argument top image

What are the pros and cons of trying juveniles as adults in court? Show more Show less
Back to question

The criminal justice system operates with the understanding that a juvenile’s action may not be the same as an adult’s - and, instead, that the juvenile might merit unique consideration under the law - and that punishment should perhaps be tailored towards development and reform. However, this has resulted in controversy. Should everyone be sentenced equally regardless of their age? Or should society recognise that juveniles are too young to fully consider the consequences of their actions to be tried as adults?

Juveniles should be tried as adults in court Show more Show less

Prosecution and trials are not only for punishment but act as a learning experience, which is especially necessary for juveniles. Those old enough to commit serious crimes do not have an extreme difference in cognitive function compared to adults.
(1 of 2) Next position >

Juvenile court does not provide adequate justice

Trials taking place in juvenile court provide an opportunity for light sentencing and are more circumspect to a judge's whims than in the court of adults. This means that justice is more likely not to be adequately served.

The Argument

Punishment in juvenile court is frequently doled out at a judge's discretion. There are much fewer restrictions and layers of legal accountability to ensure that a crime of specific severity is treated uniformly.[1] This form of justice is inconsistent and especially inconsiderate to the victims, who are not afforded different types of trials based on age and maturity. Justice administered by only one person does not afford the same level of liability, and the lack of acknowledgment from a "jury of peers" means that the juvenile will not necessarily understand the impact that their crimes have had on society. It is not merely the severity of punishment based on age that changes between a minor and an adult's trial proceedings, but the entire type of trial. Reformative justice in the formative years makes sense, to a degree, but the lack of specific procedures when dealing with minors is not only harmful to their victims and communities, but to the juvenile's overall growth.[2]

Counter arguments

The type of justice is different because the perpetrator is a minor, but that does not automatically make that consequence illegitimate. Certain financial punishments or jail prospects are irrational in regards to juveniles, and a misguided sense of accountability should not overrule logical precedent.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://connectusfund.org/22-should-juveniles-be-tried-as-adults-pros-and-cons
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/juvmurders/stories/adultcrime.htm
This page was last edited on Thursday, 1 Oct 2020 at 03:56 UTC

Explore related arguments