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Juveniles Tried As Adults - Right or Wrong ?

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posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 11:44 AM
Kids who commit terrable crimes are being tried, convicted and sentanced as adults all over this nation.

Kids 12 - 17 years old. Murderers, Thiefs etc.

Do they deserve to be tried as adults and sent to Federal Prisons with adults ?

Transfer to Adult Court/Trying Kids as Adults
Over the last ten years, nearly every state has changed its laws to make it easier to prosecute youth as adults. As a result of these changes, significantly more youth are tried as adults in the adult criminal court and held in adult correctional facilities. Youth tried in the adult criminal court face the same penalties as adults, including the death penalty or life without parole; will receive little or no education, mental health treatment, or rehabilitative programming; will obtain an adult criminal record which may significantly limit their future education and employment opportunities; and are at greater risk of rape, assault and death in adult jails and prisons with adult inmates. The negative impact of these expanded state transfer law changes has most seriously affected African American, Latino and Native American youth.

Major findings show that:
Most determinations to prosecute juveniles as adults were not made by judges (15%), but instead by prosecutors or legislatures (85%).

Overall, 82% of youth charged in adult courts were minority youth.

Minority youth were disproportionately charged in adult court. For example, in Jefferson County, Alabama, African American youth accounted for approximately 3 out of 10 felony arrests, but represented 8 out of 10 felony cases filed in criminal court.

Nearly two-thirds of all youth who were detained pretrial were held in adult jails where previous research shows that youth are at serious risk of rape, assault, death, and suicide.

White youth are twice as likely as African-American youth to be represented by private counsel. Youth who are represented by private attorneys were less likely to be convicted and more likely to be transferred back to juvenile court.

African-American (43%) and Latino (37%) youth were more likely than White youth (26%) to receive a sentence of incarceration (as opposed to a split sentence or probation). ml

Children in Adult Jails
Research demonstrates that children in adult jails and lockups are five times as likely to be sexually assaulted, twice as likely to be beaten by staff, 50 percent more likely to be attacked with a weapon and eight times as likely to commit suicide as children confined in juvenile facilities. In addition, the research shows that transferring children from juvenile court to adult court does not decrease recidivism, and in fact actually increases crime.

Case examples:
In Ohio, six adult prisoners murdered a 17-year-old boy while he was incarcerated in the juvenile cellblock of an adult jail.

In Florida, a 17-year-old mildly retarded boy who had pleaded guilty to sexual battery was strangled to death by his 20-year-old cellmate. Both the youth's attorney and the sentencing judge had tried unsuccessfully to get the boy into treatment rather than prison.

In Ironton, Ohio, a l5-year-old girl ran away from home overnight, then returned to her parents, but was put in the adult county jail by the juvenile court judge to teach her a lesson. On the fourth night of her confinement she was sexually assaulted by a deputy jailer. More than 500 children had been incarcerated in the jail over a three-year period, many for truancy and other status offenses (which would not be crimes if committed by adults) (See Doe v. Burwell).

In Boise, Idaho, a l7-year-old boy was held in the adult jail for failing to pay $73 in traffic fines. Over a l4-hour period, he was tortured and finally murdered by other prisoners in the cell. Another teenager had been beaten unconscious by the same inmates several days earlier. More than 650 children had been held in the jail over a three-year period, 42% for traffic offenses and l7% for status offenses (See Yellen v. Ada County).

In LaGrange, Kentucky, a l5-year-old boy was confined in the adult jail for refusing to obey his mother. Soon after he got in the jail, he took off his shirt, wrapped one sleeve around his neck and the other around the bars of his cell, and hanged himself. Jail records showed that l,390 children were held over a four-year period, most for minor and status offenses (See Horn v. Oldham County).

In rural Glenn County, California, a l5-year-old girl was taken to the local jail for staying out past curfew. After several days, she had a detention hearing, but was not released. When she went back to her cell, she hanged herself (See Robbins v. Glenn County).

In Knox County, Indiana, a l7-year-old girl was held in the county jail for shoplifting a $6 bottle of suntan lotion. Despite a history of emotional problems, she was put in an isolation cell. Several hours later, she committed suicide by hanging herself (See Wilhite v. Kirkham).[/ur l]

Here's a good site, with individual cases listed for reference of Kids tried as adults...


So, whats your opinion, Should this happen, should this be legal. What are your arguements for or against this ?

I don't agree with it. I don't think that Kids should be tried as adults, I don't think they should be in "adult" prisons and treated as adults while there. It's wrong in my eyes.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 11:50 AM
Don't do the crime and you won't do the time...

