Should Juveniles Be Tried As Adults? Essay
NO! Juveniles (under the age of 18) should not be tried as an adult; they should be charged and tried in juvenile court; this is why there is juvenile court. It is ridiculous that because of the Columbine shooting, the government decided to declare “war” against any juvenile criminal—they are children, not fully developed in any area (physical or mental).
I know there are horrendous crimes being committed by youngsters, but society must look at the underlying reasons that the crime was committed. Was the child being mistreated/abused/neglected? Was the child having adverse reactions to medication? Did the child have any mental illness? What mitigating circumstances surround the crime? We need to know the answers to these questions, as well as many others, before we just throw the child to the wolves in adult prison.
1. Do children/juvenile have the capacity to understand the consequences of their crimes? Are the children/juveniles able to be rehabilitated?
To answer the question whether a child understands there are consequences to a given crime, first we must ascertain the physical age and the mental age of the child. A child, aged 7, does not think the police will be called and they will go to jail if they break into the neighbor’s house. A seven-year-old child thinks that he will get in trouble if the people come home and catch him in the house, they might hurt him, but not one thought is given to going to jail.