Much controversy exists on the question of whether a juvenile criminal should be punished to the same extent as an adult. Those who commit capitol crimes, including adolescents, should be penalized according to the law. Age should not be a factor in the case of serious crimes. Many people claim that the child did not know any better, or that he was brought up with the conception that this behavior is acceptable. Although there is some truth to these allegations, the reality of this social issue is far more complex. Therefore we ask the question, "Should childhood offenders of capitols crimes be treated as adults?"
To begin with, numerous reasons for why a child acts in the manner he exhibits and why he continues to exert such dangerous and even fatal schemes. Recent research shows that factors ranging from inherited personality traits to chemical imbalances and damages suffered in the womb can increase the odds that a child will become violent (Johnson 234). Experts argue that no one is predestined to a life of crime. They believe that influences such as repeated abuse, extreme neglect, poverty, media violence, and easy access to guns play the major role in molding children into criminals. The father of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer wonders, "If potential for evil is in the blood that some of us pass on to our children" (Seifert 23).
In the quiet New York town of Savona, Eric Smith, age thirteen, intercepted four year old Derrick Robie on his way to a park recreation program and offered to show him a shortcut. Hesitatingly, Derrick set off with Eric. He never made it to the park. That same day the little boy's savagely beaten body was discovered outside the park area (Seifert 98).
Jon Venables and Robert Thompson of Liverpool, England, made international headlines in November of 1994, when they were convicted of murdering James Bulger, age two. The two boys, both ten at the time of the slaying, lured James away from his mother in a shopping mall, took him to a nearby railroad track, beat him brutally and left him to be cut in half by a train (Seifert 56).
Many experts do not accept that biology alone creates children who kill. They believe that violence is a learned behavior. Being abused or witnessing domestic violence is an environmental factor in ju...
... middle of paper ...
... The future of Crime in America. Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1987
Bidwell, Allie. "Report: School Crime and Violence Rise" U.S News & World Report, June 10, 2014
Carmenati, Marlene “Youth and Crime: Is the young offenders working?” Law Now June/July 21-26.
Eldelfonso, Edward. Law Enforcement and the youthful offenders: Juvenile Procedures. New York: Wiley 1967.
Hyde, Margaret O. “Juvenile justice and Injustice” New York, New York Margaret O. Hyde, 1977.
Johnson, Jason B. “ Slain Teen’s family: Cops eyeing 7-10 suspects.” Boston Herald. 7 ,April 1995
Olney, Ross R. Up Against The Law. New York, New York: NAL Penguin Inc. 1985.
Robinson, Lori S, and Jimmie Briggs “Kids and Violence” Emerge November. 1993:44+
Seifert, Kathryn. "How Children Become Violent" Acanthus Publishing; 1 edition 2006
Wilson, James and Herrnstein, Richard. "Crime & Human Nature: The Definitive Study of the Causes of Crime" New York: Free Press, 1998.