Most of the kids sentenced as adults are repeat offenders (and I mean REPEAT offenders) and know that by being a kid, they can beat the system, get out, and keep committing crimes, etc. For most, the only way to end the cycle is either when busted as an adult, or tried as one while young.

I DO have a problem though, with kids being detained in an adult jail BEFORE being convicted as an adult. That is a serious miscarriage of justice that needs to be rectified.

As a result of these changes, significantly more youth are tried as adults in the adult criminal court and held in adult correctional facilities. Youth tried in the adult criminal court face the same penalties as adults, including the death penalty or life without parole; will receive little or no education, mental health treatment, or rehabilitative programming; will obtain an adult criminal record which may significantly limit their future education and employment opportunities; and are at greater risk of rape, assault and death in adult jails and prisons with adult inmates. The negative impact of these expanded state transfer law changes has most seriously affected African American, Latino and Native American youth.

They made these choices for their lives...they have to live with the consequence of those choices... Again, I'm talking about serious repeat offenders...the kind of kid you KNOW will not be rehabilitated.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 02:15 PM
Yeah, I understand that some of these Kids are repeat offenders, but they're still kids... do they really understand the consiquences of thier actions.... do they deserve to be punished as an adult ?

posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 01:03 AM

Originally posted by elevatedone
Yeah, I understand that some of these Kids are repeat offenders, but they're still kids... do they really understand the consiquences of thier actions.... do they deserve to be punished as an adult ?

That is the question. But given the sophistication of some of the crimes and the brutality of some, one has to think they are aware of what they are doing. What age is too young? 14 15 16? Below 15, I begin to have issues with it. Part if it is a capital case. However, A 14 year old that kills someone should they really be able to get out in 4 years? or even 9?

posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 01:15 AM
It is obviously sinking into barbarism to charge kids as adults.

Wake up and quit going along with all those mealy mouthed brainwashed to the right of Hitler radio commentators.

Take back America from these mindless people who have no conscience.

I am mad as you know what and I am not going to take it anymore!

[edit on 20-8-2004 by SkipShipman]

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 09:18 AM
okay, good points made by some..

aside from trying a kid as an adult, what about the prison that they go to?

If found guilty, should a teenager be sent to maximum security prison ?

They're still kids, regardless of what acts they've done or comitted.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 09:23 AM
I agree that they should be tried as adults if they commit crimes.

Now the question is does this child committed the crime in self defense or because it wanted too.

So it is difficult to find the fine line, but for repeated crime offenders yeah they should be treated as criminals and given maximum sentence under the law.

You released them and how are the chances of doing the crime again.

[edit on 24-8-2004 by marg6043]

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 09:37 AM
A 12 year old knows what he is doing. They aren't that dumb. A 12 year old knows what it means to get in a fight with someone. They certainly know what a violent crime is. I remember being under 18 and my friends saying "they can't do anything because I'm not 18". It used as a tool by these kids. They know EXACTLY what they are doing. Best way to end this is to give one of the little pieces of trash the death penalty. Send a strong message to all the other little punks out there that you aren't going to hide behind your age. When it comes to financial law, environmental law I'd say no because some of this stuff is too complicated even for adults. But anyone over 10 knows what a violent crime is about.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 09:49 AM
hmmm. im all for teenagers being tried as adult for their crimes however...until they are 18 they should be in a facility with others teenagers.

as a stupid teenager i was locked up in a facilty for teenagers, i was put with theives and petty criminals but one in particular...was convicted of murder. they let him serve part of his time there unilt he was 18 and was made clear to him when he turned 18 he was going to "grown up" prison.

see youth detention centers are jokes, the one i was at was. they made you go to "School" and all that but it was a joke. no real "rehabilitation" went on, you just sat in your cell unless you were going somewhere or coming back from somewhere else in the building. there was a common room 8 people shared and play card games or simple games like checkers or something like that but for the most part...its a joke. those i was with treated it as a joke and took none of it seriously.

in fact in my city we've had several teenagers tried and convicted as adults, however before being put into a regular prison they were allowed to spend their time in a youth detention center until they were 18.

but lets not pretend they dont know any better. all of the ones i met there knew all too well but didnt care or treated life like it was a game.

there was a time when being a "kid" was a defense for a youths behavior but not any longer. when we hear about 9 year old boys raping little girls and preteens killing other kids over a game...i think its time to not only examine how we treat them as offenders but treat the situation they grew up in, at least try to find out what causes such behavior and make an attempt to prevent it. of course that starts at home.

