The Instigator
Fried_Out_Combie
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

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

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,862 times Debate No: 14875
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

Fried_Out_Combie

Pro

Heyy! For whoever accepts this debate! I just want you to know that I'm more interested in critics then actually debating. I honeslty do not care who wins this, I just want to see if anyone out there sees flaws or contradictions I don't.
Also, even if you don't to critic it in the debate, please feel free to comment on whatever you think is wrong or question. Thanks Guys!

"Justice has to be done and all people should be treated equally."
Nicky Maxwell's quote sums up the Justice in all its character. Although justice may seem hard at times, it is something that has to be done and is why I stand in Affirmation of the resolution Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system. The Value of this round is justice because the resolution is asking us to argue which system the juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to go in order to pay their just dues to society. Justice in this round is going to focus on the best way for a juvenile to serve their just due to society and what is in the best interest for a juvenile when it comes down to which system they are charged in.
I offer the following observations for the round. Observation One: To clarify , we are not talking about all juveniles or all delinquent crimes in general; we are talking about the juveniles who have committed violent felonies which is defined as or any criminal offense that involves the threat or use of violence during its commission such as a Murder or Assault crimes. My second Observation is that the Definition of Juvenile is anyone between the ages of 13 and 18. The age 13 was chosen because that is the youngest known age of a juvenile who was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
- As there is no action without reaction, there shouldn't a crime without punishment afterwards. Even juveniles are subject to laws and are obliged to behave accordingly. Should they fail to do so, it would be unjust to let them - almost freely - get away with it.

Contention One: Juveniles need to be tried in Adult courts to uphold the basic forms of justice.
Sub-Point A: Unjust Sentencing for juveniles encourages discrimination
The most fundamental principle of justice—one that has been widely accepted since it was first defined by Aristotle more than two thousand years ago—is the principle that "equals should be treated equally and un-equals unequally." In its contemporary form, this principle is sometimes expressed as follows: "Individuals should be treated the same, unless they differ in ways that are relevant to the situation in which they are involved."
Now, we can apply Aristotle's same logic to the Resolution. If we have a child of the age of 14 who has killed a man and someone the age of 20 who has killed a man, they both should be tried and sentenced in the same fashion. But in our society, we see it fit to allow the child to endure a different form a punishment simply because he is of a lower age, thus encouraging injustice and discrimination. What we must see is that murder is murder, no matter who has committed it. The only relevant differences in a case of murder or rape would be how or where the action took place not the age or gender of the offender. Because Things such as murder and assault are violent felonies, we as a society need to hold these crimes to the upmost justice because they can be some of the most gruesome crimes to take place. Having a juvenile commit these crimes should make us think of it no more or no less because age is not a primary factor in the conviction of a crime and why a juvenile should be held accountable for their actions in an adult court system, where these violent felonies are typically solved for.
Sub-Point B: Juveniles are given more opportunities for justice when charged as adults.
The Juvenile and Criminal justice system both differ in various ways. One way they differ is the rights at trails in the different systems.

The rights of a juvenile In the Juvenile justice include the right to an attorney, speedy trail, to confront witness, to cross examine witnesses, to introduce evidence and not to testify. Although this may seem like juveniles are protected in courts with these right, it's an unfair justice to them especially dealing with violent felonies. In juvenile courts, you are denied the right to a jury trial and bail. The only person that gets to decide your case is the judge. And although evidence is allowed to be presented, there is only one person who gets to decide your case.
Now let's examine a juvenile in Adult system.
When a juvenile is charged or transferred over to an adult court for trial, they are automatically given the rights of an adult. They can post bail, have a public trail, and still have all the rights they did before. Also, a defense attorney will have more time to properly review their case and have a stronger case against the prosecution. They will be able to build their defense stronger because according to the rules in which a juvenile can be contained before their trial, they can only be contained for 1-3 days, while in a adult court, they are contained until it's time for their case on the calendar. Another area we can look too in the adult system is the fact that a full jury gets to decides their case, not one judge who has been working on cases all day long. This is especially important in Violent Felony cases where evidence needs to be looked upon and questioned over and over again to make sure that beyond a reasonable doubt the juvenile is guilty. Adult court systems give the juvenile a better chance at proving themselves innocent or guilty and giving them more rights to a trail, this is defiantly important in violent felony cases because of the seriousness of the crimes. These factors also give the juvenile more justice when it comes to their violent felony because the chances of them being represented better are increased.
Sub-Point C: Adult charges for juveniles proves to be affective.
Studies done by the Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice and Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, have approached the question of whether or not the criminal justice system is the best place for juveniles to be charged in. They approached the question from different perspectives but have come upon the same conclusion: Youth who are subjected to the more punitive adult court system showed higher rates of recidivism and reoffended more quickly than those youth components that have gone through rehabilitative centers within the criminal justice system. This proves that not only that the criminal justice system can offer juveniles more options for their crimes but also that they a proven to work effectively.

