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Old 05-06-2014, 05:26 AM
 
854 posts, read 1,035,490 times
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America is one of the only Western countries that tries minors as adults and sends them to life in prison with adults. In fact as recently as 2005 it was legal to sentence minors to death!

People aren't born evil, generally speaking people turn to crime either because of abuse, neglect, mental illness or a combination of those factors. Being omnivorous beings, all people have a predatory and compassionate side and our internal and external experiences determine which side plays out more in our behavior and before one's brain is fully developed rehabilitation and change is very much a possibility. However sentencing kids to adult time will ruin any chance they could grow up to be good and changed adults since it's a clear statement that society has given up on them.

I think people are so blind in their vengeful pursuit of punishment in this country that they don't realize how hypocritical this is. Scientific studies show the brain doesn't fully develop until the ages 21 to 25 and that teenagers have poorer impulse control than adults. This is why we don't allow teenagers to drink, join the army, (until they're 16) drive, or vote. So why do we feel like they are responsible enough to spend their entire life behind bars let alone be executed?

Personally I think 18 or 21 is a good cutoff for just about everything, but I don't understand why minors can be tried as adults yet have none of the positive perks of coming of age. It seems like they are considered whatever works against their interest given the context in question. I think many older people, especially conservatives are just naturally ageist and hateful towards young people or something.

Last edited by Oldhag1; 05-07-2014 at 01:10 AM..
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Southern New Jersey
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Default If minors are tried as adults for crimes, should they be given adult rights too?

Sometimes depending on the severity and brutality of the crime, adult sentencing for minors is warranted but I do not believe minors should have adult privileges.

"However sentencing kids to adult time will ruin any chance they could grow up to be good and changed adults...."

If the murder victim is a child, they also have no chance to grow up to be a good adult. My heart bleeds for the victims, not so much the assailants. However, I do agree with you to an extent. Confirmed diagnosed mental illness, child abuse, life circumstances and in some cases age should be taken into consideration during sentencing. Counseling and/or rehabilitation may be in order. This should not apply to the teenager who murders his parents, stashes their bodies in a back bedroom and then throws a party or the teenage boys who shoot a guy waiting for a bus because they wanted to know what it felt like. These cases are deserving of maximum sentences. With that said, I absolutely DO NOT agree with sentencing a minor to death.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:30 AM
 
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Yeah I just think if we are going to insist children are mature enough to be fully culpable of their actions, why not just consider them adults in every way? Though personally I think we should do neither.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by spicymeatball View Post
Yeah I just think if we are going to insist children are mature enough to be fully culpable of their actions, why not just consider them adults in every way? Though personally I think we should do neither.
Culpability is not a synonym for competence. When children are tried as adults it isn't because the prosecution believes that they are mature enough to comprehend the severity of their crime but rather that the crime itself is so reprehensible and their actions so blameworthy (culpable) as to be outside any punishment available within the juvenile justice system. That is what I find reprehensible about trying minors or even the mentally deficient to the full weight of the adult justice system. That doesn't mean that I believe that these usually egregious crimes should go unpunished or that the juvenile system is adequate for meting out an appropriate punishment.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
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It isn't two sides of a coin. Not every kid is going to open fire in a classroom but assuming that just because we punish that rare person as an adult should mean ALL preteens and teenagers should be able to smoke drink or drive or vote just doesn't fly.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:27 PM
 
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There are two key factors that judges will always consider in deciding whether they should waive -- there will always be a waiver hearing -- the protection of a juvenile court for the minor, these factors are the age of the minor and the seriousness of the crime that they are alleged to have committed. Other factors may be turn out to be considered significant as well, such as the minor's juvenile record and past rehabilitation efforts.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
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If minors are tried as adults for crimes, should they be given adult rights too?

The way you talk, you refer to "people" as animals with no will of their own (generally speaking people turn to crime either because of abuse, neglect, mental illness or a combination of those factors). There is always a conscious factor, a decision to commit a crime. If there wasn't it would be an accident. Think of how many are faced with the same circumstances and DON'T offend. I say people need to be held accountable for their actions, not "excused" because they are "instinctual animals" that have no way of telling right from wrong. Punishment for crime? Should we reward people instead? They should have been taught right from wrong long before the age of 21-25 by their obviously absent-from-parenting parents, or put in the hands of competent people to raise them and teach them right from wrong. Stop excusing the wrongdoers. That said, they ARE given more rights than adults. You can't question, at least in the state where I worked, a juvenile without a parent/attorney/legal rep present. An adult can waive theirs. There is also a diversion process for youthful/first time offenders. I am NOT a fan of housing juvenile offenders with adults (generally this does not happen anyway). Adult prisons are little more today than schools in advanced crime (and I am NOT blaming the "guards"). Inmates are treated like victims and given a gym, college courses, cable T.V., complete healthcare and a host of other things on the public dime. That's more than their victims got from the system. We need to kick the ACLU lawyers out of the prison system, toughen things, get rid of the "gangs" by whatever means possible and make one of the reasons for not wanting to re-offend "not wanting to return to prison".
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:17 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,046,755 times
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Originally Posted by DauntlessDan View Post
We need to kick the ACLU lawyers out of the prison system, toughen things, get rid of the "gangs" by whatever means possible and make one of the reasons for not wanting to re-offend "not wanting to return to prison".
Well we have a long history of trying to do just that with little success so to continue approaching penology as a internet meme is the epitome of how Einstein defined insanity.

Quote:
I am NOT a fan of housing juvenile offenders with adults (generally this does not happen anyway). Adult prisons are little more today than schools in advanced crime.
That's interesting because there are over 3000 juveniles serving life sentences without parole in adult prisons across the country.

Quote:
(and I am NOT blaming the "guards"). Inmates are treated like victims and given a gym, college courses, cable T.V., complete healthcare and a host of other things on the public dime. That's more than their victims got from the system.
Funny, of all the corrections officers and prison officials that I've ever met, I've found that to a person they are the biggest advocates of gyms, T.V. and adequate healthcare (particularly mental healthcare) aptly pointing out that without these programs prisons would become totally unmanageable. They are also quick to point out, that without meaningful programs, you guarantee that inmates once release will quickly reoffend.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:29 PM
 
854 posts, read 1,035,490 times
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Originally Posted by DauntlessDan View Post
Inmates are treated like victims and given a gym, college courses, cable T.V., complete healthcare and a host of other things on the public dime. That's more than their victims got from the system. We need to kick the ACLU lawyers out of the prison system, toughen things, get rid of the "gangs" by whatever means possible and make one of the reasons for not wanting to re-offend "not wanting to return to prison".
You really think prison is a picnic? Honestly, so what if they have cable TV ... they still don't have freedom. Treating them like animals is just going to make them more dangerous to the general public upon release.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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Originally Posted by spicymeatball View Post
You really think prison is a picnic? Honestly, so what if they have cable TV ... they still don't have freedom. Treating them like animals is just going to make them more dangerous to the general public upon release.
These two animals were treated well and given a good education while in care.. they didnt change or show remorse for this horrific brutal killing of a two year old..
James Bulger killing: the case history of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson | UK news | theguardian.com
http://www.theweek.co.uk/crime/53978...bulgers-mother
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