The Instigator
mylescoen12
Pro (for)
Tied
3 Points
The Contender
moneymachine2004
Con (against)
Tied
3 Points

Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adult

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,634 times Debate No: 18995
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

mylescoen12

Pro

Affirmative

"He who does not punish evil commands it to be done"

It is because I agree with the words of Leonardo da Vinci that I stand Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
Before we begin I would like to offer the following definitions:

(The Free Dictionary.com)

Juvenile – a young person, usually under the age of eighteen

Violent – acting with or marked by or resulting form great force or energy or emotional intensity

Felony - a serious crime (such as arson or murder)

Criminal Justice System – a generic term for the procedure by which criminal conduct is investigated, arrests made, evidence gathered, charges brought, defenses raised, trials conducted, sentences rendered, and punishment carried out.

The highest value of today's round is that of Justice which is defined as giving each their due. This is the most important value within the round, because the resolution bases itself in the US legal system, the primary purpose of which is to deliver justice. Thus, Justice is the most appropriate value to use.

The criterion for the round is Government Legitimacy. Government legitimacy is the best measure for Justice because the Justice systems ability to render Justice is determined by the legitimacy of the system. Without legitimacy, the Justice system loses its ability to carry out verdicts and the law loses any meaning.

It is widely acknowledged by contemporary scholars that a legitimate theory of Justice requires both deontological and utilitarian aspects. A purely deontological theory is reduced to the doctrine of an eye for an eye and resembles vengeance more than Justice while a purely utilitarian theory that cares only for deterrence leaves consideration of guilt or innocence largely irrelevant, since an innocent person can still be made an example of. For a government to uphold its legitimacy and thus its ability to render Justice, both deontological concerns of giving each their due and utilitarian concerns of what consequences will occur must be considered. I intend to show that treating juveniles who have committed violent felonies as adult in the criminal justice system is upheld by both deontological and utilitarian standards.

Contention 1 : Trying juveniles as adults is justified deontologicaly

Sub Point A: Maturity ought to determine culpability, not numerical age.

While it is true that juveniles as a group are less mature, brain development rates and thus, level of maturity varies greatly from individual to individual. According Dr. Moin, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Alberta, "Simply because the average youth is less mature than the average adult does not mean that the particular juvenile who commits a heinous crime is less culpable. There may be very mature and calculating youth and very immature and na�ve adults…" Furthermore, Dr. Brian Woo of Pepperdine University Law School states that, "Rather than consider juveniles as a class in the aggregate, age alone cannot be substituted as a measure of an individual's maturity or psychological development….Rather than adopt a bright line rule, the Court should allow the jury to factor in any mitigating evidence, i.e., youth or immaturity, when determining an appropriate sentence." Thus, trying juveniles as adults allows culpability to determine the degree and severity of punishment rather than whether or not an individual committed a crime the day before or the day after their 18th birthday.

Sub Point B: Punishment is expressive and sends a clear message against crime

Trying juveniles as adults gives society the ability to express the moral outrage of certain acts. According to David Gelenter of Yale University, "we execute murderers in order to make a communal proclamation: that murder is intolerable. A deliberate murderer embodies evil so terrible that it defiles the community. Thus the late social philosopher Robert Nisbet: "Until a catharsis has been effected through trial, through the finding of guilt and then punishment, the community is anxious, fearful, apprehensive, and above all, contaminated." Individual citizens have a right and sometimes a duty to speak. A community has the right, too, and sometimes the duty. The community certifies births and deaths, creates marriages, educates children, fights invaders. In laws, deeds, and ceremonies it lays down the boundary lines of civilized life, lines that are con�stantly getting scuffed and needing renewal." Thus, trying juveniles as adults allows society to express a simple message – certain acts are simply intolerable.

Contention 2 : Trying Juveniles as adults is justified from a utilitarian perspective.

Sub Point A: Trying Juveniles as adults reduces crime.

It is a simple law of economics that by increasing the cost of certain activities, individuals are less likely to engage in those activities. Dr. Moin states that in a study by Dr Levitt " there was a statistically significant negative relationship between crime rates of juvenile offenders and length of sentencing." Dr. Moin goes on to state that " What these studies show is that juveniles do respond to arrest rates and punishment, especially for violent crimes, and that they respond at least as much to punishment as adults do." Thus, trying juveniles as adults reduces crime by deterring others and preventing those susceptible to crime from having the ability to do so.