Contention Two: Juveniles Know right from wrong.
The reason the juvenile justice system was formed was because society wanted a less harsh way to hold juveniles accountable for their actions. Their justification was that juveniles were of a lesser level of accountability because of their age. But what we must see in today's debate round is that justice cannot be based on age, but rather if the action was right or wrong. Many arguers against juveniles entering adult courts are that they are not as emotionally ready or stable as an adult to be held accountable for their actions. Although the factor of emotional development has been proven through scientific research committing a crime isn't based of whether your emotions controlled you or not, it's rather you knew if it was right or wrong. We have all experienced the emotional drive versus whether are actions were right or wrong. For example, when one is child and they want a cookie out of the cookie jar their emotions tell them that they want a cookie, but they still know they are going to get in trouble if they decided to grab one. Grabbing the cookie isn't a matter of emotional drive, but whether or not the child is willing to suffer the conseq
Danielle

Con

1. Re: Juveniles need to be tried in adult courts to uphold the basic forms of justice.

Sub Point A


Pro provides a quote from Aristotle which she interprets to support the resolution. She writes, "Equals should be treated equally and un-equals unequally." Ironically, I see this perspective as helping to negate the resolution.

In Pro's example, if a 14 year old commits murder and a 20 year old commits murder, the only factor she deems relevant pertaining to the deaths are the different locations they took place at. She suggests no characteristics about the assailant matter. However, that is simply not the way our criminal justice system operates. For example, suppose a mentally handicapped person murdered someone. In that case, such an act might even be considered an accident or tragic mistake. As such, we can see that there are qualities pertaining to the assailant that we do keep in mind when determining how to best achieve justice.

Moreover Pro's standards negate her very own point. For instance she specified that juveniles pertained to individuals between the ages of 13 and 18. However, why isn't the standard extended to include toddlers or someone aged 5? Quite obviously Pro recognizes a profound distinction in the cognitive abilities of a toddler and that of an adult or even teenager.

So, Pro must agree that maturity and rational thinking must be present in order to hold an individual accountable to a particular degree. Because such factors can typically be represented or gauged by age, it makes sense to have a distinction between different groups of people. As such, Pro has the burden of proving that a 13 year old has the same rational capabilities as adult. In this debate, I will prove otherwise as well as establish that justice can be served even without upholding the resolution.

Sub Point B

Pro argues that a juvenile has a better opportunity for a fair trial if they are tried in criminal as opposed to juvenile court, primarily because they would then have the right to a trial by jury as opposed to a trial determined by one judge. However, one need only look at the potential penalties for a juvenile being charged with a violent crime as an adult to see why the benefits of being tried as a juvenile are clearly superior to the contrary. Because the penalties for an adult would be inarguably more severe, it would probably be in the best interest of the defendant to take their chance with one judge.

Moreover, a juvenile has every right to appeal their case regardless of how it is reconciled just as an adult does. Finally on this point, in the case of a severe violent crime (like murder) with subsantial penalties, the defense is going to prepare a case with utmost care and concen. In other words Pro tries to make it sound as if the juvenile defense attorneys are lacking or incompetent, when that is simply not the case and especially not in a high profile case.

Sub Point C

This completely confuses me. Pro writes, and I quote, "Youth who are subjected to the more punitive adult court system showed higher rates of recidivism and reoffended more quickly than those youth components that have gone through rehabilitative centers within the criminal justice system." It seems that here my opponent has just offered a statistic in my favor. If I am reading this correctly, it proves that minors going through the rehabilitative centers within the juvenile system has had a more positive effect than subjecting minors to the criminal justice system.

2. Re: Juveniles know right from wrong.

Pro's second conetention posits that juveniles fully understand what they are doing; therefore, should be punished accordingly. However my opponent admits that science proves there are distinct differences between a juvenile and adult brain. A study done by the National Institute of Health found that the region of the brain that inhibits risky behavior does not fully form until age 25. This is the final stage of brain development [1]. 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. Visiting a previous 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 [2]. 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 [3].

Conclusion

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.

