Juveniles and Adult Time

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For years now it has been a big controversial argument on whether or not juveniles should be treated like adults in the judicial process. Both sides have very strong arguments as to why it should or should not be legal. There are many pros and cons dealing with this topic. There have been many different cases that have occurred that has struck up debate on whether or not juveniles deserve the same treatment.
This judicial system had not always had this problem to deal with. Early court systems did not traditionally have the problem of having to try juveniles as adults or did not believe in it. Early court systems tried juveniles in juvenile courts as the juveniles that they were. Courts now allow juveniles to be tried as an adult for certain criminal offenses; such as murder. It has been estimated that annually 250,000 youth are prosecuted as adults (Woolard, 2005). This was not prevalent until the 1990s when the courts expanded their rules to the point where juveniles could be charged as adults in serious crimes (Khan, 2010). Robert Schwartz, co-founder of the Juvenile Law Center, and Thomas Grisso, clinical psychologists, stated in their book “Youth on Trial” that the juvenile justice system had taken the image of the adult criminal justice system (Khan, 2010). However, years later, the courts decided to hand down a decision that ultimately softened the sentences that some juveniles would receive. Courts decided that it was in the best intentions that juveniles who have not been convicted of murder are not eligible for life in prison without any chance of parole. Based off of this juveniles were given a lighter, therefore more reasonable, sentence based off of what was thought to be best for the juveniles that committed the cr...

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...minal justice field for many years to come most likely. Whether it is a parent who has kids and pictures that her son or daughter could be the one who could receive life in prison, or another person who had a loved one who lost their life to a juvenile; this argument will remain and there will always be two opposing sides.

Works Cited

Khan, Huma. “Juvenile Justice: Too Young for Life in Prison?” ABC News. July 12, 2010.
Woolard, J. “Juveniles within Adult Correctional Settings: Legal Pathways and Developmental Considerations.” International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 4.1 (2005): 18. Print.
Reaves, Jessica. “Should the Law Treat Kids and Adults Differently?” TIME. Article. Thursday, May 17, 2001.
Chen, Stephanie. “Boy, 12, faces grown-up murder charges” CNN Justice. Article. March 15, 2010
ACS Distance Education. “Teen Crime Risk Factors” Article. 2014.
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