Should Juveniles Be Tried as Adults Bcom/275

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Learning Team Debate Paper Topic: Should juveniles be tried as adults?


February 19, 2013

Learning Team Debate Paper Topic: Should juveniles be tried as adults?

In 1899 the world’s first juvenile court opened in Chicago. The court was founded on two basic principles. The first principal was if the juvenile was mature enough to understand and accept the responsibility of the crime the way an adult would. Second, because their character was not yet fully developed, they could be rehabilitated more successfully than adult criminals. More than a century later, these principles remain the benchmarks of juvenile justice in the United States ("Juvenile Law History"2013”,). Currently juvenile crimes have increased, and cases are analyzed and tried in adult courts. Courts take in consideration certain criteria to allow each juvenile case to be tried as an adult. Minors in juvenile court delinquency proceedings do not have the same constitutional rights as those given to adults in regular court cases ("Nolo Law For All", 2013). Attorneys have requested transfers to allow the juvenile case be heard by a jury. The attorney’s strategic plan in having a jury trial is that a jury may be more sympathetic to the minor than a judge would be. However, if the juvenile is convicted in an adult court, they will receive an adult sentence. The traditional rule is that anyone under the age of 18 is a juvenile and will be tried in the juvenile court system ("Legal Match", 1999-2013). There are different state laws that decipher whether a juvenile case should or should not be transferred to an adult case. This paper will argue three main issues to determine if considered a juvenile should be tried as an adult. The issues are how old the juvenile is when committing the crime, the severity of the crime, and the possible history of the delinquent. Laws vary by state. The minimum age to be considered for a minor in some states is sixteen or older, where other...