The Instigator
canadianeh
Pro (for)
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The Contender
happycman
Con (against)
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The ycja lowering the age from 12 to 10

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 609 times Debate No: 62269
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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canadianeh

Pro

Challenger argues first.
happycman

Con

I will be arguing that the YCJA should not lower its application from 12 year olds to 10 year olds.

Notable Terms

YCJA: Youth Criminal Justice Act - A Canadian statute that allows the prosecution of youth, 12-17 years old.

Criminal Code of Canada, Section 13: States that "No person shall be convicted of an offence in respect of an act or omission on his or her part while that person was under the age of twelve years."

I will present my R1 argument in two parts:

1. Lowering the age will not scare children from partaking in future criminal activity.

2. Children under 12 are ultimately not to blame if they commit crimes.

Let's begin.

1. Correct me in your rebuttal if I'm wrong, but I'm going to guess that the instigator proposed this idea of lowering the age application from 12-10 because of a couple reasons. The first is that this imposes a presumably stronger grassroots method, so children will be punished earlier in life so they can learn from their mistakes. This is not an effective approach considering the main criticism brought up with the YCJA lies not with the age application, but with the relatively minor punishments imposed on 12-13 year olds. I say 12-13 year olds because 14-17 year olds are, in exceptionally rare circumstances, able to be tried as young adults. This is so heavily criticized because people believe the younger age group can be protected by something as large as murder. In my opinion, amending the punishments for 12-13 year olds is more controversial than the debate at hand. Regardless, I'll stay on topic. To see the flaw in this concept of lowering the age application, envision the following scenario in which the age has been lowered: A 10 year old is found guilty of physical violence against a fellow schoolmate. The most the individual can be sentenced to is brief rehabilitation, the effectiveness of which is highly questionable considering the fact that the 14-17 age group sometimes needs to be tried as young adults as a result of major crimes and repeat offenders. Lowering the age could plant the idea that their actions will have little consequence if they are under the age 14. Henceforth, they would have 4 years of relatively minor punishment risk. From this, you may be thinking that it would be even worse if they couldn't be prosecuted under the age of 12, but the truth is their crimes are a result of an inadequate childhood development, which I elaborate on in the next section.

2. I provided the first reason as to why the instigator has proposed this and why it's misguided. In this section, I present the reason that children committing these crimes under 12 are ultimately not to blame. School-age childhood development occurs during ages 6-12. This is one of the most vital development stages in childhood, as it cements the expected physical, emotional, and mental abilities of an individual. At age 12, the end of school-age development and the beginning of the YCJA's current application, the character of the child has been, more or less, developed. Prior to that, the child is still growing physically, emotionally, and mentally. The people in charge of this development are the guardians. I'm not suggesting that the guardians are able to maintain complete control over the child's life, but if a child begins to commit serious crimes at age 10, something went wrong (in my opinion). Maybe, it's for the better that the guardian, not the child, is held accountable for the actions considering the guardian failed to educate the child about the basic morals and values of Canadian society. If child services intervenes in time in a less antagonizing way, then maybe the child could be set on a different route, as opposed to being immediately being branded as a registered offender. When I think of this topic, one particular saying comes to mind: "The environment shapes the man and the man shapes the environment." As true as I hold this to be, I don't believe that a 10 year old child should be fully accountable for his/her actions when the child has been raised in an environment that had failed to teach the child to be, at the very least, law-abiding.

I will cite my sources in R2. For now, this is where I rest my case. I look forward to your rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
canadianeh

Pro

canadianeh forfeited this round.
happycman

Con

happycman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
canadianeh

Pro

canadianeh forfeited this round.
happycman

Con

happycman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
canadianeh

Pro

canadianeh forfeited this round.
happycman

Con

happycman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Terridax 2 years ago
Terridax
And... this debate is about... what?
You want to to lower the age? You don't? They already did?
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!?!?!?!?!?!
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