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Essay on Juvenile Crime and Punishment

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Juvenile Crime and Punishment

The punishment of juvenile criminals, specifically those between the ages of 13 and 18, in the event that they commit crimes of murder, is not severe enough. Minors between these critical ages in the teenage life who commit crimes of murder should be prosecuted as adults in all situations and locations.

Teenagers in this age group do kill others, old and young alike. The rate at which juveniles were arrested for murder rose 177 percent between 1978 and 1993 (NBER.org). This shows that there is a need for stopping or at least slowing this trend in homicidal acts. Statistics clearly show that juviniles between the ages of 14 and 17 during the years of 1976 to 1994 are increasing in numbers in the amount of murders they commit.

The event in Littleton, Colorado is another example of the fact that teenagers are killing others. Carrying several weapons and setting off homemade bombs, teen-agers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded about 26 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999 at 11:21 a.m. (usatoday.com/182). These two young men had hatred in their hearts that no person will be able to explain. They knew what they were doing and wanted to do it well. They did what they were trying to do: kill others. If these two young men had not committed suicide, would they have been prosecuted as adults? We will never know because of the choice they made to take their own lives, but I certainly hope that they would have received the correction they deserved. In this situation, that due punishment would have been a trial as though they were adults who killed other human beings.

What happens when teenagers kill ...

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...with his/her threat.

The next step in solving this problem is to contact state governments and let them know that juveniles who commit crimes of murder should be tried as adults in all situations. Politicians should become aware that this is a problem in the society of America and shouldn't be reminded only by tragedies like that which happened in Littleton, Colorado. Call or write state governments and let them know that juveniles should be prosecuted as adults when committing crimes of murder.

Works Cited

1. http://www.nber.org/digest/feb98/w6191.html

2. http://www.usatoday.com/news/index/colo/colo182.htm

3. http://www.usatoday.com/news/index/colo/colo96.htm

4. http://www.tjpc.state.tx.us/reviews/98-1-09.htm (Texas Juvenile Probation Commission)

5. http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/nathaniel991021.html#top
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