anyway before i go on a rant about done.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 09:57 AM
I'll pick up where you left off. Its the damn parents fault. They are either too stupid and think "my kid would NEVER do that" or they simply are not home and their kids get left unattended. My son is going to be 10 in a couple of weeks and I have control over who he hangs out with. I won't let him hang out with my neighbor kids because they are rude and irresponsible. I had the kid next door come over when I was out on my porch and ask for my son to come out. I told him that he can't come out right now. That little brat told me he could come out if he wanted to. I told him to get the F out of my yard and don't come back. And he is like that because of his parents. The kid has no future but jail and no one to blame but his ignorant parents.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 10:07 AM
I wonder what would happen if parents were held legally responsible for their childrens actions up to the age when they can be sent to a junoir prison/ young offenders inst.? After all, isn't it ultimately the parents job to bring their children up properly?
Here in the UK, there have been and increasing number of cases where parents have been held responsible for their childrens misdemeanours - mainly parents of persistent minor offenders - with one mother being handed a two month jail term for her children being constantly truant from school. I think it would be difficult to legislate for extreme circumstances such as murder, rape etc, but in cases of anti-social behavoir, criminal damage, theft, assault - if the parents were forced to take the rap, we would see a marked reduction in crimes of this nature.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 10:20 AM
first with indy...

i agree with what you say. i watch kids in what was a relatively quiet nice neighborhood now run around looking "hard" and smoking as preteens, cussing, walking in the middle of the street not getting out of the way for cars, destroying people's property and basically acting like complete savages. in short those who are acting like this are the same ones with parents who dont know and seemingly do not care what their children are doing where they do it or who they do it with. but its not just the parents. i do feel as a home owner it is my obligation to keep an eye out for trouble and trouble makers and to prevent trouble from happening. what is most unfortante in my neighborhood is most dont care. they see them and just shake their head. my own next door neighbor has kids that walk all over her because she lets them. she feels so helpless that she doesnt bother. now across the street from me there's a kid who causes ZERO problems for his parents as they refuse to take any of it off him.

while i do blame the parents i also blame those in their neighborhoods and simply sit back and watch it happen but do nothing to stop it.

for paul...

if we were to hold the parents responsible there'd be a lot of parents in jail or prison and there'd be a lot of minors becoming wards of the state.

the problem with holding the parents responsible is the parents feel they've done nothing wrong. they genuinely see nothing wrong with how they raise their children and to an extent they cant prevent every little thing their choildren do. i know i wasnt the greatest kid. i knew better and i dont feel anyone in my family should have been held accountable for my actions. another problem with this is, it doesnt teach the child anything, if anything it will teach them that their parents and not they who will be punished. the WRONG message if you ask me.

of course i'd love to make it legislated that you have to go through a battery of tests and such before being allowed to have a child but that's just wrong.

there is no one size fits all answer. its a multifaceted problem that requires multifacted thinking and multifaceted ideas on addressing and attempting to fix these problems.

but it is nice to see people thinking of the root causes instead of adressing the end result of those problems. proper previous planning prevents piss poor production. a little forethought can go a lot farther than trying to put a bandaid on a broken arm.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 10:21 AM
try children as adults
great idea
for too long children have been getting away with crime simply because they young

when I watch crime programs on TV, when the police respond to a crime, if a kid causes the crime then he/she always says something like 'you can't arrest me I'm a Kid' or 'You can't throw me in prison, I'm not old enough'

I say lock up all the yobs

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 10:54 AM
What everone has forgoton .
Back in the day the first time a kid did something like stealing everone came down HARD on the kid The place the kid stiole from the police and the parents all came down on the kid .
The result from this the KID learned thr FIRST time that they would reap the consacounces of there acctions.
Now The they dont know better has taken hold and kids can do anything including murder and get no reprecousions from it.
Im of the old school in thought I started my kids learning young and came down hard on the first infraction they had .Needless to say my kids are very well behaved and its a pleasure to be with them when we go out.
Most importantly I teach them that its there RESPONCIBILTY when they cause a problem for someone and they MUST fix the trouble they made.
And to top it off my kids are NOT afraid of me as my line is very clear.
And they know that we can have fun as long as they are resoponcibly.
And I rarly ever need to spank them . You know why ? Because NO IS NO.Even if they try going to mom after asking me its STILL NO.
never buge off no and its easy.
It starts like this 2 year old comes up to dad and asks for a cookie .Dad says no then kid goes to mom and mom says no.But kid realy wants a cookie and asks again untill out of frurastion mom or dad gives in .
Congrads you have started you kid on the road to having BAD problems.
IF you say NO stick to it .And never thretian a punishment you DONT intend to carry through.
Like the your grounded bit .Your grounded for two weeks from your playstation.
A week later kids back playing it. Whats the point in saying it if you dont follow through?? The kid just learns how to push to get what they want and they push HARDER each time and farther. Have we all forgoton how to raise children???All I can say is I see my country and world falling apart around me and all people are doing is saying its not my problem.
Well it is your problem and we will all find this out after its to late.
Bummer . Humens intellegent =oxiemoron lolol

