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Children who commit crimes of violence be tried as adults in the criminal justice system?
Juveniles should be treated as adults in the criminal justice system. The paper is an analysis of this view and also deals with an opposing argument.
Most societies seek a sort of "revenge" on the habitual offenders of its norms of behavior and this is termed as retribution. In the case of young offenders, this is sometimes translated into putting them in adult courts instead of juvenile courts. This also reflects the anger of society for their crimes. This is an important question that has to be looked into, especially in the social milieu of the United States. The trial of youth as adults is already accepted in some of the states, when there are incidences of serious crime. At the same time we keep on referring to the children as the greatest available resource and hope for the future.
Some Americans on the other hand, view children as elements to be afraid of. They are seen as embodiments of violence. The society has come to this because it has no self-control, or ethics and morals. The family is no longer the source of traditional values like the value for human life and giving respect to other humans. The country is today very worried about crime by young Americans, in serious violent forms. This has changed the behavior of Americans and led to greater attendance of self-defense classes, home security systems and carry a very large number of guns for self-protection. Even the politicians and social opinion makers have been influenced to the extent that a conservative justice system is sought for. The attempt is to punish and deter in seeking protection from juvenile crime. (Juvenile offenders: should they be tried in adult courts?) A larger number of youth are being indicted by the justice system for violent crimes like murder, rape aggravated assault, using of hard drugs, and in the domestic scene. This is leading to a situation where more and more young offenders are being sent to the adult courts which can punish the offenders in a harsher manner. (Kids Who Commit Adult Crimes Serious Criminality by Juvenile Offenders)
The entire process of setting up the juvenile court system in 1900 is being lost. The crimes were like running away from home, petty theft and truancy. The situation had started from the 1950s and 1960s, when the nature of crimes began to include stealing hubcaps, brawls and drinking. In the 60s, the social programs had also started changing society, not in the way desired and there were a lot more out of wedlock births. (Kids Who Commit Adult Crimes Serious Criminality by Juvenile Offenders) A new generation came up who did not have any morals and were thus ready for crime. The share of juveniles in serious crime was increasing rapidly and by 1974, they committed almost 50% of the serious crime.
The increase has continued unabated and by 1984, it was seen that juveniles were responsible for 1,130 murders and 592,372 serious crimes like rape, robbery, aggravated assault and arson. On the other side, the adults are committing less murders today -- down by 18% over the last four years. The juveniles are committing more murders -- up by 22%. The picture for the future is even darker for the coming decade. (Punishing Teen Criminals like Criminals) The number of guns in use is rising and more juveniles are using them through juvenile gangs. This is the reality of life in the United States today, and it is clear that we should treat the present situation with al seriousness. (Kids Who Commit Adult Crimes Serious Criminality by Juvenile Offenders)
One of the attempts to stem the tide is by treating the young criminals in the same manner as adults. In as many as 40 of the states in America, anybody convicted of murder face the death penalty. In 23 of these states, when the minor is being treated like an adult, they may also be executed. (Justice Talking: Trying Juveniles as Adults) Almost half the states have passed laws in 1994 which permit the adult courts to try some of the crimes now being committed by juveniles. In North Carolina, juveniles can be tried as adults after they reach the age of 13. In Oklahoma,…[continue]
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