Analysis: Juveniles Should Be Tried As Adults

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2 Juveniles Should Be Tried as Adults in Certain Circumstances Mary Onelia Estudillo Mary Onelia Estudillo has written several articles for The Guardian, the student newspaper of the University of California at San Diego. The juvenile justice system was originally created to provide individualized rehabilitation to offenders of minor crimes such as truancy, shoplifting, and vandalism. But youth today are taking advantage of this lenient and outdated system and are committing violent crimes because they believe they will get off easy. In order to provide justice to victims and their families and to prevent more and more juveniles from committing violent crimes, the United States must hold criminals accountable—regardless of their age—and impose…show more content…
stabbed in the head and chest by 16- and 17-year-old boys. They forget the pain of the Columbine [high school in Colorado] shootings. They forget to put themselves in the shoes of a parent whose 5-year-old daughter was killed for her bike. They forget that a crime is a crime, regardless of the offender’s age. They forget that sometimes, the criminal justice system works harder for the criminal than the victim. Violent Youth Deserve Punishment Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not believe that institutionalization is a solution to America’s social problems. I am a strong advocate of rehabilitation and second chances. There has been many a time in my life, as I’m sure there has been in everyone else’s, that being given the second chance has made the difference. But I do believe, however trite this may sound, that if you do an adult crime, you do adult time. Minors that commit certain serious crimes should be tried as adults. Some youths are even known to commit crimes without thought because they know they cannot be tried as adults. Violent, preventable crimes by minors have long plagued America’s larger cities but have scarcely been punished because of the age of the perpetrators. Protected by a lenient and highly outdated juvenile justice system, violent youth have taken advantage of such benefits and have run rampant in our cities. High profile slayings are quite the norm on the evening news, and every once in a while, disaster strikes and we lose a large number of lives at the hands of young offenders. And sadly, naive America continues to lose more and more lives at the hands of reckless teens and repeat offenders because we choose to give them as many chances as they need so long as they are not legal adults. Unfortunately, we have to lose and destroy more lives because we refuse to
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