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What are the pros and cons of trying juveniles as adults in court? Show more Show less
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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.
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Juveniles need to learn that their actions have consequences

For the victims of crime, it does not matter if the perpetrator was 15 or 55; the trauma of the crime is the same. If juveniles are capable of committing crimes and affecting society, they should learn that they are not above justice.

The Argument

The consequences of a crime will remain the same for any victim, regardless of age. Why should the consequences not be similar for a juvenile? This rule may not apply to all crimes, but the current criminal justice system leaves too much up to the discretion of individual judges rather than considering input from a jury. This system allows for frequent bias and bribery, which directly defies the standard of setting uniform consequences.[1] There is no wrong age to learn that your actions have consequences. If the crime is of legal significance, then the punishment will be of legal significance as well. In cases of severe cognitive disfunction, special considerations may be made, but the knowledge of how to commit those crimes will exist regardless of age, so the punishment should remain the same. Juveniles who are tried as adults are less likely to become repeat offenders, which means that a harsher punishment in the eyes of the law may actually be fairer in the long-term, not to mention reducing the level of overall criminality.[2] If there is no such thing as age-appropriate crimes, there should be no such thing as age-appropriate punishments.

Counter arguments

The consequences for a crime will exist no matter what, but trying juveniles as adults allows for harsher consequences. If the main issue with a criminal proceeding is the severity of the punishment, then it may be best to focus reformative measures on the numerous other flaws of greater significance that exist within our criminal justice system.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://greengarageblog.org/7-top-pros-and-cons-of-juveniles-being-tried-as-adults
  2. https://www.appohigh.org/ourpages/auto/2016/3/16/38572502/Juveniles%20Tried%20as%20Adults.pdf

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This page was last edited on Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 01:18 UTC

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