Crime vs Juveniles Essay

Submitted By qjp1456
Words: 1806
Pages: 8

Crime vs. Juveniles: Knowing Right from Wrong Should children under the age of 17 be trialed as adults in the court system? This is a heated debate that has been going on for many years. As most of us know turning 18 is a big deal to teenagers, you are considered “legal”; you can purchase cigarettes, vote, be sent off to the military and be trailed as an adult in the court system. “From 1992 through 1995 forty states and the District of Columbia passed laws making it easier for juveniles to be tried as adults. ‘In 1997 laws were passed in all but 5 states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and New York) making it even easier to be prosecuted as an adult.”‘ I disagree with these laws and in this paper I will argue that in the Federal court system, Juveniles ages (12-17) should be tried as adults when committing a felony and curtain misdemeanors. A felony is any crime committed with the act of violence, such as robbery with a weapon or murder in the first degree. A misdemeanor is a nonindictable offense or minor wrong doing, such as theft.
If we trailed teenage offenders of violent crime in adult court, with adult penalties, it would force them to think like adults about their actions. They would no longer be able to walk the fence between being an adult and a child. Trying teenagers who commit violent crimes in adult court would serve as a powerful deterrent it would also convince potential and actual teenage offenders that if they commit adult crimes, they will serve adult time. Although this is my personal opinion on the issue I do realize that there are two sides to every story or someone who isn’t going to agree with my argument. Therefore I would like to share some actual facts about this topic with you.
North Carolina is one of only two states that continue to prosecute all 16- and 17-year-olds in the adult criminal justice system. There is a misperception that putting minors in the adult system is being tough on crime. But 48 other states have decided that public safety is better served when minors are sent to the juvenile justice system. The juvenile system actually assigns stricter punishments than the adult system for most young offenders, as members of law enforcement will acknowledge. Statistics show that North Carolina's current policy of handling all 16- and 17-year-olds in the adult system is a public safety risk: Youths who go through the adult system are more likely to go on to commit more crime than youths who receive treatment and punishment in the juvenile justice system. A 2007 N.C. Sentencing Commission study of youthful offenders revealed that 16- and 17-year-old offenders sentenced either to adult probation or adult prison had higher re-arrest rates than the entire sample of youthful offenders ages 13 to 21. The commission also found that youths who serve adult time are more than twice as likely to be reconvicted of crimes as those who receive treatment, rehabilitative services and punishment in the juvenile system. (Mandy Ableidinger; director of policy and budget analysis at Action for Children North Carolina)
Although these facts seem to go completely astray of what I believe they are facts and you have to take them into consideration when debating this topic. At the age of 12 every child is installed with the knowledge to know right from wrong. I say this based on personal experience. Yes not all children are brought up the same nor have the same resources that teaches them right from wrong, but everyone is brought up and raised in today’s society, and today’s society teaches you itself right from wrong and good from bad What is an appropriate age to assume a child knows right from wrong? Growing up as a child I didn’t have the normal family/ household. I was raised majority of my life switching from my mother’s house to my father’s house. No traditional upbringing. My personal experiences taught me that growing up with one parent can be quite rough on a teenager when you factor in