Should Juveniles Be Tried As Adults In Criminal Court?

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In today’s world there are countless crimes committed every single day. “In 2015, there were 1.42 million total arrests, at a rate of 3,641 arrests per 100,000 residents” (State of California, Department of Justice). Grown adults are not the only people being arrested every year, there are also juveniles, children, being arrested every day. One topic of controversy today is whether or not juveniles who commit these crimes should be tried as adults in criminal court. There are many differences between the justice system for adults and the justice system for juveniles. If a juvenile is defined as a person under the age of eighteen can we justify trying them in as an adult? Is convicting juveniles as adults a better solution? The first juvenile …show more content…

There are five ways in which a juvenile can be prosecuted in adult court. One way is through a judicial wavier, this is allowed in most states, where judges have the discretion to have a youth’s case tried in the adult criminal court. The second way is through statutory exclusion, twenty-nine states automatically require a juveniles’ case to be tried in the adult court based on the age of the youth and/or the alleged crime. The other three ways are allowed in fewer states and include direct file or “prosecutorial discretion” where juvenile court judges the decision to have a youth 's case tried in the adult criminal court. There also mandatory waivers in few states which require juvenile court judges to automatically transfer a youth 's case to adult criminal court for certain offenses or because of the age or prior record of the offender. Lastly, in some states; there are age of majority statutes which automatically prosecute sixteen and/or seventeen years old depending on the state as adults (Campaign for Youth …show more content…

Those in favor of trying juveniles as adults believe that it deters and minimizes crimes being committing by all minors. That trying juveniles as adults will bring the greatest good to the most amount of people. According to an article posted by the American Bar Association by Nicole Scialabba, “the increase in laws that allow more juveniles to be prosecuted in adult court rather than juvenile court was intended to serve as a deterrent for rising youth violent crime.” It is no secret that youth commit crimes in our society. In 2014, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made an estimated 1 million arrests of persons under age 18 (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention). It is debated that juveniles are committing more serious and violent crimes because the youth think they can get off easy and take advantage of the system put in place. Those in favor of youth offenders being tried as adults believe that as juveniles are punished to the full extent of the law, future youth offender will think twice before committing a criminal act. In support of this, seventy-five percent of the transferred juveniles interviewed by Redding and Fuller (2004) felt that their experiences in the adult criminal justice system had taught them the serious consequences of committing crimes. As one juvenile explained, “[Being tried as an adult] showed me it’s not a game anymore. Before, I thought that since I’m a juvenile I could do just about anything and just get 6 months if I got

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