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 10:55 AM
I agree that parents has a lot to do with children behavior, but I blame our society also that has turned his back to the problem of parents that are not fit to become parents but is ok.

And if you live in the south like I do in a small town you will see what I mean most single mothers around here are barely children themselves and they are trust to raise children, I have seen these children running their neighborhood like gangs and committing all kind of minor crimes but as they get old with not parental guidance because the parents need guidance themselves they chose the only live they know and our society targets them since early age to failure.

So we have to blame not only the parents (if a parent is present) but also society.

We also should pity these children in a way.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 11:12 AM
Well, I think this may sound harsh but I believe that anyone who is found guilty of knowingly and intentionally committing a crime (serious or minor) needs to face the same punishment.

I don't want to hear anyone say children don't know the difference between right and wrong. That argument is irrelevant for one simple reason. Most criminals of all sorts don't know the difference between right and wrong. Murder is wrong, period. Society, religion, family upbringing, all teach that murder is wrong. I firmly believe only a disturbed person can go through with murdering someone else. A rational person can not. If you say that a 16 year old who shoots someone in the head should be let out after 4 years since he "doesn't know wrong from right", well then I could use that argument for any murderer just the same.

It's incorrect. A life is steered and changed by the person living it. If that person decides to go against what is normal then they have to face the punishment. If the punishment for a murderer is 25 years in prison, then a murderer should get 25 years in prison, whether they are 15 at the time or 35. It doesn't matter. I remember being 15 just like anyone else does. I would hardly consider myself a smart person at the time, or consider myself anything other than a kid, BUT I sure as hell knew not to kill anyone.

I'm not saying a kid who commits a crime at age 13 is a monster, but there is clearly a problem there and I don't think there is anything wrong with making sure that person does not interact with the rest of society.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 02:46 PM
Well, the little bastards shouldn't be allowed to get away with something just because they are young. "Youth, threesomes, and excuses are wasted on the young."Just made it up, branching off of the orignal saying of "Youth is wasted on the young." and the newer version from Rescue Me "Threesomes, like youth, are wasted on the young."

But it is great, have a freind who commited two Assaults with a deadly, breaking and entering, and aggravated tresspasing. He was 2 days away from being 18. He is now in kiddie court. WTF? He was 2 days away from being an adult when he committed these crimes and yet he is in kiddie court. If you don't know that beating people with a 2x4 when you are 17 is a crime, then you have more problems than that.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 03:05 PM
It's nice to see members laying the blame right where it belongs, on the parents.
This is the society that has set it up that a parent can be charged with assault and have their kids taken from them if they administer corporal punishment. How smart is that? Don't dicipline your kids but if they go astray we will hold you responsible.

Now, trying young offenders as adults? If they are repeat offenders as was noted above, go right ahead. Detention centers are just places for offenders to network. Kids actually come out worse than they went in.

The whole system is flawed, from how you can raise your kidsto putting kids in jail for having some pot. They come out with friends that will take them to the wonderful world of B&E's. From there escalation is inevitable.

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 05:10 PM
I wish there was an easy answer, but the truth is there are multiple issues. Single parent families & families where both parents have to work is a problem. The system is so bad the kids are destroyed or at least worse then when they went in. Many kids know they can get away with more because they are kids, so there has to be punishment to fit the crime. Most kids that are charged as adults have committed murder in such a way that most feel getting out at 21 is too lenient. Although they are often stalked by predators in adult prisons, I understand the youth facilities are often worse.

Bottom line they need disipline & an education if they want to survive, and if were going to let them out we need to give that to them, otherwise we might as well throw away the key.

[edit on 24-8-2004 by outsider]

posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 05:16 PM
I think any kids 12 or over is well aware of right and wrong unless there is some type of mental issue and need to face the consequences. I also think parents need to be help responsible for minor children

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