Sub Point B: Juveniles are more likely to be raped in the Juvenile Justice System

Rather than protecting juvenile offenders, the juvenile justice system endangers them far greater than the adult system. According to David Kaiser "Across the country, 12.1% of kids questioned in the Bureau of Justice Statistics survey said that they'd been sexually abused at their current facility during the preceding year. That's nearly one in eight. In total, according to the most recent data, there are nearly 93,000 kids in juvenile detention on any given day… we can say confidently that the BJS's 3,220 figure represents only a small fraction of the children sexually abused in detention every year." The reason for this epidemic is clear. According to David Kaiser, " Adults who want to have sex with children sometimes look for jobs that will make it easy. They want authority over kids, but no onerous supervision; they also want positions that will make them seem more trustworthy than their potential accusers." In a sense, juvenile detention facilities are like flashing neon lights for potential pedophiles. This is by no means rehabilitative.

In summary, trying juveniles as adults is justified by both deontological and utilitarian views of justice by ensuring culpability is the standard of punishment all the while deterring crime and protecting juveniles from abuse.
moneymachine2004

Con

Pro stated intention

I intend to show that treating juveniles who have committed violent felonies as adult in the criminal justice system is upheld by both deontological and utilitarian standards.

Pro stated intention [Rebuttal]

Even if this is true, it does not prove that all juveniles who commit crimes should be treated as an adult. I argue that current juvenile system adheres to both of those principles and therefore is a legitimate legal system pursuant to the Pro. Second, since some defendants will be found not guilty for reasons other than innocence, it will sometimes run counter to those goals. Third, even when some juveniles are convicted of a violent crimes in adult court, it won't serve deontological or utilitarian--thus would not be justified.

Contention 1 : Trying juveniles as adults is justified deontological Rebuttal

I argue that the current system already supports the deontological theory. Second, it may in fact lead to less juvenile convictions which would run counter to the deontological theory if more juveniles were tried as adults. It is my contention that 12 year olds and children younger that commit murder and are tried in the juvenile system often remain in that facility until they are twenty-one years old. I assert that they are being punished especially considering that their childhood is essentially over. As you admit in your last argument, these children are often raped and beaten by other children within the facility. Moreover, it might be more difficulty for a jury to convict a child 12 years old or younger in an adult court, considering the harsh punishment the child me face. Jurors will no doubt think of their son, daughter, niece or nephew when making that decision. This is often referred to as jury nullification. It is a phenomenon when a jury either finds an offender innocent or remains hung not because the guilt is in question, but the punishment that the offender faces is. Thus it might be counter to the deontological theory because there might be hung juries as a result. Many children would go home to their families without receiving any punishment.

Sub Point A: Maturity ought to determine culpability, not numerical age. [Rebuttal]

Please understand that you have two competing justice systems in the United States--one an adult system and the other a juvenile system. The two systems have there owe set of rules, regulations and standards for sentencing. The juvenile system was created because there was strong evidence that suggested that children were not always as culpable as an adult offender. You admit in your opening that "juveniles as a group are less mature, brain development rates." For that reason the United States created a juvenile system. However, they also understand that some children under the age of 18 years of age might be just as culpable as an adult as you correctly point out by your statement that "level of maturity varies greatly from individual to individual." Therefore in cases wherein a prosecutor believes that a child younger than 18 years or older is just as culpable as an adult he or she goes in front of a judge in order to get permission to try him or her as an adult. In that court proceeding, both sides get an opportunity to argue in front of the judge as to why or why not a child under the age of 18 should or should not be tried in an adult court system.

Sub Point B: Punishment is expressive and sends a clear message against crime [Rebuttal]

As I pointed out earlier. The current juvenile system gives society the ability to express moral outrage of certain acts. In many cases, the public lobbies for a child under the age of 18 to be tried as an adult. In other cases, the public does not push for that action. It makes no sense to for society to send a message to six year olds who strangle their baby sister to death or throws their baby brother to floor doing their favorite wrestling move that it is wrong and won't be tolerated. How would trying the six year old who won't even understand the charges against him or her send that message? What would be the purpose of the punishment? Would this deter other six year olds from committing murder? No. Would this satisfy the publics thirst for blood? No. Thus, it would be wiser to allow this child to be tried in a juvenile system wherein he or she could receive rehabilitation. There would be no purpose in sentencing this child to thirty years in prison or death. If a child under the age of 18 is culpable then a judge would give permission to the prosecutor to try them as an adult. If the child does not understand why there action was wrong then there is no deontological or utilitarian purpose for most in society.

