Teenagers should be tried as adults in court of law.
Debate Rounds (4)
Round 1: Introductory statement of your position, and why you have those beliefs (no arguing yet)
Round 2: Debate
Round 3: Debate
Round 4: Conclusion
I believe teens should be tried as adults( Only for felonies) because they are developed enough to know the difference between right and wrong.
"Tried as adults"- Recognized as an adult during a court trial; meaning they can receive adult level punishments rather than being put through the Juvenile system
Felonies- A crime involving violence that is more serious than a misdemeanor (Ex: Murder, Armed Robbery)
I would like to challenge your position which is based rather thinly on adolescents knowing the difference between right and wrong, even though we cannot be certain of this even in respect to adults (who are held accountable regardless).
This is not to say that I believe that felony-status/warranted crimes are right(not wrong), but rather that I recognize how the hypocrisy inherent in society/history, where the crimes are deemed justifiable for certain epochs/people, and not others, can skew/distort one's view of right and wrong/or adherence to it. I believe that adolescents are more impressionable/reactive to such hypocrisies, as this stage of human personality is directed toward seeking independence which is achieved by finding one's place in the world. Unfortunately however, the world that they encounter is fraught with unredressed injustice and hypocrisy, which is results in an acute existential frustration...lol! So i believe that they, like young children should be allowed a period of adjustment.
Kudos on the your topic/claim!
Thanks for reading and most of all..
Your point is very well made.Teenagers are going through stages of searching for their true inner selves, but as they seek a path of self-mindfulness allowing them to get away with crimes teaches them the crimes are acceptable.
Though the children would be put through the Juvenile System, I believe the system is inadequate and easily manipulate. My reason being is many teens, who have committed unthinkable crimes, have gotten out of being properly punished.
The path to find your true inner self requires you to work and function with society. However when you prove a threat to society, not receiving harsh punishment teaches these young adults early on that breaking the law is acceptable. Though they would be put through the JV system, the system show more special treatment than it does discipline.
Gangs are all over the world, but as it turns out gang are able to easily manipulate this system. All they do is have the gang member who are 18 commit the murders, so if they get caught they will get out of the JV system at 18. This method in fact is quite effective, and gang related homicide has raised by 23% over the past few years.
I propose strict punishment when it is needed. Regardless of age they deserve to be reprimanded. It is unfair to ignore one's such crimes, because the reason behind their murders/felonies is their path to finding them-self.
Thank You, it is a privilege to debate with you.
YOU:...but as they seek a path of self-mindfulness allowing them to get away with crimes teaches them the crimes are acceptable.
RESPONSE: when the claim is made that one understands/discerns the difference between right and wrong. It assumes that the personality is already molded/complete in regards to morality. To say that not penalizing them to the maximum extent (as an adult) TEACHES them that it is acceptable, is contradictory, as it concedes that adolescents are indeed, still malleable/improvable/teachable. It may just be a question of usage, but the justice system is anything but didactic, it is society's means of reparation for acts committed against it/its citizens.
Moreover, there is an irrefutable distinction between the right and wrong you mention, (defined as an internal guide that exists before an act), and the societal consequences that enforces what is 'acceptable vs. unacceptable' (an external occurrence that results from an act).
YOU: Though the children would be put through the Juvenile System, I believe the system is inadequate and easily manipulate. My reason being is many teens, who have committed unthinkable crimes, have gotten out of being properly punished.
ME: Being able to manipulate the system doesn't necessarily indicate the maturity/accountability of an individual. They are just learning from the society at large. This example is going to seem a bit crass, but if you catch two toddlers (same age) playing with a lighter, would you give a harsh punishment to the child who has the dexterity to ignite/strike it? Hopefully, you'd just take the lighter away and be mindful of how this new found skill could be dangerous! So just because a teen can imitate the violence/cunning that they witness in society, does not mean they are mature enough to fully recognize the extent of their actions.
YOU CONTINUE: The path to find your true inner self requires you to work and function with society. However when you prove a threat to society, not receiving harsh punishment teaches these young adults early on that breaking the law is acceptable. Though they would be put through the JV system, the system show more special treatment than it does discipline.
ME: Id like to start by refuting that a teen is a young adult, this is a stage after adolescence (18-35). You are right however, that development (proper) is all about teaching a child to function in society. But it is not just a one-way transaction, society should inspire/attract the integration of individuals as well, and our encroachment on childhood, among other things, does not bode well. Lol. Also, in response to the 'special treatment' teens receive in juvenile detention centers, the reasoning behind this intervention to further nurture, not alienate/punish individuals until they are of a certain age. Consider those criminals who are deemed incorrigible. The predominant contributing factor to a sociopathic profile is childhood trauma. The more love and encouragement a child (teens included)receives, the more willing they will are to give up personal liberties (adapt) for the betterment of society.
YOU: Gangs are all over the world, but as it turns out gang are able to easily manipulate this system. All they do is have the gang member who are 18 commit the murders, so if they get caught they will get out of the JV system at 18. This method in fact is quite effective, and gang related homicide has raised by 23% over the past few years.
ME: Your point is compelling. Kids, younger and younger, seem to be committing heinous crimes (gang affiliated or not). One might speculate as to why children are turning away from parental/familial bonds in the pursuit of acceptance or approval of gangs or street credentials. Maybe the bond was never there? Whatever the case, I'm definitely not advocating allowing them to run amok until we find a cure-all for society's ills. There must be some semblance of order, but I've yet to see evidence for how locking away more people has or will ever prove rehabilitative to the individual or society.
And if we start with adolescents, what is to stop us from going younger...where will this line of accountability be drawn??
Thank you for your attention!!!
