View Poll Results: Should the 15 and 16 year old also be tried as adults

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  • yes and throw away the key

    89 89.00%
  • no, they deserve a second chance

    11 11.00%
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Thread: Should these teens be tried as adults

  1. #461
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by AlabamaPaul View Post
    The application of juvenile laws typically ends at age 21 or younger depending on the State. Should these teens be allowed to be reintroduced into society that quickly?
    Well it depends, and I certainly don't believe they should be let out by default when turning 21. When they are found to have cognitive/developmental deficits, they should probably get a legal guardian, and if they are (additionally) still considered a threat to society, they should probably get institutionalized after their legal punishment.
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  2. #462
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    We have a juvenile justice system to deal with relatively minor problems of juvenile delinquency like underage drinking, vandalism, brawling, petty theft, and suchlike... it is actually commonplace in most states for juveniles to be tried as adults if they commit a capital crime like murder. The Juvie system was never designed to handle capital crimes. It was intended to give juvenile offenders guilty of minor crimes a second chance.... not to let murderers get off lightly.
    So in some cases, we don't trust minors to be fully responsible for their actions, and in others, we don't, the only difference being that we find one thing more outrageous, the other not? That doesn't make sense. Either they are fully mature, or they aren't.

    And besides, where should we draw the line? Don't 6 year olds understand that killing another person is wrong, too? Of course they do. Yet nobody in his right mind would judge them with the same yardstick as adults, but look at the parents first.
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  3. #463
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Well it depends, and I certainly don't believe they should be let out by default when turning 21. When they are found to have cognitive/developmental deficits, they should probably get a legal guardian, and if they are (additionally) still considered a threat to society, they should probably get institutionalized after their legal punishment.
    I'm not familiar with the legal system in Germany, but you can't just transfer individuals between systems in the US. In order to be go with the insanity plea, they would have to do so from the get go, and from what has been reported, boredom does not make for a good insanity defense...
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  4. #464
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by AlabamaPaul View Post
    I'm not familiar with the legal system in Germany, but you can't just transfer individuals between systems in the US. In order to be go with the insanity plea, they would have to do so from the get go, and from what has been reported, boredom does not make for a good insanity defense...
    That's a good point ... I'm certainly no legal expert, so I didn't mean to comment on the particularities of the American system. As for Germany, I know that in case of juveniles, the developmental state of the perpetrator is taken into account, and even if legal punishment in prison is limited, it's possible to lock away perpetrators of certain violent crimes in institutions, when after serving their sentence it's found they're still a threat (like in case of sex offenders, i.e.).
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  5. #465
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) — With the simplest of motives — breaking up the boredom of an Oklahoma summer — three teenagers followed an Australian collegiate baseball player who was attending school in the U.S. and killed him with a shot to the back for “the fun of it,” prosecutors said Tuesday as they charged two of the teens with murder.
    As the boys appeared in an Oklahoma courtroom, a 17-year-old blurted out, “I pulled the trigger,” then wept after a judge told him that Tuesday’s hearing wasn’t the time or place to sort out the facts of the case.
    Prosecutor Jason Hicks called the boys “thugs” as he told Stephens County Judge Jerry Herberger how Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, died on a city street.
    Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards, Jr., 15, of Duncan were charged with first-degree murder and, under Oklahoma law, will be tried as adults. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, of Duncan was accused of using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. He is considered a youthful offender but will be tried in adult court. 3 Teens Charged After Australian Player Slain CBS Houston
    No, they shouldn't be tried as adults. If 18 is going to be the dividing line between a child and an adult, then that should be applied across the board. It's unfair to expect someone to uphold all the responsibilities of an adult while enjoying none of the privileges of being an adult.

    However, I also think sentencing should be changed so that it doesn't matter as much if you're tried as an adult or a child. Someone who commits a crime like this should be incarcerated and rehabilitated until they are deemed safe to return to normal society, regardless of their age. Prisoners would still be separated by age, and the rehabilitation for younger children might take a different form, but they'd still be the responsibility of the state until they were deemed safe. They shouldn't just be turned loose at 18 or 21 or whatever the age is in their state.
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  6. #466
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    So in some cases, we don't trust minors to be fully responsible for their actions, and in others, we don't, the only difference being that we find one thing more outrageous, the other not? That doesn't make sense. Either they are fully mature, or they aren't.

