The Instigator
FlyCauseICanBe
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
imabench
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points

The legal system should have the option to charge juveniles as adults.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,073 times Debate No: 19762
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

FlyCauseICanBe

Con

I do not believe that the legal system should have the option to charge juveniles as adults.

You know the drill.

R1- Acceptance and clarification.
R2-Opening Arguments.
R3- Rebuttals and conclusions.

I ask that neither opponents us ANY religions for the basis of their arguments.

I thank my opponent in advance for accepting my debate.
Good Luck :)
imabench

Pro

I Accept and wish to clarify two things:
1) The Legal system: The US legal system
2) Juvenile: since this refers to the courts, a Juvenile is anyone of less than 18 years of age

Con may state their case
Debate Round No. 1
FlyCauseICanBe

Con

Thank you for accepting my debate. Let's begin.

We have all become well-acquainted with Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold for the most part, the two boys who tore through their hallways and classrooms in Littleton, CO. in April, spraying bullets that left 12 students and one teacher dead. Their pictures were plastered on the covers of most major magazines; their life stories were regurgitated on every local and national news broadcast.

But, we're less familiar with boys like Ronnie Vera. Last year, Ronnie, 18, entered an Arizona prison. He is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of first-degree murder. Unlike Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Ronnie did not kill anyone. He and a friend were caught stealing a bike in a neighborhood by a prominent community activist in Tucson. Ronnie turned to run. One year later, a jury convicted both Ronnie and his friend of murder. Ronnie shouldn't have been tried for murder because his friend pulled out a gun and shot and killed the community activist. Ronnie was 16 at the time. In most cases, youths under age 18 who break the law enter a juvenile court system. Ronnie, however, stood trial before an adult criminal court. He received an adult sentence, and currently lives behind bars in an adult prison.

Ronnie is not alone. In its devotion to protect us from cold-blooded teen killers, Congress is now considering sweeping new legislation that threatens to put thousands of relatively harmless kids into adult jails. The trend is already well underway at the state level: From 1992 to 1995, 40 states and the District of Columbia passed laws making it easier for juveniles to be tried as adults. Some state legislatures did so by lowering the juvenile cut-off age; in some cases to age 16 or 17, in others, to age 14. As a result, an estimated 180,000 cases involving 16- or 17-year-old were tried in criminal court because young defendants were defined as adults under state law in 1994. States also enacted legislation to lengthen the list of crimes that, if committed, exclude a young offender from the juvenile system. Many youths are now automatically transferred to adult court for prosecution for violent crimes and drug offenses, even though federal studies show that older inmates tend to beat and rape teens serving in adult facilities.

If these policies were merely the price we had to pay to keep our streets safe from monsters like Dylan, they might be forgivable. But the statistics suggest that the new laws are simply creating more hardened young criminals.

I rest my case and await your reply.

VOTE CON
Good Luck Pro
imabench

Pro

2 things,

1) I found the article the Con completely copy-pasted his entire argument from,
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com...

2) Its not really plausible to call for people to vote Con when I havent presented a single argument yet.

Anyways, as the Con, or really the article, says the age that teenagers are considered juveniles vary from state to state, and this implies that there is sort of a grey area between what is an adult and what is a teenager. Since then there is no easy way to define who is a teenager and who is an adult there are compromises made in the court system of the person on trial, and those compromises of which teenagers may be tried as adults lies on one thing, the haneous crimes they committed and their criminal history. Age is used as the first indicator of whether or not a person is a juvenile or an adult but juveniles are usually charged with small crimes such as trespassing or maybe vandalism, not murder or robbery. That being said if the actions of the teenager mirror the actions of an adult more than of other teenagers then why would we not make him stand trial for his crimes?

"Actions speak louder than words" is a term that in case summarizes quite nicely the age conflict between juveniles and adults. Because there is no set scientific indicator or test to ultimately prove whether or not a criminal is a juvenile or an adult, then often the courts look at the crime committed and see whether or not these crimes are the norm for juveniles or adults.

Now I couldnt find any other information about this Ronnie Vera kid so I couldnt argue about his possible criminal past or if he even has one. However there are many, many teenagers out there who have a long history of usually minor crimes on their record which implies they are always a threat to society. Now when you take that and then you combine it with the person's latest crime, which may be murder, homicide, armed robbery, etc. and it is especially haneous then the teenager in question by all means could be tried as an adult since in some cases their criminal record could rival that of many adults.

