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Should Juveniles Be Tried as Adults

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Submitted By bebewife2013
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Should juveniles be tried as adults? Does it depend on the crime committed? If so, what should be the determining factor(s) in deciding to transfer juveniles to adult courts?

Case Assignment 4
September 5, 2011
Violent crimes committed by juveniles have fluctuated over the years. The children of today are subjected to violence in popular songs, television shows, and even computer games. Parents’ having guns accessible to children and the society the child lives in all play a part in the destruction of our youth. Juvenile offenders are now facing tougher punishment for their actions. When a child kills, does he instantly become an adult? Or does he maintain some trappings of childhood, despite the gravity of his or her actions? These are the questions plaguing the American legal system today, as the violent acts of juvenile offenders continue to make headlines.
The Juvenile correction system is about one hundred years old. It was created in the 1800s on the philosophy that children are inherently different from adults and it is the state’s responsibility to protect and rehabilitate young offenders. Until the inception of the youth justice system, children were tried in criminal courts along with adults. Movement for juvenile justice reform was informed by the 16th century educational reform movement in England that perceived children to be different than miniature adults, with less than fully developed moral and cognitive capacities. As early as 1825, the Society for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency and other reform organizations were advocating for a separate court system for youth. In 1899, the first juvenile court was finally established in Cook County, Illinois, and by 1925, all but two states had followed suit. Again, borrowing from the British thinking, the doctrine parens patriae (the State as Parent) was the underpinning of the newly…...

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