Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

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Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  ramsams on Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:43 pm

This issue cross my mind today. When children (0-18yrs) are at home with parents or even in public we classify them as children and therefore not until they are 18 years, anything parents, teachers or anyone do to them, they are children. But when they are in trouble with the law, they are immediately adults. How can the legal system confuse the children this way. When they are serving time, they are rehabilitating, but are they rehabilitated as children or adults? they have lived beleiving they are kids but overnight, adults.

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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Phoenix on Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:09 pm

I believe it depends on the crime as well as exactly how old the minor would be. I actually couldn't find anything on Google in terms of specifics, but I believe the the two "big" crimes (rape and murder), children over the age of 13 will be tried as adults. I'm not so sure about minors under the age of 13. There have been cases of murder where children HAVE been tried as adults, but most of the time, they're tried as minors.

Personally, I agree with the working method: we judge on a case-by-case method. If there is a complex motive to either rape or murder, then minors over the age of 13 should be tried as adults. I don't think anyone under the age of 13, regardless of the crime, should be tried as adults.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  lisilver on Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:18 pm

Children should be responsible for their actions and held accountable for crimes they commit depending on the severity. We need to set a precedent and not allow these children to get away with heinous crimes. No crime should go unpunishable. Its a matter of what the crime is and what the punishment should be.

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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Phoenix on Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:02 pm

lisilver wrote:Children should be responsible for their actions and held accountable for crimes they commit depending on the severity. We need to set a precedent and not allow these children to get away with heinous crimes. No crime should go unpunishable. Its a matter of what the crime is and what the punishment should be.

Shocked

A lot of the time, children have no idea what they're doing when they're doing something of that nature. Like, children ages 9-12, it's due to horrible parenting, and below that, you can't expect the child to know what they're doing.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Eclipse on Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:40 pm

Phoenix wrote:
lisilver wrote:Children should be responsible for their actions and held accountable for crimes they commit depending on the severity. We need to set a precedent and not allow these children to get away with heinous crimes. No crime should go unpunishable. Its a matter of what the crime is and what the punishment should be.

Shocked

A lot of the time, children have no idea what they're doing when they're doing something of that nature. Like, children ages 9-12, it's due to horrible parenting, and below that, you can't expect the child to know what they're doing.

Since when does life have to be fair? They did the crime, they do the time. When I was that age, I knew perfectly well enough that certain things were wrong.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Phoenix on Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:17 pm

Eclipse wrote:Since when does life have to be fair? They did the crime, they do the time. When I was that age, I knew perfectly well enough that certain things were wrong.

That's because you were raised properly. However, a child can't be responsible for simply learning that killing people is okay, and then killing someone. He should be locked up, but not tried as an adult or thrown in prison.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Rombat on Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:21 pm

Phoenix wrote:
Eclipse wrote:Since when does life have to be fair? They did the crime, they do the time. When I was that age, I knew perfectly well enough that certain things were wrong.

That's because you were raised properly. However, a child can't be responsible for simply learning that killing people is okay, and then killing someone. He should be locked up, but not tried as an adult or thrown in prison.

How do we judge that though?
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Eclipse on Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:52 pm

Phoenix wrote:
Eclipse wrote:Since when does life have to be fair? They did the crime, they do the time. When I was that age, I knew perfectly well enough that certain things were wrong.

That's because you were raised properly. However, a child , and then killing someone. He should be locked up, but not tried as an adult or thrown in prison.

Was I? "Properly" can mean different things to different people. We as a society design punishments for crimes, and children are subject to those laws. Sometimes, they are tried as adults when it is thought they rationally knew what they were doing was wrong.

But I know mine is not the only view. You say that children "can't be responsible for simply learning that killing people is okay," then how can we imprison them at all?
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Phoenix on Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:59 pm

Eclipse wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
Eclipse wrote:Since when does life have to be fair? They did the crime, they do the time. When I was that age, I knew perfectly well enough that certain things were wrong.

That's because you were raised properly. However, a child , and then killing someone. He should be locked up, but not tried as an adult or thrown in prison.

Was I? "Properly" can mean different things to different people. We as a society design punishments for crimes, and children are subject to those laws. Sometimes, they are tried as adults when it is thought they rationally knew what they were doing was wrong.

But I know mine is not the only view. You say that children "can't be responsible for simply learning that killing people is okay," then how can we imprison them at all?

You're right. We would have to look at it by a case-by-case basis, like we already do, to determine if the child is thinking rationally.

Say a baby threw a knife and it punctures his or her parent's aorta and the parent dis. Are we going to give the baby a lawyer and put it on trial? Same thing with a young child. What if a child is roughhousing with his or her father, and land a pretty good his on the father's temple? What then?

If a 13 year old decides that he wants to kill his parents because his parents won't give him a cigarette, then yeah, put his ass on trial and sentence him like everyone else.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Eclipse on Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:02 pm

Phoenix wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
Eclipse wrote:Since when does life have to be fair? They did the crime, they do the time. When I was that age, I knew perfectly well enough that certain things were wrong.

That's because you were raised properly. However, a child , and then killing someone. He should be locked up, but not tried as an adult or thrown in prison.

Was I? "Properly" can mean different things to different people. We as a society design punishments for crimes, and children are subject to those laws. Sometimes, they are tried as adults when it is thought they rationally knew what they were doing was wrong.