Juveniles do not have the same mental faculties as adults. If they did, the State would bestow upon them the same rights and responsibilities as adults, such as being able to buy alcohol, vote, etc. However clearly the State does not see them as being mature enough to be recognized as adults in most instances, so it cannot be rational to suggest that they are held to the same standard of maturity and responsibility as adults. That is a hypocritical and dangerous implementation of subjective reasoning.

Furthermore, upholding the resolution significanty undermines the possibility for young people to be rehabilitated. Considering juveniles have demonstrated a significantly higher capacity to change than adults, it once again makes sense to hold them to different standards.

Thank you.

[1] http://www.ehow.com...
[2] http://findarticles.com...
[3] http://articles.cnn.com...


Debate Round No. 1
Fried_Out_Combie

Pro

Thanks for accepting.
Before I rebuttal the arguments I would like to post the rest of my second contention. I am so so sorry, I didn't not realize it had cut it of.
. To further support my position Judi Smetana a psychologist and professor at the University of Rochester has found that children as young as the age as 3 and 4 are able to recognize certain behaviors such as hitting as wrong, even when no one is watching. Although our brains may not be as emotionally developed as much as they could be, juveniles do know the differences between right and wrong and when it comes to committing wrongful actions, and that is what matters when it comes down to sentencing for crimes.
I end you with this, because As there is no action without reaction, there shouldn't a crime without punishment afterwards. Even juveniles are subject to laws and are obliged to behave accordingly. Should they fail to do so, it would be unjust to let them - almost freely - get away with and is why I stand in Affirmation.

Allright, so lets start of with attacking her arguments and affirming my contentions with Contention 1 Sub A
I have many responses.
-The location example was just an example of the important factors in the cases with violent felonies. Other factors could include the weapon used or what the crime was. You can't weigh age in it because those factors are always changing and not everyone is the same age. What matter is the crime at hand.
-If a mentally Handicapped person is able to commit a violent felony, the adult court system still needs to handle the case. It can look at the issues at hand just as well as a juvenile system could and they can sentence them to other places other than jail or prison to solve for those problems. Also, they will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the handicap truly affected the decision to commit the violent felony. Just because your handicapped, doesn't mean you do not know the difference between right and wrong.
-the only profound distinction I find in my observation's the fact that the possibility of a 3 year commuting a murder versus a 13 year, is in favor of the 13 year old. I also give reasoning to back up my age limit.
-as for rational thinking, all they have to know is the difference between whether thier action was right or wrong.
Sub-B
-the penalties are more servere because the crime is more brutal. If a juvenile is able to committ a more serious violent felony, thier punishment should be more severe.
-im not saying the attoneys are lacing of incompetence, im saying they are lacking in time to build a solid case.
Sub C
-yeaa, that was just kinda a tester sub point. I am willing to drop it because its not really hindering or helping my case.

Contention two
We will discuss it more oin detail after my oponet gets all the facts.

Conclusion
-thier first contention supports my postion. Just becasue they are a juvenile does not mean they are not a criminal.
-in the last section they state they have a better chance to change, therefore they should get a lower sentence. But when one starts using this logic, any adult that has the ability to change, becaus they are out there, should also be given a lower sentence for thier crime. This arguement can not be wieghed into today's debate because using this type of logic is going to allow the criminal justice systems to be questions and will ultimatly undermine it.

As we can see, charging a juvenile is a justifyed action that gives the convict thier jus dues and protects society.

Thank You.
Danielle

Con

Introduction

I didn't have enough characters in my last round to write an introduction, but I wanted to say thank you for this opportunity to debate, Pro, and welcome to DDO! :)

Now onto my rebuttal...

1A. Pro writes, "You can't weigh age in it [determining justice] because those factors are always changing and not everyone is the same age." In other words, she's repeating her argument that age isn't a factor, because all that matters is the severity of the crime. However in the last round I pointed out that people are held to different standards of accountability based on their level of reasoning. For instance, Pro admits that a toddler simply lacks the rationale to understand the severity of a crime such as murder, while arguably a teenager and adult can. However if we acknowledge a disparity in reasoning between a toddler and teenager, then we should also acknowledge the same disparity between teenagers and adults.

In the last round I provided evidence proving that the region of the brain that inhibits risky behavior does not fully form until age 25. This means that teenagers are more susceptible to "crimes of passion," which our criminal justice system acknowledges as a viable defense in many cases to disprove premeditation [1]. Pro ignored this as well as my other sources pertaining to the teenage brain and accountability. Lastly on this point, I vehemently disagree with my opponent's statement "As for rational thinking, all they have to know is the difference between whether their action was right or wrong." Our criminal justice system and moreover the concept of justice is far more complex than that.

