The Instigator
I_am_Einstein
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
JTSmith
Con (against)
Winning
45 Points

Should kids age 7 to 16 that commit serious crimes go to jail?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/17/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,435 times Debate No: 4713
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (14)

 

I_am_Einstein

Pro

Yes, because kids age 7 to 16 know what they're doing, especially in those big time crimes, such as rape or murder. They know what hey are doing, and should be properly punished for it. Unless they are mentally disabled, the they should be put in jail. Juvenile detention may be enough, but the parents have t decide on that.
JTSmith

Con

You are right.
Children age 7-16 DO know what they are doing.

They do not, however, have any idea of the consequences of their actions. They are unable to understand what the effects of what they are doing aside from the immediate gratification.
Because of this lack of understanding they are unable to reason properly and cannot be held to the same standard as an adult.

In fact, the human brain does not complete its development until around the age of 23.
The last part of the brain to develop???
Rational Decision Making

http://wiki.answers.com...

Now how can we hold a young child to the same standard as an adult, when they are barely capable of rational thought???

Also, as if our jails aren't crowded enough!! Lets through in little tommy and his stolen lolly-pop to live with Butch and Lil Big Daddy!
Talk about overcowding!

And lastly...think about this...
Why would you throw a little kid into such an unsafe enviroment???
Fistfighting is almost daily!!!
People are killed!!!
Cursing, rudeness, and poor behavior everywhere they turn!!
How can you expect to reform a child in that kind of enviroment???

Lastly, children require a loving enviroment and thowing them in jail isnt going to solve their problems. Its going to scar and destroy them mentally!

Sending children to jail is pointless and harmful!
Debate Round No. 1
I_am_Einstein

Pro

That is true for seven to ten year olds, but 11 to 16 they DO know the consequences of commiting the crime.
JTSmith

Con

11-16 year olds know the immediate consequences. They know they will go to jail. They know that it will make their life hard, but they still dont understand the world enough to appreciate the gravity of what their circumstances would be.
Now thats not to say they all dont either. The current court system works. The court will judge as to whether a child should be held to the standard of an adult.
I learned from a prison gaurd (and also my former personal trainer) that there was in fact a 14yr old boy in prison. He was serving 14yrs. Now that to me was surprising, but obviously the court does evaluate the circumstances.

Most kids however, cannot be able to reason as well as an adult if for no other reason than that they just plain dont know enough about the world.

Let me create a hypothetical scenerio.

Two men each kill their boss.
The first of these two men is slightly mentally handicapped. He knows that he is going to feel better, and that he is going to jail
The second of these two men is fully competent, knows that he is going to feel better, that he is going to jail, that he has just doomed the company the boss owned, that he has destroyed the life of the bosses family, and that he has taken away something he can never give back.

Who are you going be inclined to punish more??
The man who acted wholly on human impulse due to a lack of understanding?
Or the man who knew all the harm he was causing and did it anyway??
Certainly you need to punish both, but you couldnt hold the first man up to the same standard as the second man.

The same thing applies to children as opposed to adults.
Just like you cant hold the first man to the same bar as the second, you cannot hold children to the same bar as adults.

...and like I said, if their is an unusual difference in circumstances, the court takes them into consideration.

Everything is fine just the way it is...
Debate Round No. 2
I_am_Einstein

Pro

That is true, but i'm an 11 year old and I understand the consequences of what a crime could do, and plus, I understand the delicate enviroment of society.
JTSmith

Con

Okay..
now im not trying to be condescending or rude...

but how would you know that you dont just think you understand?

as an 11yr old, what previous knowledge to you have to compare that to?

Every child thinks they understand the world. I did when i was 12. I did when i was 16.

Only now have i realized that i know nothing!!!
and going into the world scares me crapless...

anyway...
my point is that the fact that you "understand" is subjective and comes from a biased source.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by PsyPhiGuy 7 years ago
PsyPhiGuy
One the most confusing things to me about ageist laws are the simple fact that (for example) an 11 y.o. can possibly be tried "as an adult" (meaning he/she is old enough to realize the situation and be held responsible for their own actions) for the crime he/she has committed. Yet, if the same child is engaging in a consensual sexual act with an older person, then they are suddenly "innocent" and not old enough to realize their own actions or consequences. It appears to be a double-standard that favors the prosecution (and never the minor) in both situations.
1) Suppose an 11 y.o. is involved in a consensual sexual relationship with an older person.
2) The authorities discover this and prosecute the older person.
3) The authorities and their psychologists convince the minor that they were truly ignorant of their own actions because they aren't old enough to be responsible for them.
4) The minor, out of anger of this sudden revelation, kills the older person.
5) The prosecution then decides (due to the brutality of the crime) to try the minor as an adult.

What gives?
Posted by critterrice 8 years ago
critterrice
If a child only knows immediate consequences then are you arguing for capital punishment? A pain association would be the most immediate consequence to associate with.
Then again, John Wayne Gacy was physically abused. Hm...
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Sounds like his parents didn't teach him any manners. Must have been some bumpkins.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
We all laugh, but when my daughter was in the 5th grade (11 years old), one of her classmates was expelled for sexual harassment. He kept exposing himself to the female classmates, frequently.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
When I was 8 years old, I raped my hott former playboy model third grade teacher yet she was the only one who ended up getting charged for rape. :P
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Well I'm only 17 so I'm going to go rape someone.

DON'T BLAME ME, MY BRAIN IS NOT DEVELOPED. STOP BEING MEAN TO ME.
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
Those pesky seven year old rapists!
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Sure they "know what they're doing", but not to the extent that they think like adults.
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by PsyPhiGuy 7 years ago
PsyPhiGuy
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Vote Placed by ANSmith 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by B2BCHAOS 8 years ago
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