Juvenile Justice Should juveniles get treated as adults that’s one of the biggest controversy in our nation now days, with many juveniles committing crimes that are inconceivable according to their age. Judges have the last word on how to treat this young people. Many people argue that “the teens that are under eighteen are only kids, they won’t count them as young adults, not until they commit crimes. And the bigger the crime, the more eager this people are to call them adults” (Lundstrom 87). This is why people can’t come to a decision as how these young people should be treated like.
When children and teens commit a violent crime such as murder, courts convict them as adults. This means that children as young as eight have been tried as adults in court. Eventually, these convicts will be housed in jails with adults. Despite the federal law stating that juvenile and adult inmates must be separated, most states do not comply with these rules. Furthermore, a law that varies throughout the states is the age in which courts send the children to adult or juvenile prisons.
Inherently, these children may not know the implications of their actions and could need help that adult prisons do not offer. If juveniles do not get to choose what they are born into, then why do others have a right to prevent them from getting help that could potentially turn their lives around? The psychological help offered in juvenile prisons are good options to help out juveniles who were not given a positive home life. Gail Garinger, a woman versed in the lives of juveniles due to her involvement as a juvenile court judge and as the Massachusetts child advocate, argues in her article “Juveniles Don’t Deserve Life Sentences” that “The same malleability that makes [juveniles] vulnerable to peer pressure also makes them promising candidates for rehabilitation” (Garinger 94). The fact that a past juvenile court judge can acknowledge the ability of juveniles to change should be more than enough proof that children at least deserve a path to rehabilitation.
In this essay, I will be arguing that juveniles should be tried as adults in cases like murder. I believe juveniles should be tried as an adult because as human beings, we are in a state of mind, even if we are not fully developed, the victim's family will be in total grief and if they aren’t tried as an adult they will not understand the full consequence and will perform more crime and if they are tried as an adult will better themselves in prison. Juveniles should be tried as an adult because they are in a state of mind, meaning they know right from wrong even if they’re not fully developed age wise. Thompson states, “Even though normal teens are experiencing a wildfire of tissue loss in their brain, that does not remove the accountability”.
Thomson’s article “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” allows readers to understand that unlike adults, juveniles undergo biological changes which increases the likelihood of them committing crimes. Compounding this evidence with society’s infatuation with violence as depicted in Jenkin’s article “On the Punishment of Teen Killers”, readers can begin to acknowledge that contrary to adults, juveniles who commit heinous crimes are not in complete control of their actions. Furthermore, as a society we should no longer stand to sentence juveniles to life without parole because juveniles are still “malleable”, able to be reformed which is made evident in Garinger article “ Juveniles Don’t Deserve Life Sentences”. As informed members of society we have to be bridge builders, who are capable of crossing between the adult and adolescent world. It is only through these bridges that we are able to rescue kids from themselves.
In the article, “Juveniles Don't Deserve Life Sentences”, the author Gail Garinger states, “ Young people are biologically different from adults”(1). Inevitably, an adult is further capable of a freely experience about life structure than a teen who needs guidance for the right path. Garinger also says, “ Juvenile offenders cannot with reliability be classifried among the worst offenders”(1). Since teens do not know the right or wrong path society should not see them as criminals but as kids who made the wrong choices without understanding their actions. In the article “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains”, Paul Thompson says, “A child is not a man”(1).
They deserve the chance to be taught right from wrong before being thrown in prison. Where the only thing they will learn, is how to survive a life contained inside four walls. Juveniles should not be tried as adults and should have a chance to be rehabilitated. No matter what, there will always be crime. In low income areas stealing and aggravated assault are everyday occurrences.
Those under the age of eighteen do not have the legal rights given to adults; since we do not treat them as adults, it does not make sense to sentence them as such. Biological studies also have found that teenagers make impetuous decisions and cause trouble because their underdeveloped brains lack the ability to look at future repercussions for their actions. Moreover, teenagers are still at an age that they are easily influenced by their environment.They succumb to peer pressure which can push them into doing crimes by the virtue of wanting to be accepted. Furthermore, they should be placed into the juvenile justice system, a safe environment in which allows young criminals to learn from the mistakes they make, rather than into adult jails, a place in which harden criminals could physically and mentally harm them. To sum up, the United States justice system should not try adolescents as adults because there are many neurological and external factors that differentiate them from adults; moreover, it is a must that we reform the United States juvenile justice system in order to help these
It is almost always evident that when these kids go through adult trials that they have no idea what’s taking place. Most people at these ages can't grasp onto adult responsibilities and legalities or they have't even heard of such things like parliamentary procedure. The director of the MacArthur Division Laurence Steinberg says that juveniles that are being tried as adults are not competent hold their own. “In all likelihood, a large number of juveniles who are being tried as adults are not competent to stand trial,” (Salant 3). On top of that, these kids aren’t allowed to speak to any form of relative during trial.
Her point is valid in that juveniles cannot be excused for their crimes, however Jenkins lacks the insight that much like how the brain changes through age, a teenager can transition from immaturity to maturity. Furthermore, if sentencing most juvenile to life sentences, it prevents them from learning their mistakes. For example, Greg Ousley during his adult years expressed his regret in killing his parents, and hopes to reconcile with his family members. Ousley comes to a realization, “ what he interpreted in his father as disinterest, even disgust, more likely stemmed from a paralyzing self-consciousness” (Par. 86).