“The Justice Department estimates that about 10 percent of all homicides are committed
by juveniles under the age of 18. Nearly every year, the FBI arrests more than 33,000 young
adults under the age of 18 for offenses,” states Huma Khan in the article “Juvenile Justice: Too
Young for Life in Prison?”This leaves us the question: Should juveniles be tried as adults?
Juveniles should not be tried as adults because kids are not adults.
“Like many states, California allows youth offenders as young as 14 to be transferred
from the juvenile system to adult courts. From there, most of the teenagers who are tried as
adults and sentenced to life in adult institutions are placed in ...view middle of the document...
Doing this can make the situation of the
Juvenile even worse other than helping him or her. According to Francine Keifer in “More States
Correct the Mistake of Trying Juveniles as Adults,” “Treating juveniles as juveniles is better for
young offenders and society. Young people are physically and emotionally safer in the juvenile
facilities than in adult jails and prisons.” Young prisoners are more inclined to negative
influences than adults. “Because a juvenile’s identity is still developing, he or she can potentially
adopt negative behaviors that are the norm in a hostile prison environment. The fear of being
victimized or assaulted produces a need for security, which leads many young prisoners to rely
on gangs and weapons for survival” (Scott). Making a juvenile face crime as an adult will
persuade him or her into believing he or she is “bad”. That can make the juvenile believe it and
act upon it, which would not help the juvenile.
Some might argue that juvenile criminals must be tried as adults. They say that children
who commit horrible crimes are exempt merely because of their age. They state that minors
understand what they have done. This might be true, but not all children can understand what
they have done. There are “fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds,” states
Justice Anthony Kennedy in the article “More States Correct the Mistake of Trying Juveniles as
Adults.” When you are 11 years old you’re not as mature as an adult. You’re brain is not fully
developed unlike an adult. Juveniles who commit horrible crimes are not only exempt because of
their age; they are exempt because they are not fully developed yet (and still they are tried as
adults in some states).
Juveniles are not as mature as adult. According to Robert Schwartz in the article, “Kids
Should Never Be Tried as Adults”:
Recent brain imaging technology reinforces the adolescent development
literature. From the prefrontal cortex to the limbic area, the teenage brain is undergoing