Contention 2 : Trying Juveniles as adults is justified from a utilitarian perspective. [Rebuttal]

I have already made arguments that trying a six year old in an adult court does not serve a utilitarian purpose. It would not deter the overwhelming majority of six year olds. It would not deter the general public at large since they are no juveniles and won't effect them either way. Moreover, most people would have trouble with punishing the child at all. Thus, it is much wiser for society to leave punishment to a judge who specializes in these cases. The judge would be in a much better position to make decisions with regard to punishment with regard to these offenders.

Sub Point A: Trying Juveniles as adults reduces crime. [Rebuttal]

I can agree with Dr Moin. I suppose that the crime rate will be lowered somewhat by holding juveniles longer. One, the maximum age of release is 21, however that is subject to change if legislators believe its necessary. Two, one could achieve this goal by given life sentences to everyone committing a violent crime. Would this be the right thing to do in every case? While reducing crime should be a factor, it should not be the overriding factor with regard to sentencing. There are many ways to reduce crime, but imprisoning potentially rehabilitated children longer does not necessarily justify that end. Moreover, you provide no evidence that all juveniles are necessarily deterred by this activity--especially ones 12 years old or younger. Are you arguing that seven, eight and nine year olds are influenced by their peers being sentence to longer jail terms? I will agree society may benefit from children 14 years of age or older who comprehend such possible harsh punishment. It is no doubt that many of them refrain from certain crimes with that thought in mind. In most states, any child 12 years older will receive a hearing to determine whether or not they should be tried as an adult. In many cases they will be tried in an adult court. What is the purpose of trying all children in adult court?

Sub Point B: Juveniles are more likely to be raped in the Juvenile Justice System

This further proves that the juvenile justice system is no cake walk. There are real dangers there. I guess an adult prison is safer?

Pro Closing

In summary, trying juveniles as adults is justified by both deontological and utilitarian views of justice by ensuring culpability is the standard of punishment all the while deterring crime and protecting juveniles from abuse.

Con Closing

In summary trying all juveniles as adults is not necessarily justified by either deontological and utilitarian views since some juveniles will be found innocent due to them not being mentally culpable or due to jury nullification. In these cases, those children will go free instead of going to juvenile holding facilities where they could possibly be rehabilitated--this does not serve deontological or utilitarian purpose in fact runs contrary to those theories. The current justice system permits a prosecutor to try juvenile offenders in adult court if they believe him or her to be of sound mind which serves both deontological and utiltarina views.
Debate Round No. 1
mylescoen12

Pro

My opponent seems to assume that, juveniles possibly being punished less would not uphold deontological standards. In fact, this actually proves my case. Juveniles, due to their age, shouldn't receive as harsh punishment as adults. But this does not justify a juvenile system that treats an individual who commits a crime the day before they are 18 as fundamentally different than someone the day after they are 18. By allowing juveniles to be tried in adult court, we allow the court to consider the maturity of the individual when determining punishment. The difference is that we do not set an arbitrary line at the day one turns 18 that classifies people under 18 as irrational and those over 18 as rational. I recently turned 18 and I did not receive a glowing present called "rationality." Rationality is progressive and we shouldn't have a court system that arbitrarily divides defendants. My opponent seems to suggest that juveniles are receiving there due since they are subjected to rape in the juvenile system. THIS IS THE OPPOSITE OF JUSTICE! JUVENILES DO NOT DESERVE RAPE EVEN THOSE WHO COMMIT VIOLENT FELONIES! My opponent contradicts himself when he says, on the one hand, that he agrees juveniles are different than adult but then, on the other, that the juvenile system should remain in place because it punishes them so harshly. Also, my opponent makes a point about how juries would be more likely to be hung in an adult court and this argument actually proves my case! The burden of proof the prosecution must meet is much higher in adult court than in juvenile court. Juveniles have much fewer rights protections in juvenile court than in adult court. Furthermore, as I stated in my case, adult courts can decide which punishment is suitable based on the culpability of the individual. Courts can take the age of the defendant into account when determining proper punishment. With this understanding, the idea that juries will convict fewer juveniles makes no sense, unless the court is pursuing an overly harsh punishment, in which case they should not be convicted.

My opponent states that prosecutors can make exceptions and try juveniles in adult court. The problem here is that there is still an inconsistency of treatment in that an individuals who commits a crime the day before they are 18 is able to defend them-self twice, once in the case of whether they should be tried as a child or an adult and then in their adult trial. However, An individual who commits the exact same crime the day after they are 18 does not have such a luxury. Treating equals unequally is the definition of an injustice, but this is exactly what having two systems based on an arbitrary line at 18 does.

