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Should Children Be Tried As Adults

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A big debate that has gone on for some time is whether or not children who commit violent crimes should be tried as adults. Violent crimes by children are not uncommon in modern days. Many people believe that children are not psychologically developed enough to understand their actions or think things through properly. Others believe that children ought to be tried as adults at a certain point. The children can no longer be shielded by a lack of understanding and forethought. Violent crimes committed should only be handled in adult court when the child is a teen.

Crimes committed have always been an issue. In the late 1980s to 1994, there was an increase in arrests of juvenile offenders (Stimson, Grossman 20-21). One crime that took place during this time was committed by Jacob Ind. At the age of fifteen, Jacob murdered both his mother and his
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Juveniles are less responsible for their acts because they are more reckless and spontaneous; therefore, they do not deserve harsh punishments (Steinberg). The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that is involved in making decisions and controlling impulses, but the lobe and other connecting areas do not mature until children reach the age of twenty-five. While the children’s ability to distinguish between right and wrong is not impaired, they make more impulsive decisions in intense situations. Often children do not consider what consequences will result from their actions. They may also have trouble handling their emotions. When a child undergoes extreme stress, the brain's development can be modified and negatively affect the child’s growth. Often the outcome is an underdeveloped cortex, resulting in more impulsive behavior and a tendency to take risks (Le). In order to commit a crime, the “guilty act” and criminal intent need to be united Common law maintained that children under fourteen were unable to form criminal intent
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