The Instigator
theprodebater
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
21 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 3 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,289 times Debate No: 14336
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

theprodebater

Pro

I affirm the resolution Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.Definition: Violent Felony: In U.S. sentencing guidelines, felonies range from Class E (1-5 year sentence) to Class A (life imprisonment or the death penalty). Examples of violent felonies include murder, kidnapping, arson, crimes against children, armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape, firearm use in certain cases, or firearm possession in certain cases.

Juvenile: According to Cornell University Law School, person who has not attained his eighteenth birthday.


Treated as an adult: Juvenile courts usually hear cases involving persons between the ages of ten and eighteen. (The upper age may be lower in some states.) If the prosecution charges an older juvenile with a particularly serious or violent offense, the district or prosecuting attorney may request that an adult court try the juvenile as an adult. In some states, juveniles fourteen or older and charged with serious acts like murder, rape or armed robbery are handled in adult courts unless the judge transfers them to juvenile court.


Observation #1


It is important to remember that a juvenile charged with a violent felony has not been convicted of the crime.


V: Justice.


V.C.: Social Contract. A government that oversteps its bounds with unjust laws--even those that are initiated through democratic processes--has violated the Social Contract, which is a rough approach to balancing rights claims as a precursor to the formation of a State. Any State that, through some loss of sovereignty, can or will no longer enforce the law, has violated the Contract, and is no longer legitimate. If juveniles aren't fully punished for committing violent felonies, perhaps the State has not fulfilled its obligation to protect the public and enforce the law. Furthermore, if juveniles' privacy is protected in the juvenile justice system, the public won't/can't know about potential felons in its midst.



Contention 1: Juveniles arrests for violent crimes decreased over time. Juvenile murder arrests increased sub- stantially between 1987 and 1993. In the peak year of 1993, there were about 3,800 juvenile arrests for murder. Be- tween 1993 and 2000, juvenile arrests for murder declined, with the number of arrests in 2000 (1,200) less than one- third that in 1993. In 2000, Juveniles were involved in 9% of murder arrests, 14% of aggravated assault arrests, 33% of burglary arrests, 25% of robbery arrests, and 24% of weapons arrests in 2000. [1] Now in 2010, Those juveniles make up 3 percent of all felony arrests and 6 percent of violent felony arrests. This is working because juveniles are already being tried as adults. For example, A judge ruled Friday that the 16-year-old accused of the murders of a mother and daughter will be tried as an adult. Since the murders in April, there have been questions about what possibly motivated Josa Sosa to allegedly stab Lori Rountree and her daughter, Adrian, more than 60 times. As I stated in my definition of being tried as an adult, this clearly fits the age group of being tried as an adult.


http://www.wsmv.com..., July 29, 2006







[1] http://www.ncjrs.gov... Juvenile Justice Bulletin




Danielle

Con

Many thanks to my opponent for beginning this debate.

I accept his definitions and observations.

I'd like Pro and the audience to know that I'm not familiar with LD style format, so bear with me...

Pro's named his value as justice, and the social contract as his value criterion. First and foremost, his entire paragraph regarding the social contract has been plagiarized from this un-cited source [1]. Unless my opponent is blogger Bri Castellini, then this is obviously bad conduct.

Nevertheless...

Regarding the value criterion, the notion of the social contract implies that the people give up sovereignty to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order through the rule of law. It can also be thought of as an agreement by the governed on a set of rules by which they are governed [2]. Blogger Bri Castellini seems to think, "Any State that, through some loss of sovereignty, can or will no longer enforce the law, has violated the Contract, and is no longer legitimate. If juveniles aren't fully punished for committing violent felonies, perhaps the State has not fulfilled its obligation to protect the public and enforce the law." However if current laws hold that juveniles ought NOT be tried as adults, then the State has fulfilled its obligation to enforce the law... thus his assertion that the social contract has been violated is null and void in said circumstances.

If the law held that juveniles should not be tried as adults, then the government would in fact be doing their job in upholding that law. In short, this doesn't really make any sense. It also works against his value of justice. If he's suggesting that merely upholding the law is the right thing to do, then what about slavery? Was justice being served merely because the law was being followed? I think not.

Pro's first and only contention starts out shakey, and really only provides statistics regarding juvenile crime. My opponent highlights, "Those juveniles make up 3 percent of all felony arrests and 6 percent of violent felony arrests. This is working because juveniles are already being tried as adults." This is a non-sequitur... or rather, a completely unjustified claim. Pro has merely provided a random statistic, and then asserts out of nowhere that juveniles being tried as adults is "working" for something. I suggest my opponent go back and try to make this contention more coherent.

Finally, he merely gives an example of a case in which a 16 year old is being tried as an adult for murder. So what? That doesn't prove anything. My opponent's burden in this debate is to argue that juveniles should be tried as adults -- not simply find examples of cases where they are. At this point, I think it's obvious that the instigator has thus far failed to present an original or cohesive argument in his favor, so we have no reason to accept the resolution.

