Why Juveniles Should Not Be Tried As Adults
Furthermore, children that commit crimes are products of their environment in which they live. For example, when children constantly get sexually abused, it causes immense amounts of trauma and a false sense of love. Often a traumatic experience for all is an offense punishable by law in many parts of the world. But, the most common victims are those who are aged 18 or under. Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults come from this age which is 2.3 times higher than adults. Not only is sexual assault an unpleasant situation to have to endure for children, teens, and adults, but the physical act of torture and neglect can make anyone feel that they are not valuable and do not have a place in society. Furthermore, the environment of the home and family life largely determines the development of their brains. Children’s and teenager’s brain development influences the way the child thinks, acts, and feels. Due to being neglected or abused at home, it stunts brain development majorly. Therefore, teenagers commit brutal crimes since they do not have a stable environment at home, and do not feel valued by those who they love.
On the other hand, even though teenager’s brains are not fully developed, they can distinguish that the harshest crimes such as robbery, rape, and murder are something that they should not do. Since these teenagers are being sentenced to life in prison for their crimes, it reduces the amount of crime that is being committed throughout the nation. The OJJDP, The Office Of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention, states that juvenile offenders were believed to be held accountable in over 700 murders in the United States. This number represents 7% of the murders in our country. Furthermore, it creates a level of certainty in the Criminal Justice system for victims and the families that are involved. When a horrible crime has occured, the person (if still alive) or the family will have closure knowing that the person committing the crime will not be able to hurt anyone again. It creates a sense of closure and teaches the juvenile doing crime accountability. When consequences occur due to their actions, they can realize that what they are doing is not right in our society. By sentencing juveniles to life in prison for unspeakable crimes such as murder, it will decrease the number of murders that are occurring throughout the nation, because they will not be able to murder anyone again. Due to such a high number of violent crimes occurring, it is easy to conclude that most teenagers know that the crimes they are committing are wrong.
Finally, the process of sentencing teenagers as adults is unconstitutional, especially when pertaining to the 14th Amendment. It is unconstitutional for a society to treat people of different ages and maturity levels the same. Because juveniles are under the age of 18, they are denied all of the rights that adults have. Therefore, it is unfair for them to be tried as adults, while they are being denied the same rights that adults have. Many of these issues have been discussed in the Supreme Court. Some of the cases that have been discussed are Miller v. Alabama and Graham v. Florida. Both of these cases show the difference between juveniles and adults in terms of their brain and how their brain gets developed. Due to their moral and cognitive incapabilities, most teenagers do not understand what their rights are, as well as the details that are occurring in their case. Because most teenagers do not know the facts of their case, they should be given the right of having access to law libraries as well as Criminal Justice classes so they will be more aware of their case and have more information to become better prepared for trial.
In Conclusion, juveniles should not be tried as adults since it is unconstitutional, as well as the false reality of adult prisons acting as a source of rehabilitation. Furthermore, many teenagers do not have a fully developed brain. With a fully developed brain, moral and cognitive abilities are obtained. Besides, children that often commit crimes are from broken homes because they did not have the proper support. Anyone can change their ways if they are given and received the proper love, and with effort, the 2,225 inmates serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for crimes committed as minors will be dropped immensely. Therefore, Juveniles should not be tried as adults in the Court of Law.
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