The criminal justice system operates with the understanding that a juvenileâ€™s action may not be the same as an adultâ€™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
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.
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.
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.
Anyone under the age of 18 is a child, and should not be tried as adults. Subjecting them can have multiple repercussions in the present and future. It is not fair for juveniles to be subjected to have the same expectations as adults,
Juveniles lack the neurobiology to know better
Good judgment is not something juveniles can excel in while their brains are still developing. It is, therefore, wrong to place juveniles on an equal footing with adults during a trial as they do not have the same reasoning skills to be accountable for their actions.
Juveniles' best interests aren't served if they are tried as adults
The public safety, rehabilitation, and education of juveniles are disregarded when they are tried as adults. The common standard of "having the child's best interests" in family court proceedings should also be applied when they are being tried in court.
Juveniles face a lower chance of rehabilitation if they are tried as adults
Trying juveniles as adults can delay the process of them getting help, which could harm them in the future. Not trying them as adults can help rehabilitate the child and decrease the likelihood of reoffending.