Explain Why Adolescents Should Not Be Sentenced As Adults

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“In the U.S., more than 200,000 youth under age 18 are tried in adult criminal court each year.”(Steinberg 1). Research proves that younger teens make less mature decisions than older teens. Peer pressure and impulsivity both play a huge role in a teenager’s poor judgment. Although teens make poor decisions, they are still old enough to be responsible for their own actions. Juveniles should not be sentenced as adults because the brains of adolescents are not fully developed, they have not reached legal age to adult standards, and they are more willing to change their ways. Research has proven that the brain of an adolescent has not fully developed. Yes, children should be held accountable for their actions however, a teenagers brain can play…show more content…
Juveniles cannot smoke, drink, or vote but adults can, so a juvenile should not have the same consequences as an adult. It is recognized that there is a difference between an adult and an adolescent. Children are not permissible to do the same legal things that an adult can. A child is considered an adult at the age of 18 nonetheless, a child can be charged as an adult in the legal courts at any age depending on the crime and the situation. Unlike children, adults know what they are doing when they get into the situation that they are in. In addition, it is not possible for an adult to be indicted as a juvenile for a childish crime so there is no reason for a teenager to be charged as an adult for an adult like crime. “Inside these facilities, they are the population most at risk for sexual assault, physical abuse, and suicide.” (Ryan 6). In other words, adults are less likely to be assaulted in any type of way unlike teenagers. As a result of putting a teenager in an adult court, the teen is exposed to more violence and abuse; it can force a teen to commit suicide and it does the same thing for adults however, teens are more susceptible. The only difference is that teens are more vulnerable, weaker, and less likely to defend themselves not because they do not want to but because they will eventually be overpowered. Why charge kids as adults? Kids are kids and they make bad decisions but so does everyone else. Mistakes should not be punished with an adult charge when there are thousands of programs to help teens make better choices. In conclusion, teens are not adults and should not be treated as such if they are not allowed to do the same legal things that an adult
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