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Transcript of Juvenile Justice
Con: Prosecuting Juveniles as Adults
Juvenile Justice in Early Civilization
Juvenile Justice System
Recent studies show that teens may be incompetent to stand trial because they are emotionally or intellectually unable to contribute to their own defense
The juvenile justice system is set up to offer rehabilitation to these misguided teens. The system helps minors learn and gives them a future whereas the adult criminal system provides punishments and often leads to more crimes
If minors are not equal to adults in any aspects of life why should they receive equal punishments?
Children should not be prosecuted as adults for a number of reasons. The reason why children cannot vote or get married is because they are not fully mature. They are still developing and their brains and bodies are going through massive changes. This is why they are not given the same rights. They cannot make big choices or live on their own. The law puts them into the custody of their parents until they turn 18, which is when the government gives them their full rights. The government should be consistent with its laws. If they want to try children as adults then lower the age to vote, smoke, get married and adopt children to 12. That however is ridiculous. It is proven that juveniles do not have the maturity or experience when it comes to making serious decisions such as marriage. Part of growing up is making mistakes and learning from them. Teens are more prone to make mistakes and when they do, is important that they are helped and put in institutions specifically designed for them. Adult court systems cannot do this.
Juvenile Justice in America
“In a span of minutes, Ashley Jones and her boyfriend shot her grandfather twice in the face and then stabbed him until he died; shot her sleeping aunt three times; shot her grandmother in the shoulder and then stabbed her, poured lighter fluid on her, set her on fire, and watched her burn; and stabbed her 10-year old sister 14 times. Jones then took $300 from her grandfather’s wallet and the keys to his Cadillac, which she drove away from the crime scene.”
There have always been rules, laws and consequences to keep children in line. Some four thousand years ago the Babylonians created a law code. The Code of Hammurabi included references and punishments for runaway children, disobedient children and children who cursed their parents. Under early Roman law, children were held accountable by their responsibility, Under early Jewish law they were held accountable by their maturity and under early Muslim law, children were protected from the death penalty until they reach the age of 17. These early civilizations created codes to establish the differences between juveniles and adults and these codes have shaped our procedures for dealing with adolescents in the present day court systems.
For many years American law didn't recognize the differences between children and adults. Criminal codes applied to everyone and everyone regardless of age received the same consequences. During the 19th century people began expressing discomfort over children in adult prisons. They began to consider the fact that children were less mature and less aware of consequences. The primary purpose of the first juvenile justice systems were to provide rehabilitation instead of punishment and delinquency was more of a social problem than a criminal problem. Since then, the laws have remained similar however in the last 30 years it has become increasingly easier to try minors as adults
Pro: Prosecuting Juveniles as Adults
The number of violent crimes committed by adolescents has reduced since juveniles have been waived to adult courts.
In America the rules and laws apply to everyone, this ensures justice.
Youth today are very different than the youth of 50 years ago