A debate is raging on the topic of whether juveniles who commit a felony should be tried as an as a juvenile, or should be moved to the adult system to be tried as an adult. There are a wide variety of opinions on this issue, ranging from that their brains aren 't developed enough to fully understand what they are doing, to that it is irrelevant what the juveniles intentions where or how developed their brains where, there crime caused a great deal of harm to someone’s life or may have caused them to lose it in the case of murder, and that a juvenile who commits an adult crime should be tried as an adult. Many different people have many different criterion by which they make this judgment. For some it is the rate of return to prison for juveniles, the success of rehabilitation of prison programs, or perhaps the severity of the crime commuted.
It is the best course of action that a juvenile that commits a felony should be tried as an adult. A crime as serious as a felony most likely has caused a great deal of harm and trauma to someone’s life, and this fact does not change no matter what age the felon was, which in my belief means that they should be judged equally in an adult court.
One such criterion and arguably one of the most important criterion when deciding whether a juvenile should be tried as a felon is the severity of the crime. This criterion is that if the severity of the crime is sufficient, such as if the victim was murdered in a cruel or unusual way, there was a large number of victims, the victims included children, or if other illegal acts were committed against the victims alongside the crime, then the juvenile should be tried as an adult. A great point is raised by Peter A. Weir, A District At...
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...er turbulent. Of these individuals belong to a gang or grew up in a troubled environment. These juveniles, as a result of peer pressure, or for a gang related reason, committed this felony as a result of their environment, who may have done differently if they lived under different circumstances. This is a good point, as Juveniles have little choice in regards to the environment they grow up in. While this is an unfortunate circumstance, this does not change the crime. Measures need to be taken to help these individuals in their environment, but that is a different discussion.
Ultimately, When it comes to judging whether we should sentence a juvenile to the adult system, let’s not ask the whether they should be lenient because of their age, but ask what the effects of theses juvenile criminals actions have had on the victims. To do any less would be an injustice.
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