The Instigator
LatinaGirl8894
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Children should be tried as adults for heinous crimes.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,533 times Debate No: 64564
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

LatinaGirl8894

Pro

Round 1 is accept
Rounds 2&3 are arguments and rebuttals
Round 4 is rebuttals and conclusions

Heinous: (of a person or wrongful act, especially a crime) utterly odious or wicked.
Crimes like murder and rape.
kasmic

Con

I accept!
Debate Round No. 1
LatinaGirl8894

Pro

"Should we punish all juveniles as adults? Probably not with lesser crimes, but some crimes are certainly more heinous than others, and those crimes like murder and rape are adult crimes." (1)

Not every crime that a child commits should be tried as an adult crime. There is no reason to punish them if they take something from a store. Now if that child killed someone while robbing the store then they need to be tried as an adult because that is an adult crime and they need to be punished for that more than just getting a slap on the wrist.

"To allow these violent criminals to be released after spending a few years in juvenile correctional facilities would be a crime in itself, to the victims and to society." (4) If tried in a juvenile court the longest time they will spend there is until they are 21, this is no justice to families of the people's lives they had to have ruined to get there in the first place.

"The Justice Department estimates that about 10 percent of all homicides are committed by juveniles under the age of 18. Nearly every year, the FBI arrests more than 33,000 young adults under the age of 18 for offenses. The number of violent crimes committed by young people declined substantially from the 1990s to 2003, but then surged again that year, with the estimated number of juvenile murder offenders increasing 30 percent, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention." (2)

With the numbers increasing since 2003 this just means that we need harsher punishments for children who commit these kinds of crimes. If we don"t then once they get out of a juvenile center they could very well do it again.

"Should the U.S. justice system treat juvenile violent offenders as adults?"

YES

"The end result of a heinous crime remains the same, no matter who commits it. Our justice system depends upon holding perpetrators responsible for their actions." (3)

"Light sentences don't teach kids the lesson they need to learn: If you commit a terrible crime, you will spend a considerable part of your life in jail."(3)

This statement could not be more true. Kids need to learn that if you commit a crime like this that you will be held accountable to the full extent possible. If you let them go easy then how are they going to learn that you are not supposed to do what you just did?

"Allowing juveniles who commit violent crimes to serve short, lenient sentences in juvenile correctional facilities simply does not do justice to society and to the victims involved. For a young man who repeatedly stabs a fellow classmate, for two minors who premeditate a violent sex assault and robbery, for a 17-year-old serial sniper who shoots innocent people and for other juveniles who commit heinous crimes, a few years at a juvenile correctional facility is an unjust punishment that fails to serve the victims and safeguard society from danger." (4)

I could not have said it better myself.

(1)http://www.teenink.com...
(2)http://abcnews.go.com...
(3)http://content.time.com...
(4) http://silverchips.mbhs.edu...
kasmic

Con

Rebuttals:

Pro's arguments are focused on a need for stricter punishment for minors who commit heinous crimes.

Pro says “If tried in a juvenile court the longest time they will spend there is until they are 21, this is no justice to families of the people's lives they had to have ruined to get there in the first place.”

“With the numbers increasing since 2003 this just means that we need harsher punishments for children who commit these kinds of crimes. If we don’t then once they get out of a juvenile center they could very well do it again.”

"Light sentences don't teach kids the lesson they need to learn: If you commit a terrible crime, you will spend a considerable part of your life in jail."

I am inclined to agree. However, this is not the same as being tried as an adult. The resolve is not “Minors who commit heinous crimes deserve stricter sentences.” Rather the resolve is “Children should be tried as adults for heinous crimes.” As pro has not provided any arguments as to why children should be tried as adults, this concludes my rebuttal.

Arguments:

From pro’s third source we read that “Children
don't have the intellectual or moral capacity to understand the consequences of their actions; similarly, they lack the same capacity to be trial defendants.”(1)

This is the primary reason I am opposed to children being tried as adults for heinous crimes.

Mental Capacity.

Children, and others whose Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is not fully developed, do not have the have the full capacity to reason. (2)

"The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is located in the very front of the brain, just behind the forehead. In charge of abstract thinking and thought analysis, it is also responsible for regulating behavior. This includes mediating conflicting thoughts, making choices between right and wrong, and predicting the probable outcomes of actions or events."(3)

"Since the PFC controls intense emotions and impulses, it is sometimes referred to as the seat of good judgement. As such, a properly functioning prefrontal cortex inhibits inappropriate behaviors " including delaying gratification of needs, for things like food or sex " while encouraging wise, acceptable choices. In part, this occurs because it works to allow humans to balance immediate reward with long-term goals."(3)

“Medical studies have shown that the PFC is the last section of the brain to mature. In other words, while all other brain regions are fully developed early in life, its development is not complete until around age 25."(3)

"As a number of researchers have put it, "the rental car companies have it right." The brain isn't fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car."(2)

Conclusion:

Children are not mentally as capable as adults. This is due to the PFC not being fully developed. Thus children are less capable of reasoned thinking, making choices between right and wrong, predicting outcomes, good judgment, regulating behavior, or inhibiting inappropriate behavior. Due to this difference between children and adults, Children should NOT be tried as adults for heinous crimes. The resolution is negated.

(1)http://content.time.com...
(2)
http://hrweb.mit.edu...
(3)
http://www.wisegeek.org...
Debate Round No. 2
LatinaGirl8894

Pro

"Some youths are even known to commit crimes without thought because they know they cannot be tried as adults." (1)

My opponent says that "Children don't have the intellectual or moral capacity to understand the consequences of their actions; similarly, they lack the same capacity to be trial defendants."