I would like to begin my response by addressing your debate by paragraph.
In your 2nd paragraph you claim I assume teenagers personality is already molded. I actually think the opposite. However the development of the frontal lobe (the part of brain that handles "morality') does not handle personality. Personality is handled by a completely different part of the brain. Science shows the frontal lobe does not fully develop until 22.Meaning
18-year-olds and teenagers both aren't fully developed in reasoning. Furthermore question in this matter, why do we punish them differently? Also, I of course think adolescents are "teachable". In fact I think everyone is teachable, or able to develop through learning, regardless of age. Which is shown in the common expression "you learn something new everyday." I think adults and teenagers think differently, but when they do things like murder it doesn't change the fact it is wrong. If they run through the JV system, when they get out at 18 they have to potential to kill again. This one person could put many people at risk.
Being able to manipulate the system has nothing to do with accountability. Being able to manipulate the system lets teen criminals with ill intentions carry out these premeditated crimes. They can manipulate out of harsh punishment, and be put back into the world and put people at risk. If two babies had a lighter anyone with a right mind would take it away. But they would take it away and put it out of reach so they can not get the lighter again. So imagine the lighter is the teenage criminal (potential to hurt you if handled loosely). One of the children is you. The other is me. As we as children pass the lighter back and fourth (us trying to decide what is best for the teen or "lighter"), we put ourselves at risk of being burnt. Then someone comes up, and takes the threat or "lighter" away. This person should be considered the law. The law was the one who took the danger away from those who could be hurt. Trying teens as adult would do just that. Since the JV system doesn't always punish those threats the way they should be punished.
I admit to being mistaken on the term "young adults" technically it would mean above teenagers. I meant to make the same point, replacing the term "young adults" to teenagers. Addressing what you said earlier 'childhood trauma" Would fall under the not mentally stable teens, whom I said in the last round are the special exception and it should not apply to them. Though those teenagers should be given help, that help can be given in an adult prison. If they have possible parole the therapist/help given can be left to determine if the teenager is no longer a threat. Until that point, teenagers should be able to receive adult punishments for very violent crimes in order to protect the people. Just because they have a sympathy story doesn't mean we can ignore the crime. Do you really want to take the chance of accidentally potentially not punishing the next terrorist? Do we really want to put others at risk?
Much appreciation for considering my view
My Response are below:
Your acknowledgement that that the frontal lobe (responsible for morality) is not fully developed at 18, is evidence that contradicts with your assertion that adolescents know the different between right and wrong.
I will also beg to differ about the location of our personality in the brain; it is very much so 'housed' in the frontal lobe. I have posted the link to the most succinct article I could find: (http://biology.about.com....) to show that the creation of personality is a construction of higher reasoning. But wherever the brain centers allocated to morality and reasoning, I"m sure we both agree that they will ultimately interact and guide our actions.
Secondly I am not saying that adults are 'unteachable' I am making (or attempting to make) the point that the usage of 'teach' is confusing in regards to this argument, because it implies you're trying to teach the morality that you claimed teens already possess. Learning that you are accountable, is fundamental moral awareness that arises whether you're punished or not. you should know an act is wrong, your moral guide/conscience tells you, so stiffer punishment doesn't even enter in as far as accountability when the personality/morality is fully developed. Furthermore, the adult justice system does not aim to teach, even in the case of adults. It assumes that the defendant already knows (right and wrong) and so only pursues reparations for damages to society.
YOU: Being able to manipulate the system has nothing to do with accountability. Being able to manipulate the system lets teen criminals with ill intentions carry out these premeditated crimes.
MOI: ahhh... I clearly missed the point you were making. I'm with you now...lol
YOU: The law was the one who took the danger away from those who could be hurt. Trying teens as adult would do just that. Since the JV system doesn't always punish those threats the way they should be punished.
MOI: So you see the teen as the danger, instead of the child with dangerous behaviors.... A bit dark, but Interesting...
YOU: Until that point, teenagers should be able to receive adult punishments for very violent crimes in order to protect the people. Just because they have a sympathy story doesn't mean we can ignore the crime. Do you really want to take the chance of accidentally potentially not punishing the next terrorist? Do we really want to put others at risk?
MOI: I completely sympathize with your point of view, especially when you put it in terms of the risk to society. But I would still beg your consideration of the impressionability of teens, and the rate of recidivism which is alarming for incarcerated adults, and that justice system is seriously lacking in regard to the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals, which is reflected in the many proposals for prison reform.
All of the measures/implementations done in the name of Crime prevention, stiffer sentences, offender registries, hangun carry permits etc., do little to offer sufficient assurance for the citizen Or dissuasIon for offenders. I think trying teens as adults betrays our lack of faith in society's ability to rehabilitate these individuals.
And lastly it all comes down to standing definitions. If 18 is the agreed upon marker of adulthood, why can't we allow them to be tried as children? But if they can incurr adult level accountability for the negative actions, why cant kids who perform like productive/responsible adults incurr adult liberties for positive actions? Give the them driver's license instead of the vatious permit levels, the right to vote, Remove the curfews, grant them emancipation, or even allow them to consume alcohol in the company of an adult... Lol
In the average life today teens have opportunities to hurt people everyday. For example teens can drive, and could hurt people on the road. I do not think they would purposely do that. Where I am going is we trust them to reason enough to not put other lives in danger. So we should trust that they know the potential ways they could be punished.
This will always be a debatable issue, and should always be talked about. But we can not put others in danger, to protect just one teenager.
I really enjoyed have this intelligent argument with you. Until next time. Thank you!
I have thoroughly enjoyed this debate!!! It has been a sincere pleasure to engage
Until next time!!!
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