From the time children are born, they are taught to differentiate between what is wrong and right. The adolescent stage is among the states that have a strong grasp on an individual’s life. Killing someone is not something that should be taken lightly. Individuals tend to blame violent movies or games they like to play. They dictate that the violence has desensitized them to fail to differentiate between what is wrong and what is right. It is not the truth. People believe that juveniles lack the maturity to comprehend the wrongfulness of their actions, but I can’t entirely agree in a violent scenario. As children, we are taught that there is a difference between the two. Therefore, when it comes to extremely wrong things, like violent things, it is an open-cut case, and juveniles must be judged as adults.
Children involved in crimes like first-degree murder, murder, homicide, second-degree murder, and voluntary manslaughter should be judged as adults. In most cases, children involved in criminal activities are aware of what they are doing and have the intent to kill. In most cases, they want to blame the violence on violent TV shows and movies. However, acts of violence surround everyone, and we are educated to differentiate the wrong from the right from a young age. Maybe if we started prosecuting juveniles the same way we do adults, minors would think twice about committing crimes before they do them. Although we have many countries that permit juveniles to be tried as adults, some states still have restrictions against it. Juveniles who commit malicious and heinous crimes must be judged as adults and tried the same way (Scism, 2018). It must be done as long as the child involved understands what is wrong and right. In a scenario where a juvenile has the logging to commit a crime that an adult does, they must be judged as adults. We have many juveniles who think they can be engaged in these crimes committed by adults since they think that they can only be passed a juvenile justice.
Regardless of whether a minor is involved in a violent crime, they should be tried as mature adults. It has been a point of discussion for some time now. Individuals possess strong thoughts on this issue since no one kind serves a harsh time. There are multiple questions that individuals have on the specified topic, and there are multiple questions that will need to be answered through this research; would it change the rate of crime? What would make a crime be seen as a violent crime? Lastly, would the children be sent to top adult facilities if tried as an adult?
Any person who commits a crime must be answerable for their actions, regardless of whether they are minors or not. Children who commit these crimes, like murder, require thinking about how their actions will affect their families. In a scenario where the juveniles fail to be tried in court, they will be sentenced to a sentence that is not harsh. The offended families will feel that they are less secure and have been abandoned, and the offender can go out and commit other crimes. In some scenarios, they feel that what they lost was not recognized.
The only solution to this will be through the process of trying the juvenile in an adult setting. The juvenile must accept full responsibility for their actions; this will serve as a model for others who intend to commit the same crime. To the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report program, the crimes that are classified as violent crimes are the worst that an individual can do, and the debate that minors lacked the power to foresee the gruesome eventualities of the crime that they committed or failed to spur the moment cannot be accepted since they have been taught the difference between wrong and right from the moment that they entered the world (Comer at el., 2021). Hence, it is evident that violent crimes require punishment at the highest level of the law regardless of the individual carrying out the crime.
According to the United States Department of Justice, minors’ crimes have increased by 60% since 1984. The nature of the criminal activity carried out is more gruesome. Rising from vandalism or truancy, they have begun to commit deadly and serious crimes like arson, murder, and aggravated assault (Arnett, 2018). According to government data, the number of children who are 12 years old who are arrested for violent crimes has increased twice, and also the number of people aged 14 and 13 years old has tripled from the year 1965. It is a shocking statistic and is the main reason we need to revisit our justice system associated with juvenile cases.
Almost all the states have laws that convict most youths who commit crimes to the juvenile courts. In these places, they can only be judged where afterward, they are taken to a juvenile facility. Recently, many states have put into place shifts in the crimes committed by young people, and in their systems, some have decreased the age at which a youth can be convicted in an adult setting for some given violent crimes. In states like Virginia, the state has decreased its minimum age to fourteen years, and those accused of aggravated malicious wounding and murder are automatically taken to the adult courts. In Kansas, a law passed in 1996 permits juveniles as young as ten years old to be judged as adults in some cases (Gupta-Kagan, 2021). Though the steps are in the correct direction, if too many steps are tokens, they will treat criminals below 16 years of age as children who belong in a juvenile facility.
Despite many individuals not wanting to recognize it, it has already been established since the 1990s that harsh punishment for young individuals reduces the rate of crimes. Transfer laws that were enacted in 1992 use a few methods. These permit prosecutorial discretion, decreasing the age at which a teen is taken as an adult to 16 or 17 years, from 18 years. Crimes that teenagers commit have been reduced by fifty percent. Possessing the time to fit in the crime appears to be the best approach to preventing people from committing crimes.
We need to overhaul the whole system in terms of its approach to dealing with this serious issue. The system requires giving violent criminals personal attention. Initially, the laws were created so that they were to deal with minor crimes and not extreme crimes. The main agenda for these laws was only to rehabilitate the offenders and fix the issue. It has been proven that centers used for rehabilitation have some influence on young people. In some countries, like the United States of America, some teenagers have been given a similar sentence to adults and sent to adult prison.
Almost three thousands of these children have been given life imprisonment with no parole possibility. Most children in the US are imperilled by community violence, abuse, and neglect. If there is no effective intervention and assistance, the children struggle and suffer in their lives (Finholt at el., 2020). However, I do not support children sentenced to adult prisons after being tried in juvenile courts. There is a great possibility that they will get lost in the shuffle. I think that they should be special facilities that will and can assist in rehabilitating these children. According to the recommendation that we have received from the Bureau of Justice, to respond to juveniles who are placed in adult facilities, there is an urgent need for programs used in their correction. Following the report, it is extremely important that the children not be placed in similar facilities with grown-ups. Also, there should be proper provisions made to ensure that these children get the education and therapy.
There should be a difference in how punishment and rehabilitation are carried out. According to opinion, children who commit heinous crimes should get harsh and fitting punishments. In the same instance, proper rehabilitation facilities must be established instead of convicting them in adult prisons. Through this, it will serve two major things. When the children are sentenced to adult time, they will understand that they cannot get away with lighter sentences. have a chance to make them better by becoming more responsible people who are educated. Enough opportunities should be created to give the young culprits the chance to comprehend the gravity of their crimes. There are multiple reasons why individuals don’t agree with sending young adults to adult courts and with the prospect of rehabilitation facilities. But there are multiple reasons why they should, as the research has indicated.
Therefore, I conclude that, on that note, crimes that are taken as adult crimes deserve an adult sentence. There should not be any fear of equitable punishment for young criminals. We cannot keep on permitting this approach to continue. Our legal system requires stepping up and stopping the babying of those teens that do not deserve it. Regardless of their age, those involved in violent crimes do not deserve any special treatment.
Arnett, J. J. (2018). Getting better all the time: Trends in risk behavior among American adolescents since 1990. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 6(1), 87.
Comer, Benjamin P., Cody Jorgensen, and David Carter. “Reported Crime Frequencies: A Statistical Comparison of State Crime Reports and the UCR.” American Journal of Criminal Justice (2021): 1-25.
Finholt, B., Garrett, B. L., Modjadidi, K., & Renberg, K. M. (2020). Juvenile life without parole in North Carolina. J. Crim. L. & Criminology, 110, 141.
Gupta-Kagan, J. (2021). Beyond” Children Are Different”: The Revolution in Juvenile Intake and Sentencing. Wash. L. Rev., 96, 425.
Scism, M. R. (2018). Children Are Different: The Need for Reform of Virginia’s Juvenile Transfer Laws. Rich. Pub. Int. L. Rev., 22, 445.