I believe that juveniles should be tried as adults since age is not a perfect indicator of the maturity or state of mind of each and every juvenile, and because the actions of the criminal in question more accurately shows the state of mind of the criminal in question than age does.
Debate Round No. 2
FlyCauseICanBe

Con

Not only is this my very first debate, it's not completely copy & paste as you stated. But yes, that was the site I obtained the majority of my information from.

First my rebuttals:
"... age is not a perfect indicator of the maturity or state of mind of each and every juvenile..."
Maturity has nothing whatsoever to do with age at all. For example, using the phrase, "He's as mature as a thirty-five year old man," is an unreliable statement. You could have a thirty-five year old man who sprints through a department store releasing flatulence on random people, throwing glitter in the air, and screaming "SPORK!" at the top of his lungs. That doesn't seem very mature to me. But then again, you could have a thirty-five year old man who is the head of the countries leading law firm and works hard every day. He knows what he needs to do and he does it. Now that's mature.

Now for my conclusion:
I do not believe that the legal system should have the option to charge juveniles as adults mainly because of the abuse and rape that occurs at adult jails and penitentiaries. Also, why not just put them in a maximum security juvenile facility? Then, everyone else would be better protected from the "killers" they're oh so worried about.

I again thank my opponent for debating me on this topic during these busy holiday times.
I thank the readers for taking time out of your schedule to read and vote on this debate.

VOTE CON
Good Luck Pro
imabench

Pro

"Maturity has nothing whatsoever to do with age at all."
Age and maturity are very closely linked... The "example" you provided is one of your own fantasy and a majority of 35 year old men are of sound mind and not utterly insane. The older you are the more mature you become, that is undeniable when looking at 99% of the population who is sane and normal.

However, age still doesnt provide an ideal example of whether or not a person is mature enough to be tried as a juvenile or as an adult since theres no fine line between age and whether or not the criminal in question has the maturity of his age group or not. There is a grey area between juveniles and adults, and because age alone cant set a standard for sorting through the mess, the courts use the severity of crimes and criminal record to determine whether or not a person should stand trial as a juvenile or as an adult.

As for your conclusion, it appears that your entire argument for why the legal system should not charge juveniles as adults is because if sentenced then those people may get raped in prison....

When a juvenile or an adult commits a crime then they have accepted the consequences of their actions, disregarded them, carried out their actions anyway, got caught, and now must face the consequences of their actions, thats just life. However your ideas for addressing this problem are even more absurd then your reason for why juveniles under no circumstances should be tried as an adult.

1) You want to build an entirely new prison system to solve a problem that might not work? Its not just juveniles who are abused in prison, people who are short and weak are also easy targets.

Should we build two additional prison systems just for these people so they do not get abused? The cost of such a scheme would be stupendous and a very poor way to address the problem you seem more concerned about.

2) Your quotation of the word killers concerns me as if you think that all juveniles who alledgedly commit murder do not commit murder, here are some examples of juvenile killers.
1) CJ Jones who killed his mother, slashed the throats of his two sisters, killed himself, and at the same time burned down the family house, 14 years old
http://www.nypost.com...
2) Cody Posey, who killed his entire family when he was only 14
http://articles.cnn.com...
3) Here is the most grisly one of all, Tyler Hadley who is 17 years old went out to party with friends after the killings........ he beat both his parents to death with a hammer
http://abcnews.go.com...

Juveniles should be tried as adults because their crimes may be just as haneous and because the juveniles may represent an equal threat to society then any adult who committed the same crimes.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Reid 5 years ago
Reid
I would do this, but this debate would get too messy for me. Good luck to whoever challenges con!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 5 years ago
jm_notguilty
FlyCauseICanBeimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter vote bomb to the guy below. Don't blame the contender, blame the noob instgator. And besides, noob sniping is fun.
Vote Placed by JakeBoatman96 5 years ago
JakeBoatman96
FlyCauseICanBeimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Seems like @imabench "noob-sniped" this guy, that's pitiful. Show some backbone and go debate someone with around the same number of wins as you.
Vote Placed by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
FlyCauseICanBeimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: First problem is with the resolution, it is straw man as charges irrelevant to age, it is the trial which considers mitigation. (Civics, 7th grade) Con says nothing about charges in his argument, and makes broad ad populem fallacies re. homeless children. (slippery slope?) Plagerism Loses.
Vote Placed by Boogerdoctor 5 years ago
Boogerdoctor
FlyCauseICanBeimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. I kind of have to go with pro because I think his arguments were ever so slightly better. Still, con gets conduct because pro kind of talks down to him.