Trying Juveniles

Trying juveniles has been a topic to the public we hear about in the judustrial system. It contains a lot of arguments which has its pros and cons. Considering being a juvenile delinquent you must commit a crime that is under the age of 18. Prosecutors can charge juveniles as adults when they are suspected of violent offenses or crime. Back in time when this happened, this treatment involved the death penalty. As of today it involves being prosecuted through adult courts and incarcerated in the adult jails and prisons.

Addressing this topic is important because society is not aware what happened or what is happening to juveniles being tried as adults. After reading this paper, you will learn different offenses juveniles commit and why it leads to being tried as adults. You will know how the death penalty came in effect, ended, and the different cases that happened between times. I will talk about juveniles being prosecuted through adult courts and the benefit of it. Also juveniles being incarcerated with adults and the risks they face.

My intention of writing this paper is to get you to know the research I gained from it, and hoping it interest you to do more research on it too. Do convicting a juvenile as adults helps stop crime. Whether if it is good or bad, what are the pros and cons on trying juveniles? According to the pro side it states no matter what age the defendant is that a crime is a crime when it is committed. The con side states juveniles should not be tried as adults that juvenile courts exist and children cannot be tried in the same situation as adults. Pro states people think that the juvenile court focuses more on the age than focusing on the actual crime.

Juveniles should be tried as adults because it would make them understand the consequences of their action. It would help them understand that they are not given any special treatment, because of their age and it would stop them from committing crimes in the future. People believe that if other adolescents see such a harsh punishment that they would not commit a crime. An argument that was made was if an individual breaks the law upon a person Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness than they should be tried as adults no matter what age they are.

People say society babies adolescents for irresponsibility and that it needs a change. The con states most crimes that are committed, is that the child is at a young age. It is also proven that a child at an early age does not have the mental ability that adults have. After adolescent years they become more mature and begin to understand society. They are still learning society in adolescent years and that they have lack of direction and battle peer pressure. When they have no responsibility and maturity it is not expected for them to understand the consequence.

If juveniles are being prosecuted through adult courts can it make a change within the individual or the system? According to the criminal law handbook that, minors have the right to a jury trial in adult court (most states do not provide a right to a jury in juvenile court). Juries in adult court may be more sympathetic to a minor. In some jurisdictions where dockets and jails are crowded, the court may be inclined to dispose of the juvenile’s case more quickly and impose a lighter sentence. It also have its disadvantages that, the juvenile is subject to more severe sentences, including life sentences.

Judges in adult court do not have the wide range of punishment and treatment options that are available to juvenile court judges such as imposing a curfew or ordering counseling instead of jail time. The juvenile may have to serve time in adult jail or prison, rather than in juvenile detention centers. A conviction in adult criminal court carries more social stigma than a juvenile court judgment does. Adult criminal records are harder to seal than juvenile court records — sealing or “expunging” records makes them unavailable to the public. Thomas Graunger, was the first juvenile delinquent known in the United States to be executed.

He was found guilty of bestiality in 1642 in Plymouth Colony, MA. Since his execution 361 juveniles have been executed for crimes that they committed. Scott Allen Hain became the last juvenile in the United States to be executed. He was charged for double murder-kidnapping when he was 17 years old on April 3, 2003 in Oklahoma. The issue is whether what the U. S Supreme Court decided when arguments were made in favor and oppose the death penalty, when Christopher Simmons who was 17 years old planned and committed murder against Shirley Crook.

He also brought two friends Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer in it. Roper v. Simmons case argued: States legislatures should determine whether or not juveniles should be executed for capital crimes, not the courts. Juries should determine the culpability of juveniles on a case bias, on the nature of the crime and the maturity level of the individual juvenile. In a society, which is experiencing an increase in violence by juveniles, banning the death penalty would remove a much needed deterrent.

What other countries do concerning executing juveniles should not be relevant to the courts consideration of what the United States Constitutional demands. Executing children is immoral and uncivilized. Scientific research shows that juveniles are underdeveloped and immature, particularly in the areas of the brain that dictate reason, impulse control and decision making and therefore should not be held culpable. A high percentage of juveniles on death row have suffered from mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, drug addiction, abandonment, and severe poverty.

Decided March 1, 2005 the U. S Supreme court held that the eight and fourteenth amendments forbid the execution of offenders who were under the age of 18 when the crime was committed. Can a juvenile in an adult jail or prison survive than being sentenced to a juvenile delinquent facility? According to the U. S Justice Department, juveniles may not be placed in housing units where they will be in contact with adults in sleeping, bathing, or common areas. Facilities must either keep, juveniles segregated by “sight and sound” from adult inmates, or require that staff be present at all times. Best efforts” must be made to avoid placing young inmates in solitary confinement.

Juvenile inmates must be provided access to exercise, education, services and other programs when possible. Thousands of juveniles are housed with adult offenders. You find juveniles in adult jails or prisons when they are prosecuted as adults. The system believes that this is a way to break a juvenile attitude. A part of it is true but it breaks them in other ways as well. When a juvenile is sentence in an adult prison there is no education being held.

Their education comes from the career criminals and there are facts that a juvenile will commit another crime in an adult jail or prison than being with their own age group in a detention facility. When they are sentenced to adult jails or prisons it becomes a higher risk of physical and sexual abuse. It comes from the guards and adult inmates. This happens immediately within the first 48 hours of their arrival. It is easy for a juvenile to catch a transmitted disease such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and others. It is a higher chance for a juvenile to commit suicide in an adult jail or prison than a juvenile detention.

In conclusion, as you have read through this paper you may have learned that juveniles tried as adults, can be a good or bad situation. You see the different arguments that were made and the point of views people were coming from. Going through the adult system is stricter because it takes away a lot discipline from the juvenile. It is also dangerous because most times when a juvenile is processed through the adult courts they most likely would end up in adult jails and prisons. You have learned about the death penalty and how it stopped.