I would reference the statement I have posted above. Clearly these kids know exactly what they are doing and they know they know that they can basically get away with it.

Con states: "Medical studies have shown that the PFC is the last section of the brain to mature. In other words, while all other brain regions are fully developed early in life, its development is not complete until around age 25."

By this logic then anybody under the age of 25 should not be tried as an adult which let"s face is silly. If you are old enough to make the decision to commit the crime then you are old enough to be tried as an adult and pay the consequences for what you did.

"If you do an adult crime, you do adult time. Minors that commit certain serious crimes should be tried as adults." (1) I could not agree more with the statement.

"Furthermore the argument holds that if minors know they won"t be judged as harshly as adults they may actually be more willing to commit crime." (2)

This is the main reason why I believe they should be tried as adults. If they know they will be treated equally as an adult this might deter them from committing the crime in the first place.

(1)http://www.gale.cengage.com...
(2)http://www.romeobserver.com...
kasmic

Con

Rebuttals:

Pro says “Some youths are even known to commit crimes without thought because they know they cannot be tried as adults."

Concluding that…

“Clearly these kids know exactly what they are doing and they know they know that they can basically get away with it.”

Knowing that you can get away with something does not change the fact that children are less capable of reasoned thinking, making choices between right and wrong, predicting outcomes, good judgment, regulating behavior, or inhibiting inappropriate behavior.

In response to my argument Pro says “By this logic then anybody under the age of 25 should not be tried as an adult which let’s face is silly. If you are old enough to make the decision to commit the crime then you are old enough to be tried as an adult and pay the consequences for what you did.”

Clearly there is scientific proof that children are less capable then adults. Our society has deemed 18 year olds as adults. Perhaps the age at which people should be referred to as adults would be a good topic for a separate debate.

In spite of the PFC not being fully developed until 25, it is developing continuously. This means that we can conclude that the PFC of 18 year olds is more developed than that of a 14 year old. Ergo we can conclude that 18 year olds are more capable of capable of reasoned thinking, making choices between right and wrong, predicting outcomes, good judgment, regulating behavior, or inhibiting inappropriate behavior then those younger than them.

Pro says "Furthermore the argument holds that if minors know they won’t be judged as harshly as adults they may actually be more willing to commit crime."

Concluding that

“This is the main reason why I believe they should be tried as adults. If they know they will be treated equally as an adult this might deter them from committing the crime in the first place.”

Again, I would not be against increased consequences for heinous crimes. However, that is not the same as trying a child as an adult.

Conclusion:

Pro's arguments are focused on a need for stricter punishment for minors who commit heinous crimes.

I am inclined to agree. However, this is not the same as being tried as an adult. The resolve is not “Minors who commit heinous crimes deserve stricter sentences.” Rather the resolve is “Children should be tried as adults for heinous crimes.” As pro has not provided any arguments as to why children should be tried as adults, there is no support for the resolution.

Children are not mentally as capable as adults. This is due to the PFC not being fully developed. Thus children are less capable of reasoned thinking, making choices between right and wrong, predicting outcomes, good judgment, regulating behavior, or inhibiting inappropriate behavior. Due to this difference between children and adults, Children should NOT be tried as adults for heinous crimes. The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 3
LatinaGirl8894

Pro

Con says, "Knowing that you can get away with something does not change the fact that children are less capable of reasoned thinking, making choices between right and wrong, predicting outcomes, good judgment, regulating behavior, or inhibiting inappropriate behavior."

I would argue that this mean the exact opposite, knowing that they are able to get away with it means that they are in fact capable of reasoned thinking.

Children are capable of reasoned thinking due to the fact that they know they will not get the max punishment so they commit the crime anyway. Trying children as adults would deter them from committing the crime in the first place. If they know they will be tried as an adult then they will reconsider their thinking because they don't want to face an adult crime.
kasmic

Con

Pro says “I would argue that…, knowing that they are able to get away with it means that they are in fact capable of reasoned thinking.”

I did not argue that children are not capable of any reasoned thinking… if that were the case I would not have agreed with the idea of stricter punishments. Rather, they have in comparison diminished and undeveloped ability to think rational as adults. This is why adults should be tried more strictly, as they have greater control of their actions and greater knowledge of the consequences of their actions.

Pro says “Children are capable of reasoned thinking due to the fact that they know they will not get the max punishment so they commit the crime anyway. Trying children as adults would deter them from committing the crime in the first place.”

Not to be redundant but trying children as adults would not deter them from committing the crime. Tougher punishments might. Tougher punishments can be implemented while still acknowledging that children are children and not adults.

Conclusion:

Children are not mentally as capable as adults. This is due to the PFC not being fully developed. Thus children are less capable of reasoned thinking, making choices between right and wrong, predicting outcomes, good judgment, regulating behavior, or inhibiting inappropriate behavior. Due to this difference between children and adults, Children should NOT be tried as adults for heinous crimes. The resolution is negated.

Thanks for the debate,

Thanks to all who read and vote,

Vote Con!

Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by inaudita 2 years ago
inaudita
Almost tl;dr
Will read and vote
Posted by TheSymbiote 2 years ago
TheSymbiote
This is funny. When the kid is in jail. He will get raped and killed. I can assure you 100% of the kids who went to jail (Not juvenile) will die
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by inaudita 2 years ago
inaudita
LatinaGirl8894kasmicTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate on kasmic's part