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Juvenile Offenders Should Be Tried As Adults For Violent Crimes

533 words - 2 pages

As more minors are committing violent crimes, the question of whether they should be tried as adults has arisen. Children as young as 13 or 14 are committing violent crimes such as murder, rape, and armed robbery. Some of these children are being tried as adults while others are being tried as juveniles and receiving milder punishments. A juvenile offender may receive a few years in a juvenile detention facility and possibly probation following his release at age eighteen. An adult committing the same violent crime will receive a much harsher penalty, often years in jail, possibly a life sentence, with little or no chance of parole. The only difference between the two offenders is the age at which they committed the crime. Juveniles over the age of fourteen should be tried as adults when accused of violent crimes.

Forty-one states currently have laws that make it easier to try a juvenile that has committed a violent crime and is over the age of 14 as an adult. In 1995, Texas lowered the age a juvenile could be tried as an adult from 15 to 14. Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana also have laws setting the minimum age a juvenile can be tried as an adult at 14. At age fourteen the average person is mentally mature enough to understand the consequences associated with committing a crime.

If a juvenile, over fourteen has the ability and willingness to commit a violent crime they should be tried and punished as an adult. A fourteen year old knows right from wrong. He (or she) is able to tell whether they are committing a crime....

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