    And besides, where should we draw the line? Don't 6 year olds understand that killing another person is wrong, too? Of course they do. Yet nobody in his right mind would judge them with the same yardstick as adults, but look at the parents first.

    The problem is there is no "line" to be drawn, where we can say with certainty "Child on this side, responsible for nothing; adult on that side, responsible for everything."

    Growing up is a gradual process. Thus, legal maturity is a gradual process also. Certain things are allowed at 15, 16. Age of consent in the US btw is 16 in many states.

    Some rights are granted at 17... f'rinstance at 17 you can typically chose if you want to go live with your non-custodial parent.

    18 is consider legal adulthood for most purposes... but in most states there are still certain things that are forbidden you (alcohol and handguns to name two common ones) until 21.


    The Juvie Justice system gives MINOR offenders a chance to not have their life ruined because they stole a car to go joyriding in, or vandalized the math teacher's yard. The theory goes though, that if you're old enough to commit capital crimes, you may (depending on age and other factors) be old enough to stand trial as an adult, since JJ wasn't really intended for dealing with teenager murderers.


    Unless they are literally severely mentally disabled, there is simply no excuse for murdering a young man for no other reason than boredom. Their youth alone is not sufficient as a mitigating circumstance either, IMO.

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  7. #467
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The problem is there is no "line" to be drawn, where we can say with certainty "Child on this side, responsible for nothing; adult on that side, responsible for everything."

    Growing up is a gradual process. Thus, legal maturity is a gradual process also. Certain things are allowed at 15, 16. Age of consent in the US btw is 16 in many states.

    Some rights are granted at 17... f'rinstance at 17 you can typically chose if you want to go live with your non-custodial parent.

    18 is consider legal adulthood for most purposes... but in most states there are still certain things that are forbidden you (alcohol and handguns to name two common ones) until 21.


    The Juvie Justice system gives MINOR offenders a chance to not have their life ruined because they stole a car to go joyriding in, or vandalized the math teacher's yard. The theory goes though, that if you're old enough to commit capital crimes, you may (depending on age and other factors) be old enough to stand trial as an adult, since JJ wasn't really intended for dealing with teenager murderers.


    Unless they are literally severely mentally disabled, there is simply no excuse for murdering a young man for no other reason than boredom. Their youth alone is not sufficient as a mitigating circumstance either, IMO.
    Thanks for the explanation of that system.

    As far as I know, in case of minor (serious) offenders, there is always a case-by-case-basis investigation on the maturity level of the perpetrator. I feel that's what should happen. Because as you say, it's indeed impossible to draw one single line. And that's where the treatment of minors should differ from that of adults, IMO.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

  8. #468
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Thanks for the explanation of that system.

    As far as I know, in case of minor (serious) offenders, there is always a case-by-case-basis investigation on the maturity level of the perpetrator. I feel that's what should happen. Because as you say, it's indeed impossible to draw one single line. And that's where the treatment of minors should differ from that of adults, IMO.
    This is what the prosecutors have done in this case...
    I don't often change my signature, but this was just too over the top to let anyone forget with what this country is up against...
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  9. #469
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    Should these teens be tried as adults

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  10. #470
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    Re: Should these teens be tried as adults

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Thanks for the explanation of that system.

    As far as I know, in case of minor (serious) offenders, there is always a case-by-case-basis investigation on the maturity level of the perpetrator. I feel that's what should happen. Because as you say, it's indeed impossible to draw one single line. And that's where the treatment of minors should differ from that of adults, IMO.

    Well to some degree it is like that here. I was never expert in juvie justice (didn't do a lot of that back in the day), but IIRC when a serious crime is committed by a juvenile there are typically psyche tests and competency hearings as part of the decision whether to try to them as an adult or not.

    Of course politics can always rear its ugly head, and the exact mechanics will vary from state to state... as you have probably come to realize, States in the US are semi-autonomous in many ways and vary considerably in their legal systems.

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