My opponent then goes on to discuss how a juvenile is not as culpable as an adult. The example my opponent gives of a six year killing their brother or sister but not understanding what they have done is no crime at all. A crime only occurs if there is a criminal intent and an awareness of what one is doing. These are defenses that are available in the adult court system. If an immature child commits a crime, the court can take into account that the child is immature. Furthermore, my opponent seems to suggest that it is only in the juvenile system where rehabilitation is possible but this is simply not true. The Adult Court system provides judges the capability of mandating rehabilitative services. Thus, my opponent has failed to show any unique advantages of a juvenile Justice system.

Furthermore, my opponent makes a HUGE CONTRADICTION. He says, on the one hand, that he agrees with the evidence by Dr. Moin which states that juveniles respond to increased punishment while, on the other, he states here that children would not respond to such punishment. I do not know which statement to attack since they are mutually exclusive but I would like to point out that the argument my opponent makes throughout his case that juries would not convict six year old children holds no weight because I am not claiming such juries should convict these six year olds. The court should decide a punishment that, based on evidence of maturity, is appropriate and if it is fair the jury will accept it and if it is not the jury will reject it. Furthermore, my opponent states that we should allow the judge to decide what punishment is appropriate but the adult system can ensure proper punishment as well. Most adult courts allow judges a great amount of flexibility in what punishment to give and if the prosecution is pushing for punishment that is overly harsh, the jury will reject it but if the punishment being pursued in fair, the jury will accept it.

I completely agree with my opponent when he says that reducing crime should only be a factor. That is why the entire framework of my case is based on the necessity of considering utilitarian AND deontological concerns (giving people what they are due). I meet both of these concerns because I reduce crime, as my opponent admits by agreeing with Dr. Moin's study, and ensure juveniles receive what they are due by allowing culpability, that is, blameworthiness as the factor of determining sentencing rather than whether the individual is younger or older than an age arbitrarily set.

My opponent responds to the evidence I present about rape in the juvenile justice system by saying that this proves the juvenile justice system in "no cake walk" This I find absolutely astonishing. NO CAKE WALK! THEY ARE BEING RAPED! LITTLE CHILDREN! I DON'T WANT A SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS THIS! And as a matter of fact yes, the adult system is safer because most prisons can provide for separating juveniles from the rest of the prison population and it is an area where guards have not deliberately chosen to be around children. When you have guards for juvenile systems you have a much greater risk those who accepts the jobs are pedophiles because a job description of having a position of authority over children who's stories may not be believed by other adults is like a flashing neon light for pedophiles.
In summary, my opponent has absolutely ZERO ground as all of his arguments have fallen or have actually benefited my case. A major argument my opponent has made is that juveniles will not be as easily found guilty in the adult court system which I have shown is not true given the ability of courts to factor in maturity to determine a proper punishment along with the added benefit of greater rights protection in adult court. The other major argument my opponent has made is that prosecutors are able to ask that certain juveniles be tried in adult court but this still creates an unfair system because an individual who commits a crime the day before they are 18 is able to defend themselves twice, once in juvenile court and once in adult court and only has to win one of these, while an individual who commits THE VERY SAME CRIME ONLY GETS ONE TRIAL. TREATING EQUALS UNEQUALLY IS THE DEFININTION OF AN INJUSTICE!.
moneymachine2004

Con

My opponent seems to assume that, juveniles possibly being punished less would not uphold deontological standards.

No, I said that failing to punish juveniles who commit punishable crimes do to jury nullification does not uphold your deontological standards. This will happen because some juries would refuse to send a young child to an adult prison facility.

By allowing juveniles to be tried in adult court, we allow the court to consider the maturity of the individual when determining punishment.

The juvenile system and the adult system already consider maturity of the individual when determining punishment. However, the juvenile system is primarily focused on rehabilitation. Thus, persons that are 17 years old or younger are children and are given lower sentences for the same crime than adults 18 years of age or older. In the United States 18 years old is the age that one becomes legal. With age becomes more freedoms and responsibilities. If there was no arbitrary age that someone became an adult, the person would have to take a competency test for everything. You would have 13 year old applying for driver's licenses, 20 year old being denied voting rights and 12 year old alcoholics. There is no law that makes discrimination based on age unless its truly arbitrary. You have to be 18 years old to be a police officer or fire fighter but less than the age of 35. Age is the most important factor when determining culpability and blameworthiness as it relates to children.