I'll be using the same value of justice to uphold the negative position.

Laurence Steinberg writes about the crimes juveniles commit, noting society views "most of them as delinquent acts to be adjudicated within a separate juvenile justice system, that is theoretically designed to recognize the special needs and immature status of young people and emphasize rehabilitation over punishment" [3]. This is primarily for two reasons. First, juveniles are not as competent as adults, and therefore ought to be held to separate standards. Second, juveniles have demonstrated a higher capacity to change.

We punish criminals for two reasons: to protect society, and to achieve some sort of justice (or fairness). So why should we try juveniles as adults? Regarding the protection of society, young offenders will still be kept off the streets in juvenile detention centers, so there is no safety issue. In terms of achieving justice, the idea is to hold the assailant responsible for his or her actions if it is deemed the offender intentionally inflicted harm upon another, or violated their rights in some capacity.

A study done by the National Institute of Health found that the region of brain that inhibits risky behavior does not fully form until age 25. This is the final stage of brain development [4]. While that is not to say people cannot be held accountable for their actions until that age, it logically follows that people at different ages have a different capacity to understand different things. A three year old does not understand murder the way a thirteen year old does for example, and still a twenty three year old understands murder at an even more complex level.

One's capacity to understand their actions absolutely plays a role in the criminal justice system. For example if a mentally handicapped person walked out of a store holding a piece of store property, people aren't going to assume it was intentional theft and thus may not seek to punish him the way they would an intentional offender. Similarly, people who commit crimes accidentally are not held to the same standard as those who intentionally inflicted harm. Likewise, children who do not or can not grapple with the severity of their crime should not be held to the same standard as a competent, more developed adult. That is not to say the child should not be punished at all; they should simply be given a fair assessment by acknowledging their inferior reasoning abilities.

Note that the resolution does not call for juveniles to be tried as adults in ALL crimes; only violent ones. This simply does not follow. If it is accepted that juveniles should be tried separately from adults in *some* cases because they are not up to being held to the same standards as adults, then this mentality applies to crimes of ALL capacity. If you're saying juveniles should be more severely punished in only specific cases, then it's essentially leading by emotion and not logic. At that point it becomes not about justice but revenge. Therefore, Pro's value of justice is being violated.

There are rapid and dramatic changes in individuals' physical, intellectual, emotional, and social capabilities during their pre-teen to adult years. If there is a period in the life span during which one might choose to draw a line between incompetent and competent individuals, this is it [3]. Additionally, researchers for the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice found that teenagers are less blameworthy than adults, and that their capacities change significantly over the course of adolescence [5]. What does this mean?

Consider the cases of 9 year old Cameron Kocher or 11 year old Jordan Brown [5]. Both young boys were ruled to be tried as adults for murder. Do people really view 9 year olds as "small adults?" Obviously not. If so, they would have the same rights as adults -- which they obviously do not. Clearly, the State does not see them as being mature enough to be recognized as adults in *some* instances, yet when it comes to punishment, they somehow miraculously children gain the capacity to be considered as mature and responsible for their decisions as adults can be. It simply does not make sense.

Justice is being violated if the resolution is upheld.

[1] http://decorabilia.blogspot.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://findarticles.com...
[4] http://www.ehow.com...
[5] http://articles.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 1
theprodebater

Pro

theprodebater forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Please extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
theprodebater

Pro

theprodebater forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Wow, this has been a really awesome debate thus far.
Debate Round No. 3
theprodebater

Pro

theprodebater forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Thanks Pro. This was a riveting debate. Absolutely riveting.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Atheism 5 years ago
Atheism
God is telling me Lwerd's opponent will forfeit. If he does forfeit, it proves the existence of god.
trololololo
Posted by TheBear 5 years ago
TheBear
Yeah I wrote a K against his plagiarism, but I didn't get to submit it in time. He also plagarized his observation 1 from the same source. Besides that, his VC doesn't connect to Justice. After that, the Neg no longer needs to debate. He already took out any reason to affirm
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
o.O first time I've seen a plagiarism argument.
Posted by TheBear 5 years ago
TheBear
I wanted to accept it, but it wouldn't let me. Could you just start a new debate? I do LD Debate and I'm on the Varsity level so I'd be of greater help for you than others.
Posted by XStrikeX 5 years ago
XStrikeX
TheBear,
Are you going to accept this? If not, I think I will...
I believe you are, but am just a bit confused.
Posted by theprodebater 5 years ago
theprodebater
Axcccept agin
Posted by TheBear 5 years ago
TheBear
my apologies. I wrote the the rebuttal , but have yet to submit. Would you mind challenging me and using the same case? I'm sorry and I thank you in advance
Posted by theprodebater 5 years ago
theprodebater
please post arguement
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TheBear 5 years ago
TheBear
theprodebaterDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
theprodebaterDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 5 years ago
Danielle
theprodebaterDanielleTied
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