The Instigator
kymc73
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
thedude346
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in cjs

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
kymc73
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,948 times Debate No: 14600
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

kymc73

Con

I would like to state that this debate will be done in LD format. If you do not understand LD, please do not accept this debate. I look forward to debating, thank you.

Here is the format:
Round 1: Pro states his/her case.
Round 2: I ask questions, state my case, and attack the pro's case.
Pro answers my questions, rebuttals, and attacks my case.
Round 3: I attack and defend and the same goes for my opponent.
thedude346

Pro

Okay, just to be clear, let us lay down some definitions.
violent felony: "any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year . . . that (i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another; or (ii) is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another." United States v. Thrower, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 22484, 4-5 (2d Cir. N.Y. Oct. 14, 2009)

I will be arguing the side that in the US, juveniles charged with felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system. While this may not represent my personal opinion, I will argue for this to the best of my ability.

1) If we try a juvenile charged with a violent felony as an adult, they will receive their just sentence. If a man robs someone's house and attacks them with a knife, they should get 5+ years in jail. But if a child does the same crime, with the same results, they will probably get a shorter sentence. This is hardly fair. If we let a juvenile off easy after committing a crime, he may soon go back and do it again. The judge calculates the jail time necessary so that that individual will not do the crime again. If any sentence less than that is given, the chances of their rehabilitation are lower.

2) Cases like these will teach other children that in this country, don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Violent actions will be rewarded only with harsh consequences. This can possibly decrease the crime rate, at least in the under 18 demographic, and less of these cases will have to be fought.

3) The age limit, 18, is rather large. I understand you don't want 3-10 year olds being tried as adults, but for kids 14-18, they are nearly adults. They understand what they are getting into by committing that crime, our education system has taught them that. They are very close to adults, and thus should be tried as such, or perhaps the age limit should be lowered to 14. Just a suggestion.

I look forward to your response and rebuttals, Instigator.
Debate Round No. 1
kymc73

Con

I negate the Resolution: Resolved in the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.

My value for this round is Justice, the quality of being fair. Justice is the basis of any moral, political, or social framework, and is therefore the fundamental value in this debate.
My value criterion is Mens rea, otherwise known as moral responsibility. To be charged with a crime, a juvenile must be morally responsible for it.

Contention 1: Juveniles brains aren't as developed as Adults.

Scientific studies have determined that the human brain undergoes continuous development up to the age of about twenty-one. "Because the brains of juveniles, particularly the frontal lobes, are not fully developed, youths lack the ability to perform critical adult functions, such as plan, anticipate consequences, and control impulses," states Adam Ortiz, a policy fellow with the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center. Although juveniles should be punished for their crimes, they are not as responsible as adults. "This is the premise beneath society's across-the-board restrictions on voting rights, alcohol and tobacco consumption, and serving in the armed forces," observes Ortiz. "Indeed, this is why we refer to those under 18 as `minors' and `juveniles'—because, in so many respects, they are less than adult."

As my 1st contention clearly shows, juveniles are limited in their ability to make good decisions. As a result, it would be unjust to treat juveniles as adults simply because juveniles cannot be held morally responsible for their actions. Juveniles simply do not have the mental capacities to make rational decisions consistently.

Contention 2: Treating juveniles as adults does not respect their rights

Sub Point A- Juveniles are frequently subject to abuse in adult prison.

Ziedenberg and Schirald report:
Ziedenberg, J., & Schiraldi, V. (August 1998). The risks juveniles face: housing juveniles in adult institutions is self-destructive and self-defeating. Corrections Today. , 60, n5. p.22 [Jason Ziedenberg and Vincent Schiraldi are researchers with the Justice Policy Institute.]
A 1989 study by a team of researchers, led by Professor Jeffrey Fagan of Columbia University's School of Public Health, compared how youths at a number of juvenile training schools and those serving time in adult prisons reported being treated. Five times as many youths held in adult prisons answered yes to the question, "Has anyone attempted to sexually attack or rape you?" than those held in juvenile institutions. Nearly 10 percent of the youths interviewed reported that another inmate had attempted to sexually attack or rape them in adult prisons, while closer to 1 percent reported the same in juvenile institutions.

