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Should Jouveniles Accused of Violent crimes be Tried and Jailed as Adults - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Does Adult Crime Translate to Adult Trial and Punishment? There has been a salient controversy surrounding juvenile justice. Young people below the legal adult age of 18 years have faced the consequences of crime when found guilty by the courts…
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Should Jouveniles Accused of Violent crimes be Tried and Jailed as Adults

Download file to see previous pages... The cause of the dilemma was whether adolescents were to be tried in the existing adult courts and face punitive measures as applied to adult criminals. The issue of whether they would face trial in adult courts led to a critical question of whether they were 100% responsible for the crime they committed. Even when the assumption was that the adolescents were culpable of the crimes committed, an ardent concern would arise on whether they the competence required to handle the trial process. This paper will highlight that trying juvenile delinquents in adult courts is inappropriate. The onset of the 20th century saw the emergence of the initial literature on the means of resolving juvenile crimes. The institution of juvenile courts would soon follow, a factor shaped by the assumption that adolescents were more likely to adopt new attitudes because of their assumed malleability in comparison to adults. Such assumed malleability evident in adolescents motivated the adoption of rehabilitation as the most effective strategy in juvenile courts. However, the approach of rehabilitation changed, getting more inclined to the punitive approach that was evident in the adult courts (Ash 146). In the 1960s, the rehabilitative approach was classified as unsuccessful in addressing juvenile crime, and with most of the courts proving highly punitive to juvenile offenders. In the 1970s, increased prophecies of a potential surge of juvenile crimes emerged. This perception served to alter the approach towards juvenile justice. In the following years, many juvenile delinquents received transfer to adult crimes to undergo trial. Many people believed that the prophecies would come true, and that an increase in hardened juvenile criminals would require stringent punitive measures. The perception that determined justice ideologies at that time were shaped by the thinking that adolescents who committed crimes needed to face similar consequences with adults committing similar offenses. However, contrary to the predictions, juvenile was only higher in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but subsided immensely in the years that followed. Although the predictions were falsified by the passage of time reduction of crime, they initiated the issue of adolescent culpability to crime, in the punitive system. This issue had been neglected because juvenile courts had adopted a rehabilitative approach. In the punitive system, it was critical for prosecutors to prove that the adolescent had made an informed choice to commit crime (Ash 145). Many people believed that youths above 15 years are able to make informed choice cognitively. However, in cases where evidence indicating the incapacity of an adolescent to carry out mature judgment, then that translated to a minimized culpability. According to Ash, it is critical for courts to realize that adolescence is a period where an individual is subject to increased peer influence, a factor that makes many of them perpetrate group crime. Evidently, this period of growth is defined by many mistakes in many individuals, before the young adolescents can discern individual goals and pursue them. Most of the adolescents only exhibit a crime record during this period of rigorous growth and confusion, but transform into responsible citizens after adolescence. Therefore, trying adolescents in adult courts and labeling them as hardened criminals was unfair, as this was an aspect limited to the adolescence stage, and they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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