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Should Juveniles Be Treated As Adults

Essay by   •  April 10, 2011  •  552 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,114 Views

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In what case should juvenile offenders be tried as adults? Should they always be treated as adults? Should they be treated differently because of their age? What things need to be considered?

When a child kills, does he instantly become an adult? Or does he maintain some trappings of childhood, despite the gravity of his actions? These are the questions plaguing the American legal system today, as the violent acts of juvenile offenders continue to make headlines.

I found in the internet that a 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill was found guilty of second-degree murder for killing his English teacher last year. The charge usually carries a prison term of up to 30 years, but Brazille's defense team is hopeful the sentencing judge will be more lenient in this case. They have a powerful ally: Jeb Bush. "There is a different standard for children," the governor said after Brazill was sentenced. "There should be some sensitivity that a 14-year-old is not a little adult."

Also in March, another Florida jury sentenced14-year-old Lionel Tate, who killed a younger girl while practicing wrestling moves on her, to life in prison without parole. The concurrent Brazill and Tate trials served to heighten the public misconception that juvenile violent crime is on the rise; in fact, recent figures show a precipitous drop over the last five years.

The death penalty generally isn't an option Ð'-- at least not for defendants under the age of 16; The U. S. Supreme Court has ruled capital punishment unconstitutional for anyone who hasn't celebrated their 16th birthday. Some states, however, will consider 16- and 17-year-olds for the death penalty. Defense attorneys might offer a different argument: Since the bulk of the drop-off in juvenile crime predates most states' embrace of harsher penalties for young offenders, it is disingenuous to assume any connection between the two.

YES, I think that juvenile offenders should be treated as adults. Because in any way it is seen the end result of a heinous

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