should a teen be tried as an adult? why or why not explain?

I need help writing a essay on this topic....thankx alot for your help

27 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer


    Since the "progressive" movement of the 1960s took hold, "children" have been empowered to believe themselves to be miniature adults. This shift is reflected in many areas of society:

    -Contemporary parenting favors the "time out" method of addressing behaviorial issues. In doing so, punishment as deterrence has been replaced with appealing to a child's ability to reason. Rather than punish a wrong, children are encouraged to think about their actions just like grown-ups do.

    -In popular media of the early 1960's the family household consisted of a strong 'father figure,' a dutiful 'wife' and spunky children who were constantly in need of adult guidance. By the 1970s, however, the father was most likely to be the bumbling figure, the wife the patient martyr and the children were the "streetwise" go-getters.

    -I recently saw an interview with Angelina Jolie. In it she talked about how she had experimented with self-mutilation as a 13-year old. At the time, she was living with her boyfriend and their sex life had become "unfulfilling" in her words. She went on about how the self-mutililation was part of her "spiritual search" for what was missing in her life.

    ..Throughout her story, the interviewer nodded as if he was listening to a Quantum Physics lecture....I couldn't help but wonder why the interviewer didn't just say "You were only 13 freaking years old for God's sake!!! Did you stop to think...just maybe..."what was missing" from your life was maturity and perspective!!!?!"

    In short, our society today forces children into adult situations early on...and I think this is reflected in the number of shocking acts committed by people as young as 9 or 10 years old. It is beyond hypocritical for those "progressives" who argue that children need to be nurtured as "mini adults" be the first ones to cry "but they're only little kids" when one commits a horrific "adult" act.

  • 4 years ago

    Most normally developing children know the difference between right and wrong by the age of 7. Psychologists call that the age of reason or the Stage of Concrete Operations. By the time that child reaches adolescence he or she has been exposed to many examples of good and poor behavior from the media and from the schools they must attend according to the laws. Hopefully, the child's parents also contribute positive ideas to his or her moral character and decision making criteria. If a teen therefore, commits an unprovoked or premeditated crime of violence such as rape, murder, aggravated assault, arson, armed robbery or any act of violence against another human being, then the punishment should fit the crime, the same way it would need to be to deter such behavior in someone of any age after concrete operations began. The current laws are allowing young hoodlums to get away with murder and other heinous offenses based on numerical age under 18 so that all an adult criminal has to do is talk someone under 18 into committing a crime of violence and since there is no serious consequence, it will go unpunished. That is a serious problem in society.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    from an educational stand point, trying a teenager as an adult has many different factors. being that people mature differently than every one else, the criminal, or suspect, should be examined based on the crime, and many factors. if a sheltered 17 year-old, that truly doesnt know better hits a pedestrian then he probably shouldnt be tried as an adult for man slaughter. however, if a 16 year old that lives on their own kills a man for breaking his window...then he could probably be tried as an adult. based on the legal age being 18 to be an adult...after that theres no other choice, youre an adult. but with minors...the psychological maturity is an issue and can be brought up and used as an argument in law. this is a very sensitive subject.

    the answer should be...a teen should be examined by well qualified professional people that are educated in specific fields, and then tried as the examiner sees fit. if a teen is proven to know that what they did was wrong, and that they knew the consequence, then yes. but if they did not know that what they were doing was in such a way, wrong, and didnt fully understand the outcome or punishment to come...then they should be tried as a child, and again, treated as such with therapy that will be needed.

    if i were writing this paper, i would use a psychology student stand point and research cases in which children were tried as adults, and then other cases where they were tried as a child.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree that it depends on the crime but I also think the upbringing plays a large part. A child that has never been adequately taught the difference between right and wrong cannot be expected to function in society on the same level as adults. Also crimes committed in anger should be weighed differently, younger people are less able to control their emotions than an older person is or at least should be and thus cannot be reasoned as sound a judge of a situation. Not to mention the fact that a teenager has many emotional stimuli both internal and external that are weighing in. Many pregnant women have attempted to use the insanity plea based on hormonal imbalances but this has yet to be applied to teenagers experiencing the same due to puberty.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Depends on the crime. But make sure you add in your "essay" That money, or the lack there of determines if your tried as an adult.

    When I was in high school, a boy took two girls to lunch and beat them both to death with a hammer, and buried their bodies . These girls went to the same school. He was tried as an adult and was sentenced to 10 years. He is out now. So he only served 7 years. His parents were wealthy. His friend who was with him is still in prison. His family had no money, and could not hire an attorney, he had to take a public defender. This is a true story..

    The criminal justice system is all about money. Money buys a dream team. If a teen commits mass murders, or armed robbery, they can be tried as adults.

    of course we all know a teen is not mature and someday will hate the life sentence, and regret what they did as a kid.

    Don't get me wrong, i don't think teen killers should get away with murder.

  • 1 decade ago

    That depends on the crime and the individual. If that individual is a 16 year old who commits first degree murder, I think that he should be tried as an adult because he clearly knew the difference between right and wrong, was aware of what he was doing, and committed a particularly heinous crime which will be punished much less severely in a juvenile court than an adult court.

    If that individual is a sixteen year old who was caught smoking underage, I would say that he should be tried as a juvenile because his actions, while not the best, were not particularly heinous and can be attributed to being young and naive.

    Ultimately, it takes good discretion in cases of juvie vs adult court.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Depends on the crime, I mean say as a teen you shop lift, usually you get off with a slap on the wrist (not literally) but if an adult were to shop lift the consequences tend to include tickets and editing to their criminal records. I guess also you can look at the age margin, some 17 year old rapists have gotten off and sent to Juvenal Detention Facilities while others go straight to the State Penitentiaries. Then there are others like the 13 year old who confessed to killing his sister, and he was tried a minor, i guess lawyers (good ones anyway) have to take into consideration the future welfare of their clients, I mean how can you expect a prepubescent delinquent to make it in jail with serial killers? Often times when they are released they come out worse than how they went in, (they pick up certain hostile behaiviors) prisons these days are just schools for the fostering of future criminals.

    Source(s): common sense.
  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on the crime, the person, and the circumstances. I don't think there is a "one size fits all" model. There are some teens who DON'T know right from wrong because they were not brought up with good morals due to bad/ absent parenting or social ties. There are sociopaths who from childhood show no remorse and will never be positive contributors to society. But there are also severely misguided children and those who suffer from TREATABLE disorders, such as schizophrenia. I would think some factors to consider would be: did the child act alone (establishing an element of group think), how they score on psychological evaluations, past type of offenses, remorse, premeditation, patterns of abuse. I think that it's possible to rehabilitate after certain types of criminal offenses, especially for children, but that has to be the goal. Not sending someone to juvenile detention or prison. There needs to be a shift in drug/alcohol/ mental health treatment for those who could benefit. And yet, there are certain children who should be tried as adults because they are fully aware of their actions and accountable for them.

  • 1 decade ago

    In my opinion , absolutely.You make a mistake , you do something that steps over the '''borderline innapropriate'' then you MUST pay for it an adult or not.This will be the only way in which they will learn their lessons.The deeper the scars , the more intense the lesson will be.Teenagers have somewhat been looked at as , ''innocent'' when something WRONG is done, it was beoynd their power of comprehension and they must be given the '''benefit of the doubt'' .They have a brain too , they should use it!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's an opinion question. What is your opinion? If a 17-year-old murdered a bunch of people, would you like for that teen to be put in juvenile prison for a year, or would you like for them to be tried as an adult and spend a much longer time in prison?

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.