Should Juveniles Be Tried as Adults Essay

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| Should Juveniles Be Tried As Adults | | | Michelle Rogers | 10/5/2014 | | The whole purpose of the juvenile court system is to guide and rehabilitate adolescents/children by providing direction to those convicted of crime. The courts should be focusing on rehabilitation, while the state should act as a parental figure rather than a prosecutor or judge. Taking a parental approach would help channel youth in appropriate directions instead of simply punishing them for their mistakes. States deliberately give harsher sentences to teach adolescents/children a lesson. President Mark Soler of the Washington, D.C., Youth Law Center points out that adolescents/children are required by law to be incarcerated separately from adults. However, the overwhelmed juvenile justice system lets the adult criminal justice system handle many youth offenders. This causes numerous negative effects for convicted juveniles. The law recognizes that adolescents/children are less equipped to make important decisions than adults are. Yet the law fails to distinguish between adolescents/children and adults when it comes to spending the rest of their lives in prison for crimes they have committed before their 18th birthday. Adolescents/children who break the law must be held accountable, however we cannot give up on the possibility that a still developing young person will reform. Justice and financial responsibility both demand a more thoughtful approach. When adolescents/children commit crimes, does he/she instantly become an adult? Or does he maintain some of his/her childhood, despite his/her actions? These are questions Americans and the legal system are facing today, as the violent acts of juvenile offenders continue to make headlines. The question is, are adolescents/children capable of understanding the consequences of their actions? Maybe not; recent
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