Ziendnberg and Schirald continue:
Ziedenberg, J., & Schiraldi, V. (August 1998). The risks juveniles face: housing juveniles in adult institutions is self-destructive and self-defeating. Corrections Today. , 60, n5. p.22 [Jason Ziedenberg and Vincent Schiraldi are researchers with the Justice Policy Institute.]
There is a dearth of data on rape, suicide and assault rates among the 4,000 juveniles who are sentenced to adult prisons, as well as the 65,000 children who pass through the adult jail system every year. Some states lump suicide deaths under the category "unspecified cause," making the problem invisible. Other states and jurisdictions list rape among "inmate assaults" - effectively masking the problem. Academics in this field warn that any statistics on rape are "very conservative at best, since discovery and documentation of this behavior are compromised by the nature of prison conditions, inmate codes and subcultures, and staff attitudes." There also are obvious incentives for prison officials to underreport incidents of rape and suicide because they are administratively embarrassing to the prison system, and could be used as evidence for lawsuits.

Because juveniles are not morally responsible for their actions, they can not be placed into adult prisons. Adult prisons are harmful and dangerous to the charged. It would place the charged's life into danger.

Questions: Do you have any statistics for your 2nd contention stating that harsher consequences will deter crime?
You argue that if juveniles are kept in juvenile justice systems, then they may go and commit more crimes, but isn't the primary focus of the juvenile justice system rehabilitation? So wouldn't that prevent the juvenile from committing more crimes?

On to my opponent's case:
"If we try a juvenile charged with a violent felony as an adult, they will receive their just sentence. If a man robs someone's house and attacks them with a knife, they should get 5+ years in jail. But if a child does the same crime, with the same results, they will probably get a shorter sentence. This is hardly fair. If we let a juvenile off easy after committing a crime, he may soon go back and do it again. The judge calculates the jail time necessary so that that individual will not do the crime again. If any sentence less than that is given, the chances of their rehabilitation are lower."

My opponent uses words such as "probably" and "may". He is assuming that the juvenile justice system is lenient and ineffective. He has no statistics proving that the juvenile justice system is lenient and ineffective. Note that juveniles are still punished and sentenced to juvie. They will still serve their time, and they won't be as harmed if they were placed into adult prisons.

"Cases like these will teach other children that in this country, don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Violent actions will be rewarded only with harsh consequences. This can possibly decrease the crime rate, at least in the under 18 demographic, and less of these cases will have to be fought."

My opponent uses the word "possibly" and has no statistics proving that trying juveniles as adults will reduce crime rates.

"The age limit, 18, is rather large. I understand you don't want 3-10 year olds being tried as adults, but for kids 14-18, they are nearly adults. They understand what they are getting into by committing that crime, our education system has taught them that. They are very close to adults, and thus should be tried as such, or perhaps the age limit should be lowered to 14. Just a suggestion."

My opponent argues that juveniles are close to adults, but as my 1st contention shows, juveniles lack the mental capabilities to make rational decisions consistently. As a result, they cannot weigh pros and cons, control impulses, or foresee future consequences. They cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.

As I have proven through my rebuttals, all three of my opponent's contentions can be dropped. He has no evidence to supoprt any of his contentions.

Please vote negative. Thank you.
thedude346

Pro

thedude346 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
kymc73

Con

Extend my arguments.
thedude346

Pro

thedude346 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Cobo 6 years ago
Cobo
Stop posting the NFL topic!!!
Posted by ccstate4peat 6 years ago
ccstate4peat
I'd take it if I didn't have to debate what a violent felony is
Posted by kymc73 6 years ago
kymc73
Yes, you are allowed to debate definitions.
Posted by ccstate4peat 6 years ago
ccstate4peat
Are you allowed to debate definitions in LD format? Or is it that pro's definition the one used throughout the debate?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by thedude346 6 years ago
thedude346
kymc73thedude346Tied
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Total points awarded:50