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"adult Time for Adult Crime": Age Is Not a Defense

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"Adult time for adult crime": age is not a defense

Over past couple of decades juvenile crime as evolved from criminal mischief, vandalism, and petty theft to assault, rape, and murder, and over the last few decades an increasing amount of juveniles take part in first degree murder crimes. Thus, the concept of "adult time for adult crime", charging minors who commit serious crimes as adults, has been a controversial topic. Historically, American society has been treating most juvenile offenses, those under the age of 18, as delinquent acts to be handled in a separate juvenile court system which is designed to punish juvenile offenders and rehabilitate them before they reach adulthood. But, in recent years, due to the influx of juveniles taking part in malicious and deadly crimes, society and policy makers have changed their views and procedures on juvenile crimes, opting to try them as adults and transfer them to the adult criminal justice system. I fully agree with the concept of "adult time for adult crime", because anyone at age should be held accountable for their actions if they deliberately kill another person. In addition, children might not be fully developed mentally but they are aware of their actions and they know murder is wrong. Secondly, the juvenile system was developed for offenders of mischief, vandalism, and petty theft, not the murders of today's society. Finally, justice for the victim's family will not be served if the juvenile criminal goes unpunished, or with a slap on the wrist.

However, there are people that believe children of a certain age do not possess the maturity to control their impulses, or to fully understand the consequences of their actions. Yes it is true that recent medical research has found that, children are not fully developed, and the brain continues to develop into one's teenaged years, but at an early age it is understood that killing is wrong. Another belief is that juveniles have different potential for change and they deserve a second chance and an attempt at rehabilitation. It is also true that "Studies have also shown that minors who have gone through the juvenile system, with its emphasis on rehabilitation through counseling, mentoring, education and vocational training, are less likely to be arrested again after being released than those who have served time in ordinary prisons" (New York Times Editorial).

First and foremost, any sane person should do an extended amount of time for deliberately killing someone without it being in the act of self-defense. Murder is a crime that occurs too much in this country especially, by juveniles. In order to gain control over this emerging problem we need to give an extended amount of time for this crime, like we do adults, to juveniles to show murder will not be tolerated by anyone. If that is accomplished juveniles will soon realize that taken another person's life is not worth doing a long time in jail or a jail for juveniles, no matter what motive they may have.

Secondly, the juvenile criminal system was created to deal with vandals and petty thieves not the violent juvenile offender of today. Thus meaning, the juvenile system is not adequate for the type of deadly crimes juveniles are committing in today's society, therefore the adult criminal system serves as a better punishment for these crimes. For example, in 1998 the Jonesboro shooting took place, where Fourteen- year-old Mitchell Johnson and 12-year-old Andrew Golden opened fire on their middle



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