View Poll Results: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

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  • Yes, this particular young man is a perfect example

    13 17.33%
  • No, never.

    39 52.00%
  • The justice system needs another alternative for extremely young, potentially dangerous offenders

    18 24.00%
  • Other, please explain

    5 6.67%
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Thread: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

  1. #411
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelzie View Post
    Using age as the determing factor is extremely subjective. It has nothing to do with a desire to "get someone." He did something wrong knowlingly. He should be treated no different than any else who did the same thing with the same mental characteristics. If he knows what he did was wrong, if he knows he will be punished for it and if he can understand the legal system, he should be treated like an adult who knows the same. That's objective.
    There is nothing objective about determining on a case by case basis, on the sole judgment in the heat of the aftermath of a crime, whether the kid is an adult or not. What is objective is determining a base line from statistical means and then never deviating from that standard regardless of how we feel about the individual in question or his actions.

    Not to get into a book discussion with you, but Lord of the Flies was an allegory for human, adult nature and society at large. Children were used to show that it was human nature, not just natural to children.
    I disagree entirely. The use of children and the absence of adults and authoritarian forces in charge of socializing the kids was a pervasive theme in that book. It was so believable and so poignant because these were kids, with blurred lines between reality and fantasy, morality and impulse, social norms and instinct, civilized justice and animalistic "might makes right". Of course, you can take a New Critical analysis of the book and make it into any allegory you wish but a strict deconstructionist argument of the book indicates that children were used as the characters because they had not been totally socialized and this "human nature" has not been suppressed by enforcement of civilized morality.

    I don't know what kind of kid you were but I played very nicely with my sister, whether my mom was watching or not. I agree that most bullying shouldn't be prosecuted because it's not in the real world. But when it crosses over to harrassment, it needs to be. You can't harrass someone and get away with it when you're adult, you shouldn't be able to when you're a kid.
    I agree you shouldn't "get away with it" as a kid either. That's part of socialization: consequences commensurate with culpability in the matter at hand. To criminally try children because they screw up and act out during the socialization process is beyond irrational, however. There is an expectation that kids are not always going to be kids...that they are going to mature and rise to the morality taught to them over time. To impress permanent, life destroying punishment over something that is part of the maturation process does not make any sense at all. That is part of your "human consequence" we were talking about earlier.
    Last edited by jallman; 04-11-10 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #412
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    There is nothing objective about determining on a case by case basis, on the sole judgment in the heat of the aftermath of a crime, whether the kid is an adult or not. What is objective is determining a base line from statistical means and then never deviating from that standard regardless of how we feel about the individual in question or his actions.
    When you consider that everyone matures at a different pace, taking it on a case by case basis is the only way it can be objectively handled.

    I disagree entirely. The use of children and the absence of adults and authoritarian forces in charge of socializing the kids was a pervasive theme in that book. It was so believable and so poignant because these were kids, with blurred lines between reality and fantasy, morality and impulse, social norms and instinct, civilized justice and animalistic "might makes right". Of course, you can take a New Critical analysis of the book and make it into any allegory you wish but a strict deconstructionist argument of the book indicates that children were used as the characters because they had not been totally socialized and this "human nature" has not been suppressed by enforcement of civilized morality.
    See, I told you I didn't want to get into a book discussion and now you're going to make me pull up the SparkNotes.

    The central concern of Lord of the Flies is the conflict between two competing impulses that exist within all human beings: the instinct to live by rules, act peacefully, follow moral commands, and value the good of the group against the instinct to gratify one’s immediate desires, act violently to obtain supremacy over others, and enforce one’s will. This conflict might be expressed in a number of ways: civilization vs. savagery, order vs. chaos, reason vs. impulse, law vs. anarchy, or the broader heading of good vs. evil. Throughout the novel, Golding associates the instinct of civilization with good and the instinct of savagery with evil.
    SparkNotes: Lord of the Flies: Themes, Motifs & Symbols

    Nothing about kids.

    I agree you shouldn't "get away with it" as a kid either. That's part of socialization" consequences commensurate with culpability in the matter at hand. To criminally try children because they screw up and act out during the socialization process is beyond irrational, however. There is an expectation that kids are not always going to be kids...that they are going to mature and rise to the morality taught to them over time. To impress permanent, life destroying punishment over something that is part of the maturation process does not make any sense at all. That is part of your "human consequence" we were talking about earlier.
    When kids make decisions that actually do destroy a life, not just figuratively, then the time to treat them as children is gone. There is no objective reason for how our society treats children. Globally and historically, this "child" would be responsible for providing for the family by his age. Western society has decided he's still to young to handle being held accountable for his own decisions based on subjective feelings. When compared to the same standards that we hold adults to though in deciding competence, you offer no reason why he should be treated differently other than the fact that he's a kid and he can't control himself. There's nothing in his nature that either makes him a) unaware what he did was wrong or b) unaware that what he did has consequences. Legal systems aside, and purely on a philosophical basis I see no reason to include any other criteria for determining when to hold someone accountable for their actions.
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  3. #413
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelzie View Post
    When you consider that everyone matures at a different pace, taking it on a case by case basis is the only way it can be objectively handled.
    No, that is the very definition of "subjectivity". It is to look at the subject rather than the objective. Within the limits of this discussion, the objective is application of blind justice.

    See, I told you I didn't want to get into a book discussion and now you're going to make me pull up the SparkNotes.
    When SparkNotes becomes the standard for literary critique, I will be inclined to accept it as truth. Until then, my point stands. As does yours. That's what makes literary critique "subjective" by nature.