The difference is that we do not set an arbitrary line at the day one turns 18 that classifies people under 18 as irrational and those over 18 as rational. I recently turned 18 and I did not receive a glowing present called "rationality." Rationality is progressive and we shouldn't have a court system that arbitrarily divides defendants.

Once you turned 18 years old, you are no longer eligible to participate in the juvenile system. Yes, you are being discriminated against based on your age, but so does the kid that is one day younger than you who can't vote. Since every person will be privy to both justice system for exactly 17 years 23 hours 59 mins and 59 seconds, there is no discrimination at all. Why should we change the system after you already benefited from the system?

My opponent seems to suggest that juveniles are receiving there due since they are subjected to rape in the juvenile system.

I am simply responding to your argument that the juvenile system does not punish harsh enough.

My opponent contradicts himself when he says, on the one hand, that he agrees juveniles are different than adult but then, on the other, that the juvenile system should remain in place because it punishes them so harshly.

I don't believe I contradicted myself at all. I certainly believe that the juvenile system should not be replaced. I also believe that the juvenile system does punish the children there. As I noted, they are confined and away from their families. But, the most important factor is that they are housed with other children and not adults.

Juveniles have much fewer rights protections in juvenile court than in adult court.

The juvenile system could remain and change the legal standard to be consistent with the adult court. But its better as it is.

Furthermore, as I stated in my case, adult courts can decide which punishment is suitable based on the culpability of the individual.

The juvenile courts decide which punishment is suitable based on the culpability of the individual as well.

With this understanding, the idea that juries will convict fewer juveniles makes no sense, unless the court is pursuing an overly harsh punishment, in which case they should not be convicted.

No, many adults will not convict children because they fear them going to adult prisons. These kids will go free and never receive the rehabilitation they need. This is precisely why we need a dual court system.

My opponent states that prosecutors can make exceptions and try juveniles in adult court. The problem here is that there is still an inconsistency of treatment in that an individuals who commits a crime the day before they are 18 is able to defend them-self twice, once in the case of whether they should be tried as a child or an adult and then in their adult trial. However, An individual who commits the exact same crime the day after they are 18 does not have such a luxury. Treating equals unequally is the definition of an injustice, but this is exactly what having two systems based on an arbitrary line at 18 does.

No, its not an injustice at all. As I have noted above, there must be a definitive age of adulthood. It seems that my opponent only applies this standard to the justice system. He has not argued that these younger children should be able to marry, work, vote, drink, or gamble provided that they can demonstrate the necessary maturity. It is no doubt that some children may be competent to do some of the things aforementioned, but there is no cries of injustice in these matters.

If an immature child commits a crime, the court can take into account that the child is immature.

In an adult court, the child would be found innocent. However, the juvenile might be found guilty in a juvenile court. Since the goal is rehabilitation the court may send the six year old to for evaluation wherein they just go home otherwise.

Thus, my opponent has failed to show any unique advantages of a juvenile Justice system.
I am arguing that we should maintain the current system, it is my opponents position that a one system legal system should be preferred. I am arguing that the current system takes in considerations your utilitarian and deontological concerns.

Furthermore, my opponent makes a HUGE CONTRADICTION.

I read my entire post, but can't figure out what your referring to. Please post next time.

Most adult courts allow judges a great amount of flexibility in what punishment to give and if the prosecution is pushing for punishment that is overly harsh, the jury will reject it but if the punishment being pursued in fair, the jury will accept it.

Juvenile judges have tremendous flexibility as well. As I noted in my last post, I would not oppose increasing the flexibility to the judge to give longer sentences if necessary.

That is why the entire framework of my case is based on the necessity of considering utilitarian AND deontological concerns (giving people what they are due). I meet both of these concerns because as my opponent admits by agreeing with Dr. Moin's study, and ensure juveniles receive what they are due by allowing culpability, that is, blameworthiness as the factor of determining sentencing rather than whether the individual is younger or older than an age arbitrarily set.

My opponent does not prove the current dual system does not ensure juveniles receive what they are due by allowing culpability, that is, blameworthiness as the factor of determining sentencing. These factors are already prevalent in the dual court system.

When you have guards for juvenile systems you have a much greater risk those who accepts the jobs are pedophiles of authority over children who's stories may not be believed by other adults is like a flashing neon light for pedophiles.

