Juvenile Punishment: Should Adolescents Be Tried As Adults? Essay

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Most Americans today believe that teenagers are more apathetic because of the crimes they commit. According to an adolescent brain development expert, Laurence Steinberg, "The adolescent brain is still developing [and] the risks taken and mistakes made by young offenders may be more outside of their control than we think” (Steinberg 1).  With that said, should teenagers be responsible for their actions and be tried as adults? Absolutely, because as Kiley Hamlin stated, "The researchers have found that babies as young as six months old already make moral judgements, and they think we may be born with a moral code hard-wired into our brains" (Hamlin 1). Therefore, teenagers should be held accountable for their actions and tried as adults because these violent crimes are premeditated, against the law, and if a teenager has the mental capability to plan a violent crime, they should have the mental capability to acknowledge the consequences of the crime.
Premeditation is something that is thought and/or planned out ahead of time. Most violent crimes that are still happening today are no accident, which is why defendants should be held accountable therefore tried as adults for their mistakes.In terms of premeditation, a violent crime must have the specific intent to hurt another individual. I stand by my perspective, if these teenagers could be so cruel and commit such a violent crime, they should be tried as an adult. If a defendant commits a violent crime and does not get taken serious and/or tried as an adult, others are going to
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believe that it is going to be “brushed off” if they follow the defendants footsteps. A personal experience of a juvenile being tried as adult was a friend of mine, he was convicted of mur...

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...enagers are old enough to know a violent crime is illegal.
 In conclusion, it is undeniable that trying these juveniles in our adult courts would benefit our society. By keeping these young adults off the streets, it creates a safe environment for the people. When teens are being tried as adults, we do not only think of their families, we think about the safety of our community. Even if a teenager did not know it was wrong, it does not mean that it was right. All in all, there should be no pity for these teenagers who commit such gruesome, violent crimes.

Works Cited

Kaiser, Emily. "6 Facts about Crime and the Adolescent Brain." MPRnews. N.p., 15 May 2013. Web.
Edwards, Lin. "Psychologists Say Babies Know Right from Wrong Even at Six Months." N.p., 10 May 2010. Web.
H, Jeffrey. "Should Teens Be Tried As Adults." Teen Ink. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

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