    When kids make decisions that actually do destroy a life, not just figuratively, then the time to treat them as children is gone. There is no objective reason for how our society treats children. Globally and historically, this "child" would be responsible for providing for the family by his age.
    Oh really? Globally and historically, this child would be providing for the family by age 11? In what third world country? That's about the only place an 11 year old would be responsible for the provision of his family's welfare and even then I question the age of 11.

    There's a reason we are considered a civilized country.

    Western society has decided he's still to young to handle being held accountable for his own decisions based on subjective feelings.
    No, nothing subjective about it despite your desperate need to paint it so.

    When compared to the same standards that we hold adults to though in deciding competence, you offer no reason why he should be treated differently other than the fact that he's a kid and he can't control himself.
    That's a blatant lie. I have offered many reasons and you have simply decided not to take note of them because they are inconvenient to your argument that children should be held solely culpable when you are particularly put off by their crimes.

    There's nothing in his nature that either makes him a) unaware what he did was wrong or b) unaware that what he did has consequences. Legal systems aside, and purely on a philosophical basis I see no reason to include any other criteria for determining when to hold someone accountable for their actions.
    Legal systems aside, huh? Well good, let's just throw the whole goddamned system out and go back to public lynchings since it's not about legal systems and objectivity. As long as you, who have confessed a distaste and disgust for children anyway, see no reason to have standards, then it's all good, right?

  4. #414
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    All lawyers are suppose to provide the best defense for there client, even when he did the crime. This lawyer looks like he changed sides. That is for me a shock. His lawyer could have offered other ways to punish him. In Germany he would have gotten 10 years maximum.
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  5. #415
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    No, that is the very definition of "subjectivity". It is to look at the subject rather than the objective. Within the limits of this discussion, the objective is application of blind justice.
    Applying the same objective standards to all the subjects is not subjective. That's like saying grading a test is subjective because there are multiple subjects.

    When SparkNotes becomes the standard for literary critique, I will be inclined to accept it as truth. Until then, my point stands. As does yours. That's what makes literary critique "subjective" by nature.
    I did say I didn't want to get into a book discussion. There's a reason I'm in accounting.

    Oh really? Globally and historically, this child would be providing for the family by age 11? In what third world country? That's about the only place an 11 year old would be responsible for the provision of his family's welfare and even then I question the age of 11.

    There's a reason we are considered a civilized country.
    Perhaps we are better, perhaps not. That doesn't change the fact that children are more capable than we believe them to be.

    No, nothing subjective about it despite your desperate need to paint it so.
    Perhaps I've been away from this site too long and I'm too used to how adults converse face to face. I have a feeling you're not this rude to people in front of you.

    That's a blatant lie. I have offered many reasons and you have simply decided not to take note of them because they are inconvenient to your argument that children should be held solely culpable when you are particularly put off by their crimes.
    I certainly didn't mean to blatantly lie. If you would be so kind, could you please just summarize your system of deciding who can be tried as an adult that works for all offenders. See, my criteria applies to all. You appear to have seperate sets of criteria based off of a subjectively decided age.

    Legal systems aside, huh? Well good, let's just throw the whole goddamned system out and go back to public lynchings since it's not about legal systems and objectivity. As long as you, who have confessed a distaste and disgust for children anyway, see no reason to have standards, then it's all good, right?
    Well your legal system is trying this kid as an adult. Your legal system routinely tries teenagers as adults. So I'm on board with the legal system. I'm just trying to reach a philosophical understanding of what level of maturity implies responsibility for your actions.
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  6. #416
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    I've nothing left to say on the matter. I will just summarize by stating that in order for the law to be applied in a fair and consistent manner, some baseline has to be established. Now how we go about establishing that baseline and from what statistical mean we do that is another discussion entirely. However, it serves no purpose to society or the pursuit of justice to establish a dual criminal justice system and then to willy nilly toss out any standards or thresholds in favor of subjective treatment of the individual based on judgments made in the moment and aftermath of their crime. That is begging for human error to eclipse blind justice and I, for one, think we are more civilized than that.

  7. #417
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    I've nothing left to say on the matter. I will just summarize by stating that in order for the law to be applied in a fair and consistent manner, some baseline has to be established. Now how we go about establishing that baseline and from what statistical mean we do that is another discussion entirely. However, it serves no purpose to society or the pursuit of justice to establish a dual criminal justice system and then to willy nilly toss out any standards or thresholds in favor of subjective treatment of the individual based on judgments made in the moment and aftermath of their crime. That is begging for human error to eclipse blind justice and I, for one, think we are more civilized than that.
    I am in favor of a single objective evaluation for all offenders. If psychiatrists believe they meet the criteria, they are tried as adults, regardless of their age. That is a baseline.
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    And what are the guidlines that such specialist set? It would be nice when normal adults would know this before there child goes to court.
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelzie View Post
    I am in favor of a single objective evaluation for all offenders. If psychiatrists believe they meet the criteria, they are tried as adults, regardless of their age. That is a baseline.
    No, that is a subjective evaluation and not a baseline. Unless you think we can perform a standardized test, on the spot, unbiased by the psychiatrist's views, differences in theory, etc.

    I don't see that happening as there are so many different schools of thought within the field of psychiatry alone. The justice system should seek to remove the subjective taint of its officers' world views as much as possible.

  10. #420
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by bennyhill View Post
    And what are the guidlines that such specialist set? It would be nice when normal adults would know this before there child goes to court.
    I've already provided one. I'm waiting for the other side to come up with one as well.
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