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. #451
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    First off thanks for the compliment, but you must have a poor opinion of teens if you think I'm particularly mature and intelligent. Part of the problem teens have is communicating with people because the adult world seldom listens and just thinks we are dumb. It is only on boards like this we can express ourselves, and even then I am reluctant to advertise my age. I am flattered by your confidence in the 11 year old me, but I'm sorry to say it is not justified. I was a very wild kid, and by the time I was 13 I had got into serious trouble - nothing which would have sent me to prison, but pretty serious trouble all the same. The point of telling you this is to demonstrate that not only the terminally dumb get in trouble, but also my experiences have helped me learn about human consequences. That is why I feel so strongly about this subject.
    I have two teenage step daughters. I am exposed to more teenagers than I care to and can still say quite honestly you are a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, you're not doing my country much good unless you immigrate!

    Again, I don't know you. I don't know your definition of "wild," though I doubt it includes causing physical harm to anyone. However, if you had intentionally hurt someone, would you have known at the age of 11 that it was wrong and that you would be punished?

    Of course I can't be sure about this, but I honestly doubt he had a clear idea of what dying is, and its consequences to those who loved his victim. I was considered a pretty bright kid by everyone - my mum, my relatives, my teachers, etc. when I was his age, but I dunno if I really had much of a handle on death at that time. I have never been around guns (not even my dad's service revolver or his fowling pieces,) but I cannot be certain that I would not have killed someone by accident, or in a rage, if I had access to firearms when I was 11. And I come from a stable, non-abusive home.
    No one has a clear idea of what dying is. I can't say my understanding of it has become any more advanced of death has become any more advanced since I was a kid, except perhaps I'm a tad less afraid of it. The point remains though that in sixth grade, I knew I didn't want to die, I knew I didn't want anyone I loved to die and I had the ability to expand that understanding to include the fact that other people wouldn't want their loved ones to die. Possibly I was a genius, though I have the sneak suspicion that I was just a normal kid.

    Kids know murder is wrong. They know what death is. They know there are consequences for their actions. That they chose to ignore self control does not change the fact that they are still responsible for their actions. I don't see any other factor that remains for them to avoid being held to the same level of punishment as adults.

    And I mean no disrespect to your views when I say that it just seems improper to try this kid, or any kid his age, as an adult. I have discussed this with my uncle who is a Queen's Council in London, and he tells me that would be an impossibility in any civilised jurisdiction. He drew my attention to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in particular to the articles that say no one under 18 shall be subject to the adult penal code, failing which, the establishment of a minimum age below which children shall be presumed not to have the capacity to infringe the penal law, irrespective of the crime, is mandatory. But the convention specifies 18.

    Unfortunately, the only two societies on earth which have refused to ratify this convention are Somalia and the United States of America.
    I have no shame for that. You cannot possibly believe that someone that's 17 and 364 days has no idea what they're doing when they kill someone, but someone that's 18 does.

    I'll ask you the same thing I asked jallman. What list of criteria do you think should be present that can be applied to ALL offenders to decide if they should be tried as adults or children. Obviously there's some level of comprehension that you believe adults have that children do not. What makes up that comprehension, in your mind?
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  2. #452
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Kelzie, thanks for your long and thoughtful response. Honestly, I respect the patience with which you, as a mum with teenage daughters, are approaching this discussion, and I am trying to explain to you my thoughts on the matter. Again, I mean no disrespect, but I suspect we are not going to convince each other of our respective points of view. But I appreciate the fact that you are not simply dismissive of my views.

    I find it disturbing that your society and justice system could view an 11 year old as a fully responsible adult. I think there is the possiblity that the kid did not fully understand the consequences of his actions.

    And there is another side of it for me. A couple of years ago I spent a very enjoyable time visiting and travelling around your society. The Americans I met were great, and very friendly and generous, especially to kids (I was like 14 then). I guess I'm disappointed that the same warm friendly society can try an 11 year old kid on a capital crime as an adult. It just doesn't jive with the nice people I met.
    I hate the idea of causes, and if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country. E.M. Forster

  3. #453
    The Almighty
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    Kelzie, thanks for your long and thoughtful response. Honestly, I respect the patience with which you, as a mum with teenage daughters, are approaching this discussion, and I am trying to explain to you my thoughts on the matter. Again, I mean no disrespect, but I suspect we are not going to convince each other of our respective points of view. But I appreciate the fact that you are not simply dismissive of my views.

    I find it disturbing that your society and justice system could view an 11 year old as a fully responsible adult. I think there is the possiblity that the kid did not fully understand the consequences of his actions.

    And there is another side of it for me. A couple of years ago I spent a very enjoyable time visiting and travelling around your society. The Americans I met were great, and very friendly and generous, especially to kids (I was like 14 then). I guess I'm disappointed that the same warm friendly society can try an 11 year old kid on a capital crime as an adult. It just doesn't jive with the nice people I met.
    Well, as long as you don't go murdering pregnant women, I imagine all your visits will be just as pleasant!

    I find it disturbing that a society would view someone as not responsible simply because of his/her age. Now if it could be shown that they are lacking some quality that makes them not mature enough to understand the nature of their crime, then I agree, they should be charged as a child.
    be humble for you are made of earth; be noble for you are made of stars

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  4. #454
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    I find it disturbing that your society and justice system could view an 11 year old as a fully responsible adult. I think there is the possiblity that the kid did not fully understand the consequences of his actions.
    I don't think that anybody views them as a fully responsible adult. Some of us to view their actions (murder) as one that transcends age. Murder requires forethought. A person that is 11 is capable of understanding that killing a person is wrong. It is that simple.

  5. #455
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flea View Post
    I don't think that anybody views them as a fully responsible adult. Some of us to view their actions (murder) as one that transcends age. Murder requires forethought. A person that is 11 is capable of understanding that killing a person is wrong. It is that simple.
    Fair enough, I guess. But that body of water that separates us is a lot wider than I first thought.
    I hate the idea of causes, and if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country. E.M. Forster

  6. #456
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    Fair enough, I guess. But that body of water that separates us is a lot wider than I first thought.
    That is possible. I have found that people are more alike than they care to admit, in most cases. Most people agree on the idea of a problem - children murdering is wrong, the separation comes in deciding how to solve the problem. The differences can be small, and lead to so many more damn problems.

  7. #457
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    Fair enough, I guess. But that body of water that separates us is a lot wider than I first thought.
    Not really. There are some civilized people here in the US who are capable of understanding that children are children and should not be treated as adults.

  8. #458
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    Not really. There are some civilized people here in the US who are capable of understanding that children are children and should not be treated as adults.
    So those of us that think that a murdering 11 year old should be treated to the same consequence as an adult are not civilized? Say it ain't so jallman!

  9. #459
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    Not really. There are some civilized people here in the US who are capable of understanding that children are children and should not be treated as adults.
    Because the rest of us by implication are uncivilized and incapable of understanding? That's hardly fair. The most that you could say is we have a different idea of who is reponsible for their own actions.
    be humble for you are made of earth; be noble for you are made of stars

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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelzie View Post
    Because the rest of us by implication are uncivilized and incapable of understanding? That's hardly fair. The most that you could say is we have a different idea of who is reponsible for their own actions.
    Anyone who would place an 11 year old in the way of facing a capital offense as an adult is not civilized by any stretch of the imagination.

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