Essay about Final: Crime and Linda J. Collier

Submitted By 549978
Words: 1276
Pages: 6

College English 101

Mrs. Elder

15 December 2014

Should Minors be tried as adults? Minors should not be exempted from being tried as adults, but rather have a hearing to determine whether they should be tried as an adult based on the severity of their crime. Another important factor lies in the age and maturity of the juvenile. For example, if the juvenile is incoherent or does not understand the severity of what they did then they should not be tried as an adult. Another idea lies upon the age, there is a big difference between a seventeen year old and a seven year old, and that should also play a determining factor in deciding whether to try them as an adult. In the essay by the New York Times Editorial states that “A Civilized society must not easily give up hope of rehabilitating a child who commits a crime. While a 17-year-old repeat offender may warrant trial as an adult criminal, children who are 12 or 14 do not possess the emotional maturity to control their impulses, or to fully understand the consequences of their actions.” (Times 2) From this state we can assume that they are taking a basis of limbo similar to the one that I stated above. Younger children do not easily comprehend the consequences of their actions and without proper guidance they will not understand what they did wrong, and if they are tried as an adult at a young age, they will lose their life to the crimes they committed when there brain is not fully developed and will never be able to rejoin society. “According to the U.S. Department of Justice, crimes committed by juveniles have increased by 60 percent since 1984.” (Times 3) From this statement we can assume that we are not punishing juveniles to the correct degree, or we are not taking a correct degree to inform minors about the severity of what they are capable of. If we take a correct measure to inform minors of the severity of crimes and what the punishment will be, then there brains will be developed enough by their teenage years to understand what they did to be tried as an adult. Later in the essay by Linda J. Collier she states “ Those statistics are a major reason why we need to revamp our antiquated juvenile justice system. Nearly every state, including Arkansas, has laws that send most youthful violent offenders to the juvenile facility (typically not past age 21).” (Collier 3) Many states in recent years have lowered their ages to try minors as adults, in the mid 90’s Kansas adopted a law that allowed the state to try children as young as 10 as an adult. Although this is a step in the right direction, many states still treat juveniles under the age of 16 as children and keep them inside of the juvenile system, regardless of their violent crimes they may have committed. Nathan Brazill was only 14 when he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for murdering one of his teachers. While he received the minimum for murder in his state, Time did a follow up article on him and other school shooters, and many are suicidal and suffer repeated flash backs. Most of the children who committed these crimes went on to say that they are very remorseful and become seriously depressed due to news of other school rampages. Although the may be remorseful, most prisons that house these prisoners have said that they are not interested in the rehabilitation of these criminals due to the fact that they will be spending the rest of their natural life in the prison. In the essay “Adult Crime Adult Time” By Linda J. Collier, Collier suggests that the juvenile system is set for petty crimes such as theft or vandalism, nothing violent or serious. “Federal prosecution of juveniles is not totally unheard of, but it is uncommon. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that during 1994, at least 65 juveniles were referred to the attorney general for transfer to adult status. In such cases, the U.S. attorney’s office must certify a substantial federal interest in the case and show that one of the following