But I know mine is not the only view. You say that children "can't be responsible for simply learning that killing people is okay," then how can we imprison them at all?

You're right. We would have to look at it by a case-by-case basis, like we already do, to determine if the child is thinking rationally.

Say a baby threw a knife and it punctures his or her parent's aorta and the parent dis. Are we going to give the baby a lawyer and put it on trial? Same thing with a young child. What if a child is roughhousing with his or her father, and land a pretty good his on the father's temple? What then?

If a 13 year old decides that he wants to kill his parents because his parents won't give him a cigarette, then yeah, put his ass on trial and sentence him like everyone else.

I was under the impression we were talking about cases where the child meant to cause harm. When it truly is an accident, a distinction is made even for adults.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Phoenix on Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:06 pm

Eclipse wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
Eclipse wrote:Since when does life have to be fair? They did the crime, they do the time. When I was that age, I knew perfectly well enough that certain things were wrong.

That's because you were raised properly. However, a child , and then killing someone. He should be locked up, but not tried as an adult or thrown in prison.

Was I? "Properly" can mean different things to different people. We as a society design punishments for crimes, and children are subject to those laws. Sometimes, they are tried as adults when it is thought they rationally knew what they were doing was wrong.

But I know mine is not the only view. You say that children "can't be responsible for simply learning that killing people is okay," then how can we imprison them at all?

You're right. We would have to look at it by a case-by-case basis, like we already do, to determine if the child is thinking rationally.

Say a baby threw a knife and it punctures his or her parent's aorta and the parent dis. Are we going to give the baby a lawyer and put it on trial? Same thing with a young child. What if a child is roughhousing with his or her father, and land a pretty good his on the father's temple? What then?

If a 13 year old decides that he wants to kill his parents because his parents won't give him a cigarette, then yeah, put his ass on trial and sentence him like everyone else.

I was under the impression we were talking about cases where the child meant to cause harm. When it truly is an accident, a distinction is made even for adults.

There is also a distinction between a true accident (someone operating a crane carrying a piano, it dropping and killing someone) and a completely preventable one (people sparring with sharp swords and someone being killed).

Alright, what's rational for a two year old? A two year old has access to a gun (because it's lying on a dresser somewhere), is throwing a tantrum because its parents won't give it a cookie, shoots and kills its parents. Are you going to slap a two year old with a lawyer and put it on trial?
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Eclipse on Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:06 pm

Yes, each case is unique.

I would think there are physical limitations to what a two-year old can do, but in that particular case the child would not be at fault. He is physically too young to understand, unlike, say, a six year old who is more developed to the potential to understand the difference.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Ravenousblue on Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:45 pm

There are so many factors in determining if a child can be culpable in a crime that I believe that each case would need to be reviewed an determined individually. Recently in the news there was the case of the teenagers setting a 15 year old boy on fire. The details of why have not been revealed, but I am sure that they knew what they were planning on doing was wrong before they did it. The boy who was set on fire will never be the same, and no punishment inflicted on these boys will get the victim his life back. That being said, by trying these children as adults what do we hope to accomplish? Discouraging others? Setting a precedent that setting other kids on fire is not okay? That it will ruin your life? They knew it was not okay when they did it and letting them be tried as children will not start a frenzy of children setting others on fire because all they will get is juvy.
As a parent I can come up with a million excuses for these kids. I am pretty sure that there was a group mentality and as individuals none of these kids would probably have done this to a child. They feed off of each other and encouraged each others stupidity. They played to many video games and blurred the lines between truth and reality. They had too much sugar or caffeine in their system.... I don't think it is how their are tried that is the problem it is the punishment given at the end. Some children are broken through their life experiences or just plan old bad, but putting them in prison with adults is not the answer. Our rehabilitation system is broken.
We try to compensate for individuals short comings in the judicial system by saying if you do x then you get Y so the only wiggle room left is the difference between child and adult sentencing. If the purpose of the judicial system is to find appropriate punishment by limiting what punishments can be given for a crime, we are tying the hands of prosecution. I understand this is done in an attempt to be fare but it isn’t working.
We know that rich white men have a better chance of getting off with less punishment for the same crime and evidence as a poor minority. We know that the outcome depends on your lawyers and your personality and your looks. We know the justice system is about punishment and not rehabilitation in most cases. We know that all these kids have just lost the lives they could have had and I think we all know none of it is fare.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Eclipse on Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:03 pm

In that case, Ravenousblue, would you punish them at all? What would be fair?
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Ravenousblue on Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:48 pm

I am not sure that I can say I know what the right thing to do would be. I believe that we shouldn't throw away these children. There was probably a leader and that child should be identified. There should be some counseling and reparations. They probably know what they did is wrong now we need to find out why they did it anyway. They need to be confronted with their actions the repercussions. There are so many good programs out there that help people, they should be sentenced to some form of community service and therapy. I agree that they need to spend time in some institution but when they come out they should have been given the tools to be better people. So many times these institutions are just holding pens waiting for the children to reach a certain age then setting them free no better and posibly worse.
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Re: Is is ok to sentence children as adults?

Post  Eclipse on Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:43 pm

Perhaps the mob mentality sort of removes the role of leader, couldn't the majority find a scapegoat and blame him/her? And then depending on who they cause harm, what would the victim or their family want some retribution, who should decide? I'm not necessarily saying that one option is either wrong or right. My preferred position is that of the devil's advocate.
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