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Copy of Argumentative Essay

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by

Margo Dorado

on 2 March 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Argumentative Essay

We do not let children vote and we do not let children sign contracts, but once they're old enough to drive, they should be able to stand trial for murder? How does this seem fair to anyone? Should Juveniles Be Tried As Adults? The topic I have chosen to discuss for my argumentative essay is, Should Juveniles be tried as adults. This basically means, should it be right for children under the age of 18 to be sentenced for crimes they commit, with the same intense sentencing as adults. I will be arguing that it is not truly fair that children who are not yet 18 years old be allowed legally to serve the same jail sentence as a full grown adult. There are many rules in our society that separate children from adults, such as the legal age to vote, drive, drink, move out on your own, etc. However in some states there is no separation in jail sentencing between juveniles and adults, how can this be justified in society? Arguments My first argument for why I believe that juveniles should not be tried as adults is that, the term Juvenile means : not fully grown or developed; young. Where as the term Adult means: one who has attained maturity or legal age. This shows that there is an obvious gap between juveniles and adults. A conducted study stated that many children under 16 had as much difficulty grasping the complex legal proceedings as adults who had been ruled incompetent to go to court. If juveniles being put on trial are not able to understand what is really going on, how can justice be served? Also, if a child as young as 12 or 13 years old commits murder and when asked why they committed the crime, their response is "for fun" that tells society that it does not matter how long this child is put in prison for, they still will not understand that what they did is unacceptable. The courts need to set their sights on putting the child on the straight and narrow, rather than just putting them in jail with older criminals where they will learn nothing except other, possibly much worse, crimes that other inmates have committed. Some statistics of childrens' behavior in adult prisons are as follows:
A study found that the suicide rate in adult prisons, for children, rather than juvenile detention centers was nearly eight percent higher.
Another study held by a team of researchers found out that it is five times more likely that a child will be raped in an adult prison, rather than a juvenile detention center. Nearly ten percent of the youth interviewed in this study said they had been sexually assaulted in some way.
Another study found out that one in ten youth in an adult prison were victim to beatings by staff. Over fifty percent of these beatings were with a deadly weapon.
All of these statistics show the things that happen to children that are sent to adult prisons and nothing is done about them, however if they were inflicted upon a child that did not disobey the law something would be done to help that child. Why should children that obey the law be cared for better than children that do not? My third and final argument is that the juvenile court was started more than a hundred years ago with the purpose of treatment and guidance rather than punishment for juveniles. But since then many states have passed laws making it easier to try certain youthful offenders as adults. Putting juveniles that have committed crimes in an adult prison is only punishing them. Where as in a juvenile correction center they would be shown guidance to help them see what they have done wrong, in hope that they will not re-offend. An example that I have chosen to use for this argument is a clip from the A&E television show, Beyond Scared Straight. This show follows intervention programs that expose at - risk teens to the realities of life behind bars. The outcome of this show is usually very positive as it causes the attendees to improve their behaviors and attitudes, so that they will not end up in prison. In this clip you will see how an intervention program gives the at - risk teens an inside look of the prison, in attempts to scare them out of their bad habits. Objection Reply Children often act before fully thinking about what the consequences of their actions may be. This should not give society the right to then harshly punish these children, and put their health and safety at risk. People believe that by placing a juvenile in an adult prison, they will serve a longer sentence for their crime, however this isn't always true. Therefore, it would be more beneficial to send juveniles to juvenile facilities instead of adult prisons because they will receive better treatment and get help to improve their behaviors so that they hopefully do not end up in adult prison when they are of age. The biggest objection for why people think that juveniles should be tried as adults is that if the child is old enough to commit the crime then they are old enough to serve time in jail and take responsibility for their actions. These people say that if we want to cut down on teen crime, we have to have tougher laws. They argue that when sending juveniles to juvenile courts, they do not receive the proper sentencing for their actions and get away with little punishment. Conclusion Clearly, after hearing all of the negative effects sentencing juveniles as adults has on the juveniles, it should be clear that this should not be allowed to happen. By sending a juvenile to an adult prison is like sending them a message that they have done wrong and that you give up on them because you do not offer them the opportunity to better their life. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, but we should all be given a second chance at fixing what we have done.
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