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Juveniles Are Adults

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How would you feel if one of your family members was brutally murdered by a young teenager? With the increasing amount of crime being committed by juveniles, officials are trying to come up with ways to prevent such crimes from ever occurring. More and more teens are committing crimes they know they can get away with because of their age. Juveniles know how far they can go before they really get themselves into trouble they cannot get out of. Usually when you are being tried as a juvenile the punishment is less severe. If a juvenile commits murder he or she has the knowledge of the crime they have committed. Juveniles should be no less accountable than adults, and treating them as such may also help to deter crime. However, juveniles differ from adults in more than just their age. They do not possess an adult’s capacity to judge and allowing them to be tried as adults is inconsistent with many other laws addressing juvenile behavior.

Imagine that you are a parent whose son or daughter has been killed by a 16-year-old. The teenager is brought to court, found guilty of the crime and the judge sentences him to two years in a juvenile facility, after which he will be free with not even a criminal record to follow him. Many people see these light sentences that some juveniles receive for serious crimes as being a mere slap on the wrist and demand that a greater action is taken. David Finkelhor, has a forceful argument against leniency: David Finkelhor is the Director of the Crimes against Children Research Center, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. We are told that kids murder, steal, and cause disruption because they grew up in poverty; however, poverty doesn’t cause crime; crime causes poverty. Juveniles commit crimes because they choose to do so. When young criminals kill and rape, they should be treated like adults, who says he or she should not pay with his or her life? No more community service for rape and murder. David Finkelhor does not stand alone in his opinions.

According to 2004 juvenile crime statistics, 1.66 million kids were juveniles and 30% of them were involved in murders that year. Probation is one of the most common sentences given to a juvenile criminal. 70% of all juvenile sentences involve in some type of probation punishment. Similarly, supporters of strict criminal legislation believe that sending juveniles to criminal courts where they can receive life in prison or capital punishment, will not only provide fairer sentences for those who commit horrible crimes but also will deter others from doing the same. If a minor realizes that he or she might receive a lengthy sentence in prison or execution,



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