The vetting process with regard to selecting juvenile security guards is extensive. My opponent provides no evidence that this frequently occurs. Moreover, what prevents these same pedophiles from applying for these jobs at the adult court if its so easy. Most people that elect to work with children do so because the like children not because they are pedophiles.

The current dual court system serves ensure juveniles receive what they are due by allowing culpability, that is, blameworthiness as the factor of determining sentencing. Moreover its serves both utilitarian and deontological concerns. And, yes, adults are discriminated against
Debate Round No. 2
mylescoen12

Pro

What I would first like to address is the contradiction my opponent has made. My opponent states "I read my entire post, but can't figure out what your referring to. Please post next time." My opponent quoted my tagline where I said he contradicted himself but nothing after the tagline where I explained why. This is what I said "Furthermore, my opponent makes a HUGE CONTRADICTION. He says, on the one hand, that he agrees with the evidence by Dr. Moin which states that juveniles respond to increased punishment while, on the other, he states here that children would not respond to such punishment." I believe it is clear what I am talking about but I will also post my opponent argument that I am referring to. My opponent states that, "Would this deter other six year olds from committing murder? No." Yet he also says, " I can agree with Dr Moin. I suppose that the crime rate will be lowered somewhat" This is the contradiction I am referring to.

"failing to punish juveniles who commit punishable crimes do to jury nullification does not uphold your deontological standards. This will happen because some juries would refuse to send a young child to an adult prison facility."

My opponent is just repeating his argument. This doesn't address my attack. I stated that "my opponent makes a point about how juries would be more likely to be hung in an adult court and this argument actually proves my case! The burden of proof the prosecution must meet is much higher in adult court than in juvenile court. Juveniles have much fewer rights protections in juvenile court than in adult court. Furthermore, as I stated in my case, adult courts can decide which punishment is suitable based on the culpability of the individual. Courts can take the age of the defendant into account when determining proper punishment. With this understanding, the idea that juries will convict fewer juveniles makes no sense, unless the court is pursuing an overly harsh punishment, in which case they should not be convicted." Furthermore, my opponent is assuming rehabilitation is only a part of the juvenile system but this is simply not true. Adult courts provide allow for rehabilitative approaches as well. This is a BIG DEAL BECAUSE IT IS NOT RESPONDED TO BY MY OPPONENT! THIS MEANS THAT IT MUST BE ACCEPTED AS TRUE! I stated that "Furthermore, my opponent seems to suggest that it is only in the juvenile system where rehabilitation is possible but this is simply not true. The Adult Court system provides judges the capability of mandating rehabilitative services. Thus, my opponent has failed to show any unique advantages of a juvenile Justice system." My opponent does not respond to this so we can accept that both provide for rehabilitative services. What unique advantages does the juvenile Justice system have left?

"The juvenile system and the adult system already consider maturity of the individual when determining punishment. However, the juvenile system is primarily focused on rehabilitation."

Once again, he just says that the juvenile Justice system is focused on rehabilitation while ignoring the fact that this same kind of rehabilitation is available in the adult court system.

"Thus, persons that are 17 years old or younger are children and are given lower sentences for the same crime than adults 18 years of age or older. In the United States 18 years old is the age that one becomes legal. With age becomes more freedoms and responsibilities. If there was no arbitrary age that someone became an adult, the person would have to take a competency test for everything."

This, I believe, is the only viable argument my opponent has remaining. However, even this argument falls there is a fundamental difference between the court system and having a right sign a contract. The court system determines EVERYDAY the culpability and blameworthiness of individuals. We do not have universal punishments for certain crime but, rather, allow the court to determine how blameworthy an individual is. I am simply saying that, rather than placing people a day before they are 18 in the same category as 10 year olds, we should look at every individual offender, well, individually!

"The juvenile system could remain and change the legal standard to be consistent with the adult court. But its better as it is."

This isn't a response. My opponent just states their opinion without providing any reason. My argument was that the adult court allows greater rights protections. My opponent just says that the juvenile system could do that, in which case, how would it be any different than adult court? If both provide punishment and rehabilitation and have same rights protection are they not the same? My opponent then just says it is better as it is without providing any warrant. This isn't an argument.

"The juvenile courts decide which punishment is suitable based on the culpability of the individual as well."

Except that what punishment they are allowed to consider is greatly limited. I go back to the fact that an individual the day before they are 18 can face much less punishment than an individual who commits the exact same crime a day after they are 18. I will let the voters of this debate decide if this is just.

