Teens Should Absolutely Be Tried as Adults When They Commit Adult Crimes | Teen Ink

Teens Should Absolutely Be Tried as Adults When They Commit Adult Crimes

January 11, 2010
By hchs1259 SILVER, Houston, Texas
hchs1259 SILVER, Houston, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Murderers, rapists, and other criminals are being released from jail everyday after serving only very short and lenient sentences. Who are these criminals and what makes them so special? The criminals are juveniles who commit adult crimes. They are being tried every day in juvenile courts, they are receiving shortened sentences, and they are being released and given new identities to continue to live their lives in peaceful and happy bliss, all while their victims and their families are left to suffer forever. Because the courts and juvenile rights advocates believe that second chances should be given to youths who commit crimes, criminals are walking the streets, living as our neighbors, and in many instances committing additional crimes.

When it comes to trying teens in court as adults. Some say stop trying them as adults and try them as juveniles, others say they must be tried as adults when they commit adult crimes. I believe that teens should be held accountable for their actions and tried as adults. If I knew somebody who hurt or killed someone I loved, I would want him or her to experience the worst possible punishment for his or her actions. Some people say that children learn bad behavior from their parents, things like murder, rap or drug abuse; but I believe that children should learn from their parent’s mistakes. I agree with Jessica Wilde when she say’s “Morals are inherent from birth”(Wilde1). To me this is saying that kids, and even adults, should know the difference between right and wrong. Finally, put yourself in the mother’s position, if your son or daughter just died, how would you want their killer to be punished? How would you feel if you never got to see your child alive again while their killer served only a short sentence before being released from jail?

Now then, some people believe that we should stop putting teens in adult prison; they believe we should be lenient with them and give them easier sentences. These people argue that children are capable of learning from their mistakes and because they are children, they can be rehabilitated. Others say that teens are too young to understand the consequences of there actions, or that they don’t know their limitations with drugs or alcohol. I believe this is a ridiculous argument because teens shouldn’t be drinking or doing drugs in the first place. There are some people, like Hendricks, in his article “Stop Trying 13-Year-olds in Court as Adults”, who believe “They’re abused and come out more dangerous and damaged then when they went in”(Hendricks 2). This is a good argument; however, can’t we say the same thing for adults? Why should juveniles be treated any different than adults when the crimes they are committing are every bit as heinous as adult crimes?

Youths who commit crimes are criminals; they are walking our streets, living as our neighbors, and in many instances committing additional crimes. I strongly agree with Jessica Wilde when she says, “All crimes committed by juveniles should and must be treated in the same regard, it not to punish heinous acts, then to provide justice to the families of victims (Wilde 2). As a child myself, I was raised in a family who believes in punishments, spankings, and repercussions for the actions of the children. Some say morals are learned, others say we inherit morals at birth, either way, a criminal is a criminal and must be punished as such. Should we punish all juveniles as adults? Probably not with lesser crimes, but some crimes are certainly more heinous than others, and those crimes like murder and rape are adult crimes. It really doesn’t matter the age of the criminal, it they are committing crimes that are inherently adult in nature, then yes, these criminals absolutely should be punished as an adult regardless of their age. Our courts, our schools, nor our societies, should ever allow anyone, child or adult, get away with murder.

Similar Articles


This article has 169 comments.

Ballsack said...
on May. 10 2016 at 10:29 am
This is not how to treat juveniles.

iluvmykid said...
on May. 6 2016 at 4:59 am
What is a person called that has paid their debt to society by serving time in jail? Why do you insist on calling him a criminal? If a person has been given a second chance by being released , stop throwing their past in their face. Secondly, a person obtains experience with age, with this the ability to draw a thought process of making decisions that affect ones life, what life has one lived at 11? I believe in looking at the whole picture, what action was brought for a child to react in away that would harm . Yes there are bad seeds, but to expect a child to act like an adult is part of the problem. Mix in other factors that contribute to how a child is dealing/coping , something is not right if a child is committing harmful acts to himself or others.

caro said...
on May. 2 2016 at 1:31 pm
I totally disagree. Many children, young people or young adults come from bad families, where parents are alcoholics or take drugs and so on. Children often are neglected, often sexually abused... Moreover, many studies suggest that children brain is not totally developed, therefore children can't express their feeling or remorse... You should realize that children are not the same as adults...so, in my opinion, we should not punish them in the same way...it's not fair... aaa and what is also important to mention, even if it is a prison or youth offender institution > these places are criminogenic, they don't play a role of rehabilitation....

Viki said...
on Apr. 22 2016 at 3:29 pm
There is no such thing as adult crimes. It's just a crime. Only difference is who commited the crime. We gonna call stealing candy a child crime when stealing in general is still a crime? Crime shouldn't be categorized because there is no difference. Crime is crime no matter how you go about it.

gremlin BRONZE said...
on Apr. 14 2016 at 9:44 am
gremlin BRONZE, Auburn, New York
4 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
Blood makes you related, Loyalty makes you family

I very much agree. If the teen should commit the crime than they should be willing to accept any and all consequences for that act

Cgreen BRONZE said...
on Mar. 3 2016 at 7:34 pm
Cgreen BRONZE, Hockessin, Delaware
3 articles 0 photos 5 comments
I agree completely. As for the prison system, the US needs reform, considering that adults and teens alike come out worse than before. Many countries in Europe have prison systems designed to punish, but also reintegrate, convicts into society

lol said...
on Mar. 2 2016 at 5:58 pm
I agree

umer said...
on Feb. 25 2016 at 11:23 am
Love u my princess fatima. Iam feeling proud after read this article.

Carla said...
on Feb. 25 2016 at 10:46 am
She did a great job. Proud of her.

Tin-man said...
on Feb. 24 2016 at 11:07 pm
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
There is no such thing as an adult crime, there are adult criminals. This BOY is not an adult criminal by every definition. Because there is no legal term for adult crimes. But there sure is a legal definition of a child.

Tin-man said...
on Feb. 24 2016 at 11:04 pm
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
When you go to court you plan on there being justice. Justice is where the law is administered properly. Lady justice does not look at a case and see that this boy is any different from any criminal. Lady justice is blind. If you think that one minor can be tried as an adult, why not all of them? Why even have minor trials at all if you can just pretend like they don't exist if you feel like the crime was extra bad.

Matausi said...
on Feb. 22 2016 at 6:35 pm
i strongly agree with this article

meme said...
on Feb. 22 2016 at 1:03 am
I doubt it they woudn't be tried for manslaughter. Those crimes get you 6 years instead of 20 years.

on Feb. 9 2016 at 11:49 am
Simply put, yes. @llje

on Feb. 5 2016 at 11:31 am
@TheUnpopularOpinion However, I am 14 and I know enough to realize that crimes should be paid for, no matter the science behind our brains.

nick said...
on Feb. 4 2016 at 9:39 am
yes. They committed a murder.

arieja said...
on Feb. 3 2016 at 11:48 am
A "careless mistake" mistake is stealing a car but murder is not careless but heartless and cruel.

llje said...
on Jan. 27 2016 at 2:34 pm
there are 5 year olds committing murder. You want them in prison for the rest of their life???

mplo said...
on Jan. 27 2016 at 7:54 am
Once somebody reaches the age of 18, however, s/he is no longer a juvenile. Therefore, if a crime is committed by an 18 or 19 year old, they're generally tried and charged as adults, because 18 and up is when somebody has reached adulthood.

nrrn said...
on Nov. 30 2015 at 11:22 am
Not enough information