1B. In response to the juvenile punishments tending to be more lenient, Pro writes, "The penalties are more severe because the crime is more brutal. If a juvenile is able to commit a more serious violent felony, their punishment should be more severe." However this doesn't make any sense. I'm contending that even if the crimes are equally brutal, characteristics about the defendant do matter in achieving justice. If someone killed someone on accident, for instance, that would be a "violent crime" but that doesn't mean the offender ought to be severely punished to achieve "justice."

Furthermore, Pro hasn't explained why a juvenile needs to be tried in an adult court to receive an adult-like sentence. As of 2005, a juvenile who committed a crime prior to their 18th birthday cannot receive the death penalty. However, they can still receive life in prison as a sentence [2]. Currently 15 states don't have the death penalty, meaning even adults who are tried in adult court might receive the same sentence as a juvenile. Therefore, Pro hasn't proven why adult courts help better achieve justice.

Regarding Pro's point about defense attorneys not having enough time to build a proper case in juvenile court, I would like to see cited evidence of that accusation or else we have no reason to accept it.

1C. I accept Pro dropping this point; however, I would still like to submit it in my favor lol. Once again, the factoid is "Youth who are subjected to the more punitive adult court system showed HIGHER rates of recidivism, and re-offended more quickly than those youth components that have gone through rehabilitative centers within the criminal justice system." In other words, trying juveniles as juveniles tends to be more effective.

2. Pro says we will discuss this further "once I have gotten all the facts." I'm assuming this is referring to reading the rest of her cut-off argument that she has provided for us in this round. However all she has provided us with is that young children do understand concepts of right and wrong, and suggests that juveniles' brains are merely emotionally stunted. That, however, is simply not true according to the sources I've provided in the last round as well as any neuroscience book I've ever read.

Pediatric neurologist Frances Jensen talks about how the crucial frontal lobes of the brain are not really developed in your teenage years. "It's the part of the brain that says: 'Is this a good idea? What is the consequence of this action?' ... It's not that they don't have a frontal lobe. And they can use it. But they're going to access it more slowly" [3]. In addition to the frontal lobe, the brain's emotional center (the amygdala), which controls anger, fear and recklessness among other reactions is in a much higher gear during one's teenage years than their adult, when it becomes more tempered by their frontal lobe. Without the frontal lobe on board, it becomes physiologically harder for a teen to completely understand the future consequences of his or her emotional or impulsive actions, scientists contend [4].

Most importantly, Pro dropped my argument from the last round pertaining to what rights and responsibilities juveniles have in society as compared to adults. Quite obviously minors are barred from certain things like voting, buying alcohol, gambling, getting married, living on their own, etc. because the State deems them too young (immature) to make important decisions and be held to the same standards as adults. As such, it is completely hypocritical to suggest they are not progressed enough to buy cigarettes, but then say they can be considered an adult when it comes to sentencing them to death. Remember that a death sentence is the ONLY different punishment a minor can receive in the juvenile system as opposed to the adult court system.

Aside from that, extend all of my arguments that Pro dropped in failing to respond to Point 2 at all.

Conclusion

Pro writes, "Just because they are a juvenile does not mean they are not a criminal." As I explained in the last round, just because a minor is being tried in a juvenile court does not mean they are not in fact a criminal, or that justice will not (or can not) be served. Holding them to different standards is certainly not an excuse of their crime by any means. Finally, Pro concludes that it undermines the criminal justice system to suggest that minors can be rehabilitated. She also says that adults retain this potential as well. First, I provided a cited source indicating that research shows juveniles have a much higher chance to be rehabilitated than adults, thereby negating Pro's response. Second, Pro seems to dismiss the idea of rehabilitation all-together as if punishment was the sole purpose of the justice system.

As I said in the last round, we punish people in the criminal justice system to protect society and to achieve a sense of fairness. However justice =/= revenge, and the juvenile courts are just as capable of adequately punishing a minor as an adult court. "Justice" means the assailant got what they deserved. Getting what they deserve means they were of sound capacity to be held liable for their actions. While one's age is certainly no excuse for the crimes they commit, it can and should certainly be a factor in the judgment process.

Thanks so much again, Pro, and good luck!

