View Full Version : Should juveniles be tried as adults?

04-04-2021, 08:39 PM

Most people would say that we learn right from wrong at a young age, so it would make sense that to try juveniles as adults in that regard, but at the same time it does not always allow for the possibility of rehabilitation.

In 2018 in the United States there were an estimated 125,030 juvenile arrests for simple assault.

What is your opinion on this?

04-04-2021, 08:40 PM
this debate is now live!!!

11-04-2021, 05:55 PM
I think it should be on a case by case basis

Obviously for things such as theft or petty crimes then yeah, trail them as a minor, however for the more serious crimes like murder then I think its past the point of being too young to know better.

13-04-2021, 01:33 PM
This is actually a big debate locally atm, a group of teens were bullying a young autistic boy in a park and when his dad intervened they beat him almost to death and left him with bits of his brain on the ground. The teens involved were almost definitely groomed for gang violence by all reports, but regardless they are criminals, they have committed this horrific act with such brutality that it's being treated as attempted murder... and no matter the age or circumstance they aren't blameless. I think like Tristan said it needs to be considered on a case by case basis with a focus on rehabilitation when possible, but you clearly can't jail a parent for something their 17 year old child did on their own and if you can't try juveniles properly then there's no justice to be served - plus it means MORE things like this will happen where gangs use/groom children to take the fall for their activities

14-04-2021, 12:10 AM
Quite clearly in law there needs to be a recognition of a difference between a child and adult. If a child is sexually assaulted by an adult, then we treat this as sexual assault even if the child 'consented' as a child cannot consent to such acts. The same if a child does something bad, it is clearly not on the same level as if a fully grown adult did it - but that isn't to say the likes of Jamie Bulger's killers should just be let out as we've clearly seen since they were that they remain evil to this day.

So do not try as adults, try as children - but that does not mean children are allowed to get away with evil. Case by case basis.

14-04-2021, 02:44 PM
I think case by case basis. I think circumstance and other factors should be taken into consideration.

I think if the child is a repeat offender, then it's time to look at the parents--maybe they need some sort of wake up call? Or begin harsher punishment because clearly something isn't working and the matter at hand is not being taken seriously. The case of the 'Affluenza' teen (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/texas-boy-avoids-jail-in-deaths-of-four-after-psychologist-testifies-wealth-spoiled-him/2013/12/12/3710eab0-6352-11e3-91b3-f2bb96304e34_story.html) drunk driving repeatedly is a great example of this.

I think some situations (murder) should flat out be escalated. Perhaps even though they are tried as an adult, maybe more options for punishment or chances for rehabilitation should be considered

I think the US is probably not the best example for how offenders are tried because we don't have the best system for rehabilitation. Most people are left to sit in jail and not really better themselves like they would in other countries.

14-04-2021, 06:38 PM
The word "rehabilitation" has been mentioned a few times here, think that it's a good word for this particular debate - definitely an important distinction to make between proper rehabilitation and the old "lock 'em up and throw away the key" trick both the US and UK so often prefer. Not everyone can be saved from themselves of course, but especially with young offenders there should be a push for educational/penitential sentencing rather than just flat punishment and putting people into environments where their criminal behaviour is normalised

14-04-2021, 08:10 PM
FlyingJesus; To be fair, rehabilitation is almost always the preferred method in Britain to the extent the same person can have a record the length of your arm and still not get sent away. I've read cases of people with 100+ convictions who've walked free again. I think actual rehabilitation for those who genuinely need it (as in repeat offenders) should take place in prison with proper reading classes, skills classes for people who most of the time cannot read or even write.

20-04-2021, 05:59 PM
I think they should if they are a reoffender or someone who has committed a serious crime for sure

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