"Many adults will not convict children because they fear them going to adult prisons. These kids will go free and never receive the rehabilitation they need. This is precisely why we need a dual court system."

My opponent never provides evidence for this and this argument makes no sense when we accept that the adult court can provide rehabilitation, which my opponent has conceded.

"Juvenile judges have tremendous flexibility as well. As I noted in my last post, I would not oppose increasing the flexibility to the judge to give longer sentences if necessary."

Here my opponent is undermining his own case by defending the juvenile courts on the basis that they can be made more like adult courts. The fact is, juvenile courts have to be limited in sentencing otherwise they are not juvenile courts.

"The vetting process with regard to selecting juvenile security guards is extensive. My opponent provides no evidence that this frequently occurs. Moreover, what prevents these same pedophiles from applying for these jobs at the adult court if its so easy. Most people that elect to work with children do so because the like children not because they are pedophiles."

It's ironic that my opponent attacks my argument by asserting I have no evidence all the while making a claim that is completely unsupported. MY OPPONENT doesn't provide evidence that the "vetting pocess is extensive." He just says it! Furthermore, I DO PROVIDE EVIDENCE! HERE THEY ARE FROM MY FIRST POST….

"Across the country, 12.1% of kids questioned in the Bureau of Justice Statistics survey said that they'd been sexually abused at their current facility during the preceding year. That's nearly one in eight. In total, according to the most recent data, there are nearly 93,000 kids in juvenile detention on any given day… we can say confidently that the BJS's 3,220 figure represents only a small fraction of the children sexually abused in detention every year."

AND

" Adults who want to have sex with children sometimes look for jobs that will make it easy. They want authority over kids, but no onerous supervision; they also want positions that will make them seem more trustworthy than their potential accusers."

So my opponent's argument that juveniles would be just as at risk in adult prison is refuted by the evidence I provide which shows that having an institution filled with youth that are not trusted will attract pedophiles and this is not just a theoretical but also supported by data.
VOTING ISSUES

1)JUVENILE COURT ALLOWS FOR ARBITRARY DIVISION WHICH IS UNJUST
2) MY OPPONENT CONCEDES THAT ADULT COURT CAN PROVIDE REHAB
3) MY OPPONENT HAS FAILED TO OFFER A UNIQUE ADVANTAGE TO JUVENILE COURTS

I URGE A PRO BALLOT
moneymachine2004

Con

HUGE CONTRADICTION

I meant that six year old across that county would not be deterred from a crime even if another six year old is punished. However, children older might hear about sentences that kids their age receive and that might deter some crime and reduce crime as a result. No contradiction.

The Adult Court system provides judges the capability of mandating rehabilitative services.

The Pro is the one seeking to change the dual criminal justice system. The burden is on the Pro to show unique advantages for the adult system. I am happy to concede that both are adequate.

I am simply saying that, rather than placing people a day before they are 18 in the same category as 10 year olds, we should look at every individual offender, well, individually!

When should a person be death penalty eligible? Do you support child any child eight years old or younger being eligible for the death penalty?

My argument was that the adult court allows greater rights protections.

The legal standard could be changed to give greater protections for juveniles.

The fact is, juvenile courts have to be limited in sentencing otherwise they are not juvenile courts.

A juvenile court is a juvenile court because only children under 18 years of age can be tried there.

MY OPPONENT doesn't provide evidence that the "vetting process is extensive."

They check your credit score, criminal record, high school transcripts, juvenile records, friends, family, teachers and neighbors. I say this is extensive. Call your local juvenile facility if you don't believe me.

The Pro argues that the most important factor with regard to justice is given one his or her their due. I agree with this point. He next argues that a predictor of justice is government legitimacy. I agree as well. He then asserts that the government cannot only be legitimate if invokes both deontological (eye for an eye) and utilitarian aspects (deterrence) principles. I don't oppose this position, although other theorist might. Next he argues that trying juveniles in an adult court that commit violent crimes is justified because it gives everyone their due because it adheres to both deontological and utilitarian principles. The Pro central arguments against the current juvenile system is that people 18 years old are treated differently than people 17 years, 364 days, 59 mins and 59 seconds and the other being that children or subject to sexual abuse in a juvenile system.