References

[1] http://www.associatedcontent.com...
[2] http://www.csmonitor.com...
[3] http://www.npr.org...
[4] http://www.abqtrib.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Fried_Out_Combie

Pro

Alright, so for the sake of a roadmap, im going to adress my oponets arguements and then go on to adress why I have won today's debate.

1A
-Just because someone may understand the 'serverity' of a crimem does not mean they do not understand that it is the wrong this to do. I gave you the example in my case where studies show that a 3 and 4 year old are able to tell the difference between right and wrong. When you committ the crime, when it come directly down to it, knowing what you did was wrong is what deciedes your guilt. Although you may know what you did was wrong, you may plead not guilty but that is a whole nother section of criminal justice that doesn't need to be addressed in this round.
I would also like to state that im not denying thier is a difference in age, I would be completely and totally bonkers if I did. What im saying is that if at a very young age children are able to tell the differences in right and wrong actions and this still carries on through thier years of growing up, it just doesn't get up and leave.
-Again, just because a Juvenile is more seseptible to risky behavior, doesn't mean they totally forget about right and wrong actions. Because they know that robbing a store, or assulting or killing someone even is wrong and they make the choice to commit the crime anyway, the individual agreed to accept whatever consequences society assigns.
the concept of our criminal justice system is about freeing the inoscent and convicting the guilty of crime. Therfore rewarding those who do actions of good and punishing those who do actions of bad. This is about as complex as the system gets when you look at the shell of it. Sure, the inside processes are lenthy, but in a mut shell, that is what the criminal justice system is all about.

1B
-If you do the Crime, you need to do the time. The whole point of the criminal justice system is to have punishments set for certain crimes committed, some even have set guildlines for certain crimes.(http://www.law.umaryland.edu...)
If you committ a higher felony crime, your punishment is goin to be longer and more severe because the crime was.
They state that the characteristics of the defendant matter in the crime but with justice, the goal is to get or to find a constant varible that can be asserted and in the criminal justice system this varible is the crime that is committed and the thing to be asserted is the sentence, not the person.
-Actually I have given reasoning for why they should be tried. I state that it actually gives more justice to them when they are charged in the manner because they are given more rights.
Another reason I give is the fact that these violent felonies are more serious crimes that need to be treated as high profile. We don't need to put them in the same system where a kid is being tried for stealing some gum from a gas station. that is almost like a slap int eh face to the people they have hurt because it shows how serious these crimes are being held
Another area you can look to for reasoning is sentencing disparity for these crimes. For example, if you are 17 yrs. old 11 mo. and 30 days, and you are convicted of a violent felony, the longest they can hold you too until your 19. But if your over the age of 18 you could be sentenced from anywhere from 10 years to life.

1C
-I know I dropped thie point but your misquoting it. Sure, it talks about punishment and what not but your missing the point about how thier are still rehabilitative centers within the criminal justice system. These juveniles are being tried as adults but they go through rehablititative centers within the crimianl justice system.

2
-When my oppent bring up something from one of her books about how Juveniles and children don't know the difference between right and wrong we will be able to argue this point. Until then, it still stand in this round.
-Sorry to repeat myself, but you don't have to completely understand the future consequences of committing a murder to know that it is bad and something else bad is going to happen.
-What you have to keep in mind is that " certain things like voting, buying alcohol, gambling, getting married, living on their own, etc" do not actually have a real immediate effect on another human being. but if you murder, rob, assult another human being, the effects to them are immediate. Thats why the immaturity of those things is held to a high and different level.

Conclusion.
In this round, we as a society must let go of the fact that they are a certain age and focus on the issues that are really important. 1. did they committ the action knowing it was wrong and 2. what was the committed and the factors that go into it. Justice is not revenge, justice is being able to take up for your actions or having society punish you for them. thier is no action with out reaction. To protecct socity as a whole, we must not underestimate juvenile simply because of thier age, if they are capable of committing a violent felony, they are a threat and they need to be handled as such.
I stonly urge a vote in Affirmation

Thanks For the deabte Con! This been really fun, enjoyable, and highly inteligible!
Danielle

Con

Many thanks once again to Pro for giving me the opportunity to debate this compelling issue.

1A. Pro writes, "Knowing what you did was wrong is what decides your guilt." Suppose for a second I agreed with this statement (and I do) - what does that have to do with being tried in an adult vs. juvenile court? As I explained at length the last round, a juvenile court is just as capable as determining guilt as an adult court, and in fact can dole out the exact same punishments with the exception of the death penalty - the same as adult court in 15 states. As such, this is not a contention in Pro's favor. It does nothing to support the resolution specifically.

