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

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

January 11, 2010
By hchs1259 SILVER, Houston, Texas
hchs1259 SILVER, Houston, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

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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This article has 168 comments.


on Nov. 4 2015 at 1:00 pm
raleighr BRONZE, Plaq, Louisiana
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments
When reading the article about “Teens Should Absolutely Be Tried As Adults When They Commit Adult Crimes”, I agree. If children are old enough to commit murders, then they should be tried as adults. Although they are children, “youths who commit crimes are criminals.”

No name said...
on Oct. 28 2015 at 5:15 pm
Well I think that anybody who is able to plan out and succeed with the plan of murdering somebody they should be definitely tried as an adult no matter the age if you able to do that then you should pay for your consequences no ifs ands or buts

Rynn750 SILVER said...
on Oct. 23 2015 at 9:44 pm
Rynn750 SILVER, Somewhere, Wisconsin
5 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing." - Maya Angelou

I get what you're saying. I do agree that some crimes committed by teens are just as bad as crimes done by adults. However, I think that because they are still minors, they should be charged as minors because the brain isn't fully developed. On the other hand, I believe the criminal justice system in the US needs many reforms.

Anita17 said...
on Oct. 10 2015 at 3:26 am
Wow, this article is super accurate.
Is there any way to contact the writer? I have questions and I believe only he can give me true answers. It'll help a ton, thank you so much for this!

. said...
on Sep. 9 2015 at 3:49 pm
I agree that teens should be tried as adults because when my older bro was 15 he molested me and my (at the time they were 10months and 2 years old) god son Wyatt and cousin Alex, and he was put in jail for 6months but they did not try him as an adult which didn't teach him anything.

mplo said...
on Sep. 4 2015 at 8:38 am
A juvenile (a person under the age of 18) who commits violent crimes such as rape, murder, or armed robbery should definitely be punished severely, but I also agree that putting him/her in the same kind of prison as older inmates isn't a good idea.

mplo said...
on Sep. 4 2015 at 8:20 am
Regardless of what age the criminal is, even if violent crimes such as rape, murder, armed robbery, etc., are committed, s/he should still undergo some type of tough punishment, and not go free. As the saying goes "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

wolfgirlee said...
on Jun. 2 2015 at 9:37 pm
If you're a teen too, then your brain is also still developing, science or not, and therefore your opinion is not valid. My fourteen year olds brain, while still developing, knew right from wrong when he decided to murder my six week old daughter. He did it because, " it didn't make sense to kill everyone. Just one person would hurt the family." And yes, the f@#ker is in juvenile jail for (ha!) six years ONLY because we were afraid of we tried him as an adult, the jury would(it just takes over person) would let him walk free asked clear then and there. Tell me your without opinion when you're brain had matured and you have some more experience to go on.

wolfgirlee said...
on Jun. 2 2015 at 9:29 pm
My then 14 year old step son murdered my six week infant. The ONLY reason we didn't try him in adult court was because we were afraid a jury would let him go that day. Six years in juvenile"jail" it's no where near what he deserves. And he'll get out worth a free and clean record. You should rethink your position. One a criminal, always a criminal. Now I have to worry about him finding is on six years as he'd said he wanted to kill all of us, but only one would hurt the family.

on Jun. 1 2015 at 9:52 am
elycavill SILVER, Samobor, Other
5 articles 0 photos 186 comments

Favorite Quote:
Leave nothing but footprints,
Take nothing but pictures,
Kill nothing but time.

I like it a lot, I was reading it in a very opposinte atmosphere from the one in your poem but I could enter the situation that you created with your words and I believe that means you really are a good writer.

on May. 27 2015 at 1:14 pm
FallenAngelOfDeath, Jacksonville, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
All is fair in love an war

I can relate to that but even I as the things i experienced disagree but you are entitled to your opinion.

on May. 27 2015 at 1:11 pm
FallenAngelOfDeath, Jacksonville, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
All is fair in love an war

I agree with @Ohkay2 they are young and don't fully understand what they do and they all deserve another chance.Yes what they did was stupid but it wasn't right to lock them up like they don't deserve to be its inhuman...I was almost arrested and given 4 years in an adult jail for false accusations from a girl and I'm only 16 so...yea it isn't right they deserve another chance

on May. 26 2015 at 9:00 pm
EvalynnHeather GOLD, Clemmons, North Carolina
16 articles 4 photos 64 comments
Thank you, I've been working on consistency, however, this is a song, so the punctuation can really only be heard in this case. But thank you again for your feedback, I'll be sure to check out some of your work :)

Drew said...
on May. 20 2015 at 5:57 pm
writer meant rape.

on May. 19 2015 at 7:27 pm
RightWingExtremist BRONZE, Riverton, Utah
4 articles 0 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
-Ronald Reagan

@Eileen I'm pretty sure by the time you're 13, no matter how developed your brain is, you know things like murdering and raping people are really bad. Drug-related crimes and some other non-violent crimes may be an exception, but the point still stands.

TylerJCoon said...
on May. 7 2015 at 8:29 pm
TylerJCoon, North Richland Hills, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Okay I understand everything you are talking about besides how you said rap is a bad thing... I don't understand how rap is bad. All because rap talks about sex, drugs, murder, gangs, ect. doesn't make someone do these things. The people who say "Well rap puts my in an angry mood" are stupid, that is their mind-set. Sure gang members listen to rap but they listen to what their buddy's are making. Growing up in the streets make people rap cause that's kinda been a thing. That's how rap started, through friends doing a freestyle. Then people started to bring feelings into it and gangs started doing it and calling other gangs out which led to that one member getting killed. But just remember this is my opinion :)

Eileen said...
on May. 5 2015 at 5:05 pm
I strongly disagree with this post because the juvenile brain is not fully developed until their mid 20s. Therefore irrational decisions can be made during an emotional time. Also, teens do not fully understand the consequences of their actions, especially if they have been raised by parents who are not there to discipline their child. Have you ever done something you have regretted? Many children that get sentenced in an adult jail do not get the opportunity of parole. That means one mistake you made in fourth grade could kill all your dreams and hopes you had for your entire life. Many children that are tried as adults suffer tremendously in an adult jail, by being raped and abused.

pinkmommy said...
on Apr. 30 2015 at 9:20 am
This was well said. Most people don't realize that there are actual physical differences in adolescent brain function -- and, by the way, adolescents ends at age 24. We recognized that teens are not prepared for full-on adulthood in many ways: age 18 for legal adult/voting, age 21 to drink. Insurance companies get this, which is why renting a car isn't an option for people in early 20's.

mell said...
on Apr. 29 2015 at 2:16 am
doesn't an adult who commits adult crime go through the same things as well?

Charizard said...
on Apr. 27 2015 at 2:13 pm
I agree but juveniles should be given a second chance other wise they will have no job, no girlfreind, no wife, and probobly be stuck living with their parents. Then geting a job will be slim to none