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.

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This article has 169 comments.

Charizard said...
on Apr. 27 2015 at 2:13 pm
I agree but juveniles should be given a second chance other wise they will have no job, no girlfreind, no wife, and probobly be stuck living with their parents. Then geting a job will be slim to none

Pookie18 said...
on Apr. 8 2015 at 11:46 pm
Pookie18, Huntington Park, California
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I strongly agree with this article and this author. I strongly believe that teenagers should be charged as an adult. If a teenager committed a crime like an adult, might as well treat them just like an adult!Just because their teenagers that committed an adult crime, doesn't mean they have an excuse to be not charged as an adult! Many people say we shouldn't charge them like an adult because, a teenager frontal lobe of the brain is not fully developed which causes them to be less mature. In quite in fact there is proven facts that Yale University proved that babies that are six months old can tell the difference between right and wrong. Which leads if six month old baby can tell the difference from wrong and right, a teenager should also tell the difference from right and wrong also! But there is an exception, if the child or teenager has a mental disability they shouldn't be charged as an adult. This is my opinion overall.

on Apr. 7 2015 at 9:25 pm
I agree completely. There's an article called "The Teen Brain: It's Just Not Grown Up Yet" by NPR. It's a good article and I think you could enjoy it.

on Apr. 7 2015 at 9:18 pm
Hello! It seems like there is a lot of opinions here and I'd like to bring in some science to help some people. The teen brain is an interesting thing to many people including me, I myself am a teen that just wanted to understand something for a project. Our decisions are usually caused by our frontal lobe, a part in our brain that helps us use self control, decision making, insight, and common sense. Our frontal lobes don't develope completely until we are in our late 20's and we still aren't mature then. Before you put down my claim and say "Well the kid should know better! I did at a certain age!" you have to consider the persons growing environment. Nature and nurture are what kids need to grow up with and if a kid has little guide on what rih\ght and wrong then who will teach them? That's right the law, but punishng a kid the first time isn't the way to fix things. Of corse if they killed some one they shouldn't get off easy but you shouldn't give them a life sentence! There should be a severe punishment. Then comes in teen moods like rage and depression as well as mental disorders. Crime isn't right but these are still teens/children making their way through the world. I hope this was informative enough and I'm not putting down anyone's personal opinion, I'm just bringing up mine.

on Apr. 7 2015 at 4:27 pm
did anyone find out when it was published..? i need it to xD

mplo said...
on Apr. 2 2015 at 4:51 am
18 is an adult, so if a person who's 18 or above commits a heinous, violent crime such as rape, armed robbery or murder (especially first-degree murder), s/he should be tried as an adult for his/her crime(s).

Brody Hall said...
on Mar. 31 2015 at 11:28 am
I strongly agree with what Bob Case said in this recent post.

Unicorn said...
on Mar. 24 2015 at 3:19 pm

Bob Case said...
on Mar. 23 2015 at 12:01 pm
what age do you think a kid knows right from wrong because I knew since I was 3 not to hit a girl or to shoot someone if your 10 and don't know right from wrong you have bad parents

jojo99 said...
on Mar. 16 2015 at 10:30 am
This article was simply terrible, but at the same time it was perfect

Messmir said...
on Mar. 11 2015 at 7:36 pm
Older people do it regularly. They'll just repeat and specialize in their crimes

Messmir said...
on Mar. 11 2015 at 7:36 pm
Older people do it regularly. They'll just repeat and specialize in their crimes

Messmir said...
on Mar. 11 2015 at 7:35 pm
Older people do it regularly. They'll just repeat and specialize in their crimes

Messmir said...
on Mar. 11 2015 at 7:35 pm
Older people do it regularly.

Messmir said...
on Mar. 11 2015 at 7:35 pm
Older people do it regularly.

2443 said...
on Mar. 11 2015 at 3:55 pm
teen brains are underdeveloped but the actual science according to experts such as Professor Stephen Morse, and others state that teens underdeveloped brains do not negate criminal culpability.

annycs13 GOLD said...
on Feb. 21 2015 at 7:59 pm
annycs13 GOLD, Davis, California
12 articles 12 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The less you reveal, the more people can wonder.."

-Emma Watson

I think this article speaks the truth and is very well written. I do have one thing to say however, and that is that what if the teen didn't know what they were doing and was simply coerced into committing an adult crime? Or what if a teen is charged as an accessory to an adult crime? Then what? I think that after a certain age the teen should be charged with an adult crime, like after age fifteen or something, but if they're thirteen or something, I think that they should be treated as a juvenile.

on Feb. 13 2015 at 12:01 pm
The_Narrator SILVER, Raymond, Mississippi
9 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." -J.F.K.

While I agree that the punishments of juvenile crimes should be altered in favor of adult crimes, I disagree with your statement entirely. The reason why: teens aren't adults. It's that simple. Change the punishment of juvenile crimes, make teens get life in prison, but they are teens. Don't classify them as adults on one aspect and juveniles as another.

on Feb. 6 2015 at 1:33 pm
Mockingbird101, Mississauga, Other
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I have to agree with the author. Although some teenagers and kids lack judgement, they should know that rape and murder are wrong and can wreck a person or family's life. Even if they are brought up in a family who did not bring them up correctly, the children should know better.

1233333 said...
on Feb. 6 2015 at 1:32 pm
This is a powerful article and it does reflects the problems we have right now. I personally think that even though they committed a crime, however, they are not the same as adults. Everyone is born equally and no one is born evil. A person forms their personality depends on their family, parents. Although you are saying that the youths should be punish the same way as the adults, but maybe they have a very irresponsible family and maybe they are lonely all the time and no one is there to teach them HOW to be a good person or how to become one. You are saying that your parents believes in punishments, spanking, and repercussions for the action of children, well you have a very peaceful family, and what if they DON'T? This is the difference. So in my opinion, I think they should be given a second chance, fix their problems, family.