Pro also says, "Again, just because a juvenile is more susceptible to risky behavior, doesn't mean they totally forget about right and wrong actions." I agree. However as I have been explaining throughout this debate, the juvenile court system does not exempt the minor from any charges and still very much considers the severity of the crime. The difference is that it takes into account the very real biological and thus mental faculty of a minor vs. an adult in determining a proper sentence. As I explained, that is paramount in the *justice* system.

1B. Pro contends that sentencing is based on the severity of the crime, and that is the lone factor taken into consideration in determining the proper punishment. She says characteristics of the defendant cannot be a variable and that the ends of the crime itself must be a constant. However this ignores everything I've been saying about potential defenses, such as insanity pleas [1]. As I pointed out in the last couple of rounds, a mentally handicapped person can use their state of mind as a legitimate defense of their crime. As such, they are often punished by say being sent to mental hospitals instead of prison [2].

Similarly, if we take into consideration of the mental state of deranged individuals, then we necessarily have to consider the "deranged" mindstate of minors who often experience the same severe lack of restraint in particular cases. Once again, this is for the court to decide - the juvenile court. If leniency is appropriate, it will be sentenced that way. Otherwise the juvenile could very easily receive a sentence of life in prison, which has happened many times before [3].

Pro has not denied or tried to scientifically disprove any of the biological evidence I've submitted indicating a distinct difference in rationality between juveniles and adults.

Moving on, Pro says that juveniles should be tried as adults because it gives them "more rights" in terms of their case (i.e., a trial by jury vs. a trial by judge). However I've responded by pointing out how both sides have their perks, so this is not an argument in favor of Pro. At best it can be considered equal since there's benefits to both.

Pro next argues that juvenile offenders ought to be put in the spotlight, so trying them in adult court is necessary for publicity. First of all I contend this is cruel and unusual. There is no reason for a child to specifically be tormented after-the-fact considering he or she will already be in a lot of trouble. This makes it sound like what I have been saying all along: Pro is after revenge - not justice. Second, what makes you think a juvenile murder case for example wouldn't get even *more* publicity than an adult case? I contend that it most certainly would. Finally, this argument is irrelevant anyway (technically) since you're not supposed to submit new arguments in the final round.

Finally on this point, I asked Pro to give us cited evidence proving her point that defense attorneys don't have enough time to build a proper case in juvenile court. However, Pro hasn't given us any evidence, indicating that she is conceding this point. Either that or the audience has no reason to accept that anyway, considering it would be irresponsibly presumptuous.

1C. Pro says that I am "misquoting" what she said. That is simply not true. Once again, I will copy and paste what Pro said verbatim in Round 1: "Youth who are subjected to the more punitive adult court system showed higher rates of recidivism and re-offended more quickly than those youth components that have gone through rehabilitative centers within the criminal justice system." In other words, it says EXACTLY what I have been saying this whole time -- that youth who went through the adult system showed HIGHER RATES OF RE-OFFENDING AND COMMITTING THE CRIMES THAN THOSE WHO WENT THROUGH REHABILITATION INSTEAD. I am the one arguing in favor of rehabilitation for minors. Pro is the one arguing in favor of harsher adult penalties, i.e., the route that leads to people committing crimes once again. Therefore she wants a system that does not achieve justice at all, or that does so only for a short time and can do more harm than good.

2. "When my opponent brings up something from one of her books about how Juveniles and children don't know the difference between right and wrong we will be able to argue this point. Until then, it still stands in this round." In the last round I DID give neurological evidence with cited sources and statistics proving my point about the difference between a minor and adult brain. Pro has absolutely failed to respond to these arguments, meaning she concedes the difference. Please extend all of my arguments which she did not respond to either in the last or final round. Meanwhile, I'll repeat my point that it doesn't matter if the juvenile knew the difference between right and wrong or not. In the last round I admitted that but explained how that was not pertinent to my arguments at all.

Finally on this point, Pro says that it doesn't matter that juveniles don't have the same rights as adults in everyday society, because those rights don't have "a real immediate effect on another human being." However that is simply not true; it has an effect on the individual lacking that particular right. Moreover this ignores the point -- that the law clearly shows a distinction in terms of rights/maturity for juveniles on some level, and as such, that line of thinking ought to be extended to the court system or else it is hypocritical and they need to treat juveniles like adults in ALL instances of the law. After all that is only fair.

