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The Chambers Dictionary defines juvenile as "young; pertaining to or suited to youth or young people. Having or retaining characteristics of youth, childish." The Texas judicial system defines a juvenile as one between the ages of 10 and 16. Juvenile courts have been established to provide justice for anyone classified as a juvenile who commits a crime. Although some argue that juveniles are well served in these courts, it is in the best interest of society that juvenile offenders be tried and prosecuted as adults. Juveniles should be held fully responsible for the crimes they commit because even though they are young, juveniles have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong when choosing to commit a crime. Trying juveniles as adults ensures a strict punishment, vindication for the victim, and the re-establishment of order and protection for society.

Psychologists say that a child's values and morals are permanently set by the time they reach the age of 5. Once juveniles have reached the legal juvenile age, they should not of problems discerning between right and wrong. Children are also taught to consider the possible consequences of their actions before following through with them. As children get older they should be able to fathom how their actions affect others. Juveniles make conscious decisions to commit crimes and therefore should be held responsible. Malice is also a factor dealing with an individual's values. The American Heritage Dictionary defines malice as "the intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another." Since juvenile offenders have to have malice to commit their crimes, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the...

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...e punishment is not strict enough because of a criminal being tried as a juvenile, the balance of society remains upset and the basic needs of the victim have not been met by the government.

In conclusion, juvenile offenders should be tried as adults. Adult classification enables the judicial system to punish offenders to the fullest extent of the law. Juveniles should be held responsible for their actions because they have values and morals and are able to realize consequences just as well as adults. The tougher punishments given by adult courts discourage other young people from committing crimes and help to keep society safer fro everyone. Justice is served for criminal and victim when the punishment allowed by adult courts compensates for the crime committed. When juveniles are tried as adults in the criminal justice program, society as a whole benefits.
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