John P. Wright, Kären M. Hess, Christine H. Orthmann. "Juvenile Justice." Cengage Learning; 6 edition, 2012
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Guilty. As the gavel hits the sound block, everyone is amazed at the verdict. This teenage boy is sentenced to a life in prison without parole. As you read this in newspapers, magazines, and even online, what goes through your head. You may be thinking, “Why is this teen being tried as adult, he is just a kid.” While he is “just a kid”, and this is a widely held opinion but it is not mine. Should minors who commit violent crimes be tried as adults. Absolutely. Just because minors are young they do have the ability to know what is right from wrong.... [tags: Adult Punishments for Juveniles]
2628 words (7.5 pages)
- Daniel Zwerdling stated “If a fifteen year old and thirty year old commit the same, awful rape and murder, why shouldn’t society treat them the same?”. (“Should Juveniles Be Tried As Adults?”) The effect of a juvenile committing a murder and an adult committing a murder is the same. Juveniles committing high crimes should be judged as an adult and treated rightfully so with longer, more strict sentencings. When deciding whether or not a child should be tried as an adult one should look at the circumstances, the pros and the cons of convicting a minor as an adult.... [tags: Prison, Crime, Youth detention center]
1087 words (3.1 pages)
- Children Being Tried as Adults Thousands of kid criminals in the United States have been tried as adults and sent to prison (Equal Justice Initiative). The debate whether these kids should be tried as adults is a huge controversy. The decision to try them or to not try them as an adult can change their whole life. “Fourteen states have no minimum age for trying children as adults” (Equal Justice Initiative). Some people feel that children are too immature to fully understand the severity of their actions.... [tags: Crime, Criminology, Prison, Punishment]
1226 words (3.5 pages)
- Kids should be subjected to the measures of punishment that our judicial system is giving to them. Kids who show lots of enmity should be tried as adults. It is the only way to protect the innocent children. These kids know right from wrong, but they choose to do the wrong things and violence is wrong. As the laws have gotten stricter on discipline the kids have gotten wilder. When we let society tell us how to discipline our children then violent children is the result. Shawn was 16 in 1998 when he violently stabbed his father in his sleep, was tried as a juvenile because of his pre-existing parasomnia, and was sentenced to juvenile hall until his 19th birthday.... [tags: Criminal Justice ]
1700 words (4.9 pages)
- "Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time." -- David Grusin and Morgan Ames Much controversy exists on the question of whether a juvenile criminal should be punished to the same extent as an adult. Those who commit capitol crimes, including adolescents, should be penalized according to the law. Age should not be a factor in the case of serious crimes. Many people claim that the child did not know any better, or that he was brought up with the conception that this behavior is acceptable.... [tags: Persuasive Argumentative Essays]
2004 words (5.7 pages)
- Should Juveniles offenders be tried and punished as adults. A crime is a crime regardless of age. If they did the crime, they should do the time. Juveniles try to push the law to the limits due to their age. They are unaware and don’t realize their criminal history will follow them all their lives. Juvenile offenders should be tried and punished as adults based on the crime, criminal history of the individual, and the personality of the offender. Based on the crime Every offense is different from case to case.... [tags: crime, age, misdemeanor, felony]
555 words (1.6 pages)
- Throughout the past 30 years or so, the idea of a juvenile or teenager being tried as an adult has been a very controversial issue. When a juvenile commits a very heinous crime, many believe that that youth deserves to be tried as an adult, and given a full sentence. Some even believe that these juveniles deserve to go to adult prison. "When a child kills, does he instantly become an adult. Or does he maintain some trappings of childhood, despite the gravity of his actions?" (Reaves Para 1). What draws the line between a juvenile and adult crime.... [tags: Criminal Law, Rehabilitation]
1312 words (3.7 pages)
- It is unfair for American children to know that though they can be innocent, they are treated as adults when they turn thirteen in some states. Although children have to learn the difference between what is right and wrong in their first years of life, most of them do not have enough experience to show that they are capable of living within society independently. Nonetheless, when they commit a serious crime-accidentally or purposely, the state mandate allows the judicatures to try them as an adult.... [tags: Juveniles Tried in Adult Criminal Court]
2235 words (6.4 pages)
- Should Children Be Tried As Adults. Would it be ok telling a twelve year old kid that has committed a crime, that he or she is sentenced to doing life in prison. Would it be ok to sentence a child to the death penalty, throwing a child's life away by ending it in prison. There are many different perspectives people have on children committing crimes and how they should be dealt with. Some people would say that no, children shouldn't be tried as adults due to the fact that they don’t know any better and their brains aren't fully developed yet.... [tags: crime, penalty, prison]
2281 words (6.5 pages)
- During the 1970s and 1980s the system of juvenile justice had been changed drastically across the United States: a substantial share of the crimes committed by juvenile moved to the jurisdiction of the criminal courts. It happened due to the significant rise of the juvenile crime rates (Fagan, 2008). David O. Brink (2004), a philosophy professor, argues that this transformation was also a part of a more general trend “to get tough” with criminals, due to the increasing number of violent crimes. There are several main supportive arguments to be presented here.... [tags: Criminal Justice]
974 words (2.8 pages)