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Should juveniles punished or try as adults - Research Paper Example

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Should Juveniles be Tried as Adults? As our children grow up in an increasingly violent world, they are led down certain paths that could result in their misdeeds and violent actions. A child who has an unhappy family life may find himself as part of a gang in order to feel like he belongs or he could perform petty thefts in order to call attention to himself…
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Should juveniles punished or try as adults
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Download file to see previous pages The reasoning behind this is actually quite simple. The full grown adults believe that although a child / teenager is involved in a very adult crime, such as murder, he does not truly grasp the meaning and reality of his actions. One mistake during his childhood should not condemn him to a life of hard core punishment. Although such argument tend to hold water among child psyche experts, parents, and some sympathetic courts, the reality of the situation is that the child committed a major crime. A crime that could land an adult in prison for a very long time. Nobody can ever be sure that a child did the crime “with little understanding of his actions”. If a juvenile committed the offense, he definitely has at least a basic understanding of what the outcome of his actions might be. Therefore, he should not be sheltered from the results of his actions. Rather, he must be made to face up to the resulting consequences of his actions. That is the only way to truly rehabilitate a juvenile delinquent and make sure that he does not grow up to become a social problem. A social problem who as an adult, poses a grave threat to our children, our livelihood, and our very lives. People like former Gov. Jeb Bush believe that “"There should be some sensitivity that a 14-year-old is not a little adult." (Reaves, 2011). His comment is based on the understanding that a fourteen year old does not have the mental capacity to formulate a murder scenario, get his hands on a lethal weapon such as a gun, and use it against someone whom he feels did him wrong. That might have been true during the time of the youth of the governor. However, the increasingly violent movies shown on television, cable TV, and the internet has removed that cloak of innocence in a child. These days, a child of 14 has the full understanding and ability to kill anybody as evidenced by cases like 14 year old Nathan Brazil who was found guilty of second degree murder after killing his teacher in 2011. (Reaves, 2011) Experts who study the human brain say that it was wrong for those Brazil to have been tried as an adult. Their argument being based on their research studies indicating that “...the brain's prefrontal lobe, which some scientists speculate plays a crucial role in inhibiting inappropriate behavior, may not reach full development until age 20. “ (Reaves, 2011) If we are to believe the experts about how long it takes for the human brain to actually develop, then we would all still be juvenile delinquents at the age of 20, not held responsible for being drunk drivers, doing drugs, or bullying other kids because “Hey, I'm just a kid. I know nothing!”. I sincerely doubt that most parents and others who are involved in the life of the delinquent would truly buy such a pathetic explanation or excuse in relation to the actions of a juvenile delinquent. By saying that a child does not have the mental capacity to understand his course of actions, we are giving this soon to be adult an easy out. Failing to take into consideration that these children are exposed to violence every single day of their lives. (Schwartz, 2010) Be it in the media, the movies, or even at school, these children see increasingly disturbing amounts of violence and, because of the way that adult news programs report the events, give them some sort of understanding as to what happened and why. Indeed, they may not have the same capacity as an adult to plan the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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