-- Conclusion --

In conclusion, Pro's primary argument is that juveniles know right from wrong; therefore, they ought to be held to the same standards as adults in the criminal justice system. My response has been that this is not the case in order to achieve justice. Pro concludes her round by saying, "Justice is not revenge, justice is being able to take up for your actions or having society punish you for them." However even by those standards, we see no reason to not try a minor in a juvenile court. A juvenile can still be held accountable for their actions and be punished - even to the same extent as adults - while being tried in juvenile court.

Throughout this debate I've proven there is a significant distinction in the capacity for a teenager to ration through their actions to the same degree as a functioning adult. The court acknowledges a disparity in responsibility depending on the assailant's mental state; we see that with insanity pleas and mental retardation defenses. As such, the mindstate of a juvenile ought to be considered in particular based on the evidence I've provided throughout this debate. Revenge is punishing someone to maximum capacity just for the sake of doing so; justice is giving someone the punishment they DESERVE. Justice can best be achieved by trying juveniles in the juvenile court system.

Thanks again, Pro, and good luck.

-- References --

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.wsws.org...
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by theantichrist 6 years ago
theantichrist
the justice systems is retarted. instead of trying to lock everybody, y not try and help them duhhh
Posted by Fried_Out_Combie 6 years ago
Fried_Out_Combie
Thank You for all this feedback, it really helps. This is my first Time doing LD and I have to debate in Varsity so I'm very nervous.
So, do you think I could do without Sub-Point C because I kinda just added it in there for the sake of having it because I just kind of found that article and put it in there?
Is thier anyway I could possibly keep my Contention Two arguements? Or is it past the point of turning them into a arguement that does not go on the defense?
So what your sayin about my value is that I basically discussing two forms of justice and when ever I take down one of them, the whole value of justice will fall?
Posted by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
A critique, since you asked for it:

Comments on your opening quote:
1. I don't see any strategic value in your opening quote. It doesn't make an argument or summarize your case. It is just an assertion that justice is good.
2. Nicky Maxwell is definitely not a reliable source.
3. Your quote does not "[sum] up the Justice in all its character." It asserts that "Justice has to be done" which says nothing about what justice is.

You say, "Justice in this round is going to focus on the best way for a juvenile to serve their just due to society and what is in the best interest for a juvenile when it comes down to which system they are charged in."
1. This is an assertion with no semblance of a warrant for it.
2. This is a contradiction. Retributivism and rehabilitation are two conflicting theories of justice. Any sort of warrants you provide for one theory would be at odds with the other.
3. You should probably have a formal criterion to define what justice is. Right now, your case doesn't give a clear picture.

I don't understand the purpose of observation 1. The specification you provide (that the resolution is specific to violent felons) is already guaranteed in the resolution, so you haven't clarified the resolution at all.

Your observation 2 has no source for the definition.

You say, "As there is no action without reaction, there shouldn't a crime without punishment afterwards. Even juveniles are subject to laws and are obliged to behave accordingly. Should they fail to do so, it would be unjust to let them - almost freely - get away with it."
1. Newton's 3rd Law is not describing crime and punishment.
2. You seem to be insinuating that the juvenile system doesn't punish juveniles sufficiently, but you never argue this in your case nor provide a warrant for the argument.
Posted by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
Comments on C1:

Your sub-point A says nothing informative. Your point seems to be that "If juveniles and adults are equals, then they ought to be treated equally," which is trivially true. What you fail to establish is that juveniles and adults are in fact equal, without which your sub-point A proves nothing at all.

