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.


Jdean1 said...
on Mar. 12 2014 at 1:03 am
Have you considered the fact that trying these teens as adults actually has inherent harms, not inherent benefits? In some cases such as murder, obviously we may want more serious measures, yet we do have to be careful with our developing minds.

Jesuslefttoe said...
on Mar. 5 2014 at 2:04 pm
wow you just saved me from failing engles 

-Steph- BRONZE said...
on Feb. 1 2014 at 5:36 pm
-Steph- BRONZE, Wrightstown, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
I completelly agree with you. When someone commits a crime as serious as murder or rape, the age should not even play a factor in the punishment. If someone commits a serious crime, their punishment should be just as serious and not toned down because they were a minor when they commited the crime. 

on Jan. 31 2014 at 2:31 pm
jennamarie3437 BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
It depends because, the kids may get off easy with their punnishment because, they're young...but a crime is a crime. 

vcsalexl said...
on Jan. 21 2014 at 2:59 pm
vcsalexl, Ventura, California
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
great topic

jayelittle said...
on Jan. 17 2014 at 10:56 am
thats true

UnkownUser said...
on Dec. 11 2013 at 11:40 am
Kids should be tried as adults simple

mr. shelly said...
on Dec. 4 2013 at 10:25 am
I think I disagree with that kids are still developing and they don't know what they are thinking they should be givin another chance in life and make a change :)

puppy said...
on Dec. 3 2013 at 9:18 pm
great artical

aiman4 said...
on Nov. 16 2013 at 9:24 am
you sir deserve a coockie!

aiman4 said...
on 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

kenny said...
on Nov. 12 2013 at 11:16 am
first of all, if youre trying to make an argument then proper grammar will usually help get your point across. Second of all, if youre going to play the "put yourself in someone elses shoes" game then play it right. dont only put yourself in the shoes of the victim or the victims families, but also put yourself in the shoes of a young man or woman who commited such a crime. things arent always under minors controll. minds are still emotionally unstable in certain individuals and it isnt always prevventable. i dont think that they shouold be put to death for that. im 16 and i has complete control over my actions but many people arent able to do so. rehabilitaion should always be an option and if the kid never does it again the awesome! that means that it worked and you didnt even have to take his life. if he does however, then that would be the appropriate time to question severe reprocutions. but hey, thats just my 2 cents.

Ryuketsubara said...
on Nov. 11 2013 at 1:15 pm
I strongly agree with this statement. Juveniles should be tried as adults. They did the crime, now they should do the time.

zer0 said...
on Oct. 17 2013 at 12:52 am
Some kids need help more than they need punishment.

zer0 said...
on Oct. 17 2013 at 12:47 am
Interesting article.  Sometimes victims' families forgive the killer.  Paula Cooper was 16 when she was the youngest person sentenced to death in Indiana for killing Ruth Pelke.  However, Pelke's son knew that his mother was kind and forgiving and signed a petition to overturn Cooper's death sentence.  Cooper is now out of jail and is friends with Pelke's son.

HDP?????? said...
on Oct. 2 2013 at 11:42 am
it could be good to give a second chance but you have to remember that he or she felt so mature to commit the crime

etoya said...
on Sep. 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    

etoya said...
on Sep. 10 2013 at 2:14 pm
i disagree with u what if it was your famity that got killed by a kid u just gone let it go i dnt think so

Cliffany said...
on Aug. 9 2013 at 11:26 pm
Look teens do drink, when adults aren't looking, they can get married. 2 years ago my sister turned the age 17 and she was married and out of the house before I was. And if you read the news its in consideration about the teen voting, they let me vote in school so I don't see why your school won't allow you to vote thats your problem.. And the reason for teens not enlisting in the army is because EDUCATION matters to the army! There is such a thing when you turn of age and your a male you autimatically have to register with selected services. Age 18 your still considered a teen. I beilive people shouldn't use it in a phrase as adult crime/ child crime. A crime is a crime! Its proven that by age 12 children should know right from wrong unless meantal issues play a part in the life. 12 and up know right from wrong! They know its not right to say hey I think I am going to kill someone. No. I dont care how abusive your life was in ur parents home! I came from where I was thrown out a 2 story window by my father and my mother stayed with him and I delt with the abuse for 8 more long years! I have not killed one person yet, not even crossed my mind! Murder is a capitol crime! It desrves the maximum punishment, unless proven in court it was an act of self defence! If a teen commits a crime thats much bigger than he is, then yes he should be treated bigger than what he actually is! You see teen mothers now days making mistakes with pregnacy and its something they are stuck with for the rest of thier life! So if a mother can risk her dreams for her child, and live with it forever. Then in my opinion if a teen can commit a crime that he or she know is life changing, then they can commit to the time that is obligated behind such crime! -Cliffany

xSuzyxQx said...
on May. 28 2013 at 1:12 am
xSuzyxQx, New Rochelle, New York
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
We get punished the same way because we violate the restrictions. They don't set up those rules for nothing. Act like an adult if you want, but be prepared to be tried in rpoportion to your actions.