rehabilitation center, kids who have committed high levels of treason will most likely not take this mental healing process seriously. They will just wait it out until they can go back and reek their infamous havoc once more.

Those who believe juvenile delinquents should not be tried as adults often state, “their brains are wired differently” (Hendricks 1). Yes, I will agree that youth’s brains function differently than a mature adult but we must remember that everyone (including adolescents) has a choice on which decisions they make. Ms. Wilde, an advocate of juveniles being tried as adults, gives an example of how “2-year-old Jamie Bulger…was taken by two 10-year-old boys and was…murdered” (1). Also according to Wilde, “it was reported that the two boys set out that morning with the intention of hurting or killing a young child for fun” (2). Do you think this was caused because of the way children think? Or was it because they directly chose to be the source of death for poor Jamie Bulger? I think these two kids knew exactly what they were doing. My proof, once again, comes from Ms. Wilde who tells that “The two boys…laid his body on a railroad track with intention of causing substantial injury which would cover up what they had done to the child” (1). Sounds like a dirty immoral and intentional plan to me.

This line of reasoning brings another idea to the table that kids have not had the appropriate amount of time to learn proper morals and responsibilities and that they should be sent to a rehabilitation facility. I am sorry but if you have not learned by first grade how to treat others with respect or follow the rules then clearly your views of right from wrong is probably a little skewed. That means you probably have some mental and moral issues. And about rehab, do you really think that a mentor can change the views of an adolescent who purposely killed another citizen for fun? That would be like asking a member of the Taliban to change his views of Americanization. It will not work because they have already had this view of the world drilled into their mind, if not their soul, that in order to survive these kids must do these awful things. Also, by sending them to rehab, you are giving them a second chance. Yes, a second chance to be good again but also a second chance for them to think of the next proficient devastating attacks without being caught. And the scary version, they could be coming for you! That is why we must deal with juvenile crimes in a strict manner so that once the youth grows up he/she will know the distinct difference between good and bad and what will happen if he/she chooses to once again initiate immoral proceedings.

Before I finish, I want you to pretend you are a family that had lost a dear friend or family member to juvenile immorality. Would you want your case to be viewed as unimportant because the offender is supposedly underage? Would you think that they have morals then? Would you give them a second chance? Would you think that they should get the punishment they deserve or will you just let them walk away “to live the rest of their lives with nothing but a faint memory of what they had done? I think not” (Wilde 2). Not only does this make victim’s family feel inadequate for justice, it lets the kid know that it was all right to kill an innocent person as long as he/she doe not do it again. So, does this mean it is ok to take a precious life before you go off to college? Sounds like homeland terrorism to me.

Citizens should realize that the best and most efficient way to deal with juvenile deficiencies is to treat and try juveniles as adults. This means United States law government officials have full authority to compel punishment according to the brutality of their wrong doing(s). If we do not take this type of action, then there is high possibility that juvenile criminal rates will increase and there will be even more instability within the youth population. Think about it. Your son, daughter, or close friend/family member could be participating in these malicious crimes or they could be the next innocent victims just waiting unexpectedly for their last egregious moment of their life.

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