On sub-point B:
1. You keep saying 'trail' when you mean 'trial'.
2. You say "The rights of a juvenile In the Juvenile justice include the right to an attorney, speedy trail, to confront witness, to cross examine witnesses, to introduce evidence and not to testify." Why?
You're making defensive arguments against your own case here.
3. You say "[Defense attourneys] will be able to build their defense stronger because according to the rules in which a juvenile can be contained before their trial, they can only be contained for 1-3 days, while in a adult court, they are contained until it's time for their case on the calendar." (a) You need a source for this. (b) Most laws regarding CJ vary by state, so I would hazard a guess that this applies in a few states but not universally. (c) Why does the attourney need to have the juvenile in custody to build a case? (d) The adult court right to bail that you mention seems to make this problem worse since juveniles can post bail with enough money even if the CJS thinks that it is not in the juvenile's interests.
4. You provide no reason for why the rights to jury trial and bail actually "given more opportunities for justice;" you just implicitly make that assumption. There are a ton of reasons that CON could offer for why each of those rights is counter-productive in the context of juvenile offenders (which is why they aren't provided in juvenile court).
Posted by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
On sub-point C:
1. Affective is not a word. You mean effective.
2. You've provided no sources nor even direct quotes for these studies you cite.
3. I highly doubt that these journals (at least, that's what I assume "the Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice" is) have performed the studies you describe. Academic journals are generally compilations of literature where different academics post their own studies and papers, not entities that do their own research. You need to find the actual author(s) and cite him/her/them.
4. You've provided sources that say literally the OPPOSITE of what you're trying to say. Your 'studies' say "Youth who are subjected to the more punitive adult court system showed higher rates of recidivism and reoffended more quickly than those youth components that have gone through rehabilitative centers within the criminal justice system." Recidivism and reoffend are both terms that indicate returning to crime. It is a BAD thing that the adult system has high rates of repeat criminals.
5. Check out [Levitt, Steven D., Juvenile Crime and Punishment. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 106, No. 6, December 1998] for a source that actually does conclude that the adult system prevents crime.
Posted by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
Comments on C2:
1. This is not a proactive reason to vote PRO. This is just a preempt to the potential CON argument of proportionality. If the CON doesn't make that argument, your C2 is irrelevant.
2. This contention boils down to an assertion of what you think justice is. There is no warrant anywhere for why justice focuses on actions and not mental capacity/emotions/etc.
3. Your assertion here is very counter-intuitive. If justice is based on the action, then we would punish a bolder for rolling down a hill and killing someone since the act is wrong regardless of the culpability of the actor.
4. You contradict yourself here by first saying that justice is predicated upon whether the action is right or wrong then saying a sentence or two later that justice is based on whether the actor knew the action was wrong.
5. Even when people know their actions are wrong, our CJS still provides lesser punishments in instances of duress, provocation, necessity, and domination, which seems to deny your claim that all people who know that their actions are wrong should be treated equally. When there are extenuating circumstances (such as strong reliance on emotion or peer pressure, to symptoms of young age) we usually accomodate for them with more lenient punishment.
6. You'll run into trouble against more nuanced proportionality arguments that aren't based on emotional impulses (such as peer pressure, legal dependency on parents, lack of life experience, etc).
7. The neurological evidence that exists on the issue is relatively uniform on the fact that juveniles' prefrontal cortexes (the section of the brain concerned with rational decisionmaking) aren't fully developed which could call into question your assertion that juveniles are fully competent to recognize right and wrong.
Posted by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
Comments on C2:
1. This is not a proactive reason to vote PRO. This is just a preempt to the potential CON argument of proportionality. If the CON doesn't make that argument, your C2 is irrelevant.
2. This contention boils down to an assertion of what you think justice is. There is no warrant anywhere for why justice focuses on actions and not mental capacity/emotions/etc.
3. Your assertion here is very counter-intuitive. If justice is based on the action, then we would punish a bolder for rolling down a hill and killing someone since the act is wrong regardless of the culpability of the actor.
4. You contradict yourself here by first saying that justice is predicated upon whether the action is right or wrong then saying a sentence or two later that justice is based on whether the actor knew the action was wrong.
5. Even when people know their actions are wrong, our CJS still provides lesser punishments in instances of duress, provocation, necessity, and domination, which seems to deny your claim that all people who know that their actions are wrong should be treated equally. When there are extenuating circumstances (such as strong reliance on emotion or peer pressure, to symptoms of young age) we usually accomodate for them with more lenient punishment.
6. You'll run into trouble against more nuanced proportionality arguments that aren't based on emotional impulses (such as peer pressure, legal dependency on parents, lack of life experience, etc).
7. The neurological evidence that exists on the issue is relatively uniform on the fact that juveniles' prefrontal cortexes (the section of the brain concerned with rational decisionmaking) aren't fully developed which could call into question your assertion that juveniles are fully competent to recognize right and wrong.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
Fried_Out_CombieDanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Juveniles aren't as rational, so they deserve mitigated punishment. Also, adult courts increase recidivism.
Vote Placed by darkkermit 6 years ago
darkkermit
Fried_Out_CombieDanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: S&G - Fried_Out_Combine made many obvious spelling mistakes. Example, in the first round "honeslt" should be "honestly' reliable sources - Pro uses none. Convincing arguments - Con shows the importance of neurological development in juveniles and finds many contradictions in Pro's logic.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Fried_Out_CombieDanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear win for Con, who refuted several points without contention such as the obvious age distinction which Pro conceded.