[a] Under the Pros analysis a six to twelve year old determined to be just as culpable and blameworthy as in adult might be subject to death --"we execute murderers in order to make a communal proclamation: that murder is intolerable. The Pro argues that the judge can factor in the child's age during the sentencing phase. He then asserts that the prosecutor will lose if he pursues too harsh of a sentence. Here is the problem with that analysis. Some states have sentencing guidelines which cannot be altered by a judge. In these states, jury nullification might become common place, the passage below supports this claim.

"In the early part of the 19th century, to the chagrin of prosecutors, jury nullification�€"the process by which jurors acquit an apparently guilty criminal defendant rather than impose a disproportionately severe sanction�€"began to play a significant role in the acquittal of children charged with crime. By creating the Society for the Prevention of Pauperism, Quakers in New York City sought to establish a balance between those concerned about jury nullification and those repelled by imprisoning juvenile defendants in adult institutions or exposing them to the possibility of capital punishment. The society, which later evolved into the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents, founded the first House of Refuge in New York in 1825 to "receive and take . . . all such children as shall be taken up or committed as vagrants, or convicted of criminal offenses" (Pickett, 1969).

[b] In states where there are no such guidelines and the judge has complete flexibility to determine any sentence he or she sees fit after trial invites jury nullification as well. Moreover, it might be rejected by the citizens in that state. A jurist might vote to acquit due to fear of the possible sentence a child will receive or has received in the past. The public might fear an adult offender possibly receiving probation after being convicted for a serious crime. However, I am only concern with the former.

Prior to 1900, at least 10 children were executed in the United States for crimes committed before their 14th birthdays (Streib, 1987). Other children died in adult prisons. Virginia penitentiary records from 1876 reflect that a 10-year-old prisoner died from being scalded accidentally in a tub of boiling coffee. These deaths shocked the public conscience. Accordingly, Americans in the 19th century sought more pervasive reform than the infancy defense to address the distinctive nature of children and youth. Most people would not accept this punishment as children receiving their DUE.

[c] Some jurist might vote not guilty because they are concerned about children going to an adult prison. The Pro argues that an adult prison with career felons, pedophiles, serial killers and the alike is much safer than the current juvenile system. There is research that runs counter to that claim.

" Research has shown that juveniles incarcerated with adults are five times more likely to report being victims of sexual assault than youth in juvenile facilities,[5] and the suicide rate of juveniles in adult jails is 7.7 times higher than that of juvenile detention centers.[6] As states try growing numbers of juveniles as adults, the risk of sexual abuse increases. Joanne Mariner, "Preventing Prison Rape, FindLaw.com, June 24, 2002.

The Pro argues that we should separate juveniles from the adult offenders. It seems that such a dual housing system would necessary treat offenders differently. Wouldn't this suggest that a person 18 years of age and a person 17 years, 364 days, 59 mins and 60 seconds are treated differently in the criminal justice system? Why wouldn't this housing structure not be completely be arbitrary if age is nothing but a number?

The Pro taunts the 12.1 statistic

The 12.1 percent cited in the study does not clearly identify what percentage of the sexual abuse was committed by other juveniles opposed to the percentage was committed by the staff. The entire 12.1 percent could all be the former.

Key Points To Consider

1. All juveniles in states should be eligible to death or life imprison just like there adult counter part. If the Pro disagrees it would violate the idea that an that a person 18 years of age and a person 17 years, 364 days, 59 mins and 60 seconds should not be treated differently

2. Juveniles are five times more likely to be sexual assaulted while being housed with adults. If the Pro claims that juveniles should be separated, it would violate the idea that an that a person 18 years of age and a person 17 years, 364 days, 59 mins and 60 seconds should not are treated differently

3. The Pro provides no evidence that security guards in juvenile centers are pedophiles. In fact, many applications for Correction Officers don't mention whether or not it's a juvenile or adult facility.

4. If the Pro advocated getting rid of the juvenile holding facilities due to rapes then he would have to also advocate the same for adult facilities. There are far more rapes committed at those facilities than there are at juvenile holding facilities, yet there is no concern expressed.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by darris321 5 years ago
darris321
I have a debate on "Punitive Justice is Never Justified"
Punishment doesn't work. Unless you're just wanting vengeance, but you won't deter crime.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by E.BurnumIII 5 years ago
E.BurnumIII
mylescoen12moneymachine2004Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro, overall, did a better job of making his case
Vote Placed by drafterman 5 years ago
drafterman
mylescoen12moneymachine2004Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro seems to undermine his own arguments. Furthermore, the resolution refers only to violent felonies, but the arguments seem to be about treating juveniles as adults in general. Very confusing.