Many times, juveniles believe that because they are minors, they can not or will not be tried as an adult. Having the mindset going into something that you will not have any severe consequences is unhealthy because it automatically gives you the assumption that because you are a child you get let off the hook. There is no fear being put into children if there are no severe consequences to what they do. I strongly affirm that in cases of felonies, specifically murder or arson executed by juveniles based on the age of reason, that those juveniles should be charged as adults.
The age of reason is the age at which a person is viewed as being capable of knowing right from wrong. In the 18th century especially, there was a big approach on religious, social, and philosophical matters to reject one’s beliefs not being justifiable by reason. Depending on the state, they go right past the age of reason and infer that juveniles under the age of 18 be tried as an adult for a severe crime making their time spent in jail longer and more intense leaving the charge on your adult record.
Many people who oppose the idea of charging a kid as an adult use the argument that the kid does not understand the severity of their actions when committing murder. Those people would also argue that because these children in some cases do not personally know the person, they are committing a crime against then it does not completely register in their heads that that person is a human being.
It is said, that the child may not completely be aware that the victim has a family and friends just like they do. I highly disagree with that argument because the kid understands he is taking a life and taking a life is extremely cruel and repulsive. Not taking drastic measures to ensure that the juvenile gets punished and understands the consequences for their actions will lead to more criminal activity in the idea that their punishment will be far less strict and severe than being tried as an adult would since they are “Just kids”. If the state does not necessarily agree with the child being punished as an adult, then certainly if there is a second criminal act being done by the offender then they should be charged as an adult, because at that point it is shown that there was no learning experience from the first time around. Often you hear the argument that the parents should be the ones that take on the repercussions of their children’s actions, because if they were raised right, they would not be going around committing the crimes they are. That is an unfair statement because parents can not control every action their child makes regardless of how many times, they are told what is right or wrong. Each person controls the decisions he or she makes and it is no one else’s responsibility to take on the bad choices the juvenile has made, all parents can do is help guide their children and direct them towards the best path but the choices that kid makes is completely on them because no one made them do what they did, they simply choose to do it and they are further responsible to uphold the consequences of there actions, not there parents.
Although parents have a huge impact on their children’s life’s they are not the only ones that have an effect on the decisions they make. There are several other people who can convince another person to do something whether that be good or bad. I believe that if courts were to discipline children like they penalize adults then it would redirect various juveniles from committing crimes. The pressure from others would be much less, due to the impact of the consequences you would have, committing the crime being asked of you. With that being said, crime rates would decrease. You are not only helping one kid but several because you are letting that one kid set an example of what not do, or how the others could end up if they choose to continue down a dangerous path. Another crucial point is the death of a loved one. The loved ones of that specific person killed would agree the juvenile should be charged with an adult sentence and would not want the child to be let out before turning at least 18. If they really knew that the person who committed the action knew the hardships, they have caused then they would want them to sit in jail for years thinking about the damage they have caused several other people. They would want to make sure that the person truly understood what heartbreak it has caused and how it can really mess up their whole future in being successful and finding a great job, no one wants a criminal working for them… especially a criminal who has not been rightfully punished and has learned no lesson.
Finally, there will always be difficulties in seeing a kid being charged as an adult, no one wants any kid or adult to be in a huge amount of trouble with the law, but criminals have to be faced with reality and that there will be consequences that are not supposed to be enjoyable for them and that if they do not want to go through jail time and everything else that comes along with being a criminal, then hopefully they will think twice about taking someone’s life that is not their right to take.