The Instigator
stark73
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
1stLordofTheVenerability
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

juveniles charged with a violent felony ought to be treated as adults in the USA

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
stark73
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,465 times Debate No: 15360
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

stark73

Con

Pro goes first, I look forward to a good debate.
1stLordofTheVenerability

Pro

Greetings to the contender,

I apparently misread the premise of the debate and thought I would be con. Oh well, this shall be fun, in any case.

Due to the fact that my opponent has not offered any definitions, I will take the initiative.

Juvenile should mean, "A youthful male or female." (Definitions 4/5, Dictionary.com: http://dictionary.reference.com...) In a legal sense, any person, teenager or child within the "Age of Responsibility." Since the "Age of Responsibility" varies from State to State, we can utilize the age of twelve as an average (twelve is also the Age of Responsibility in Canada).

"Violent Felony" means: "A crime consisting of conduct that presents a serious risk of potential injury to another that is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year — used esp. in federal sentencing of career criminals guilty of crimes involving use of a weapon." Dictionary. com. http://dictionary.reference.com...

I will therefore argue that a youth within the age of responsibility who has been charged of committing a violent felony should be tried by an 'adult' criminal court and sentenced as an adult would before the law - no commuted sentences or community service in lieu of an adult's sentence.

This conviction should not be interpreted to mean that the child would be sent to an adult penitentiary, as that would be improper and incredibly hazardous to the child's well being (perhaps even inhumane).

The core reason behind my position is that a responsible juvenile is aware of his/her actions.

It is at this age that a young person begins to understand morality, consequentialism and crime. Therefore, a young person realizes that there are consequences for his/her actions, whether they be right or wrong.

Therefore, a teenager who is armed and assaults somebody with the weapon comprehends fully what will occur to the victim, and also what the consequences should be for that felony.

An armed young person should be punished fully in accordance to the law, and not merely be given, "A slap on the wrist," as the colloquialism states.

Perhaps to further this, most teenagers realize that a sentence for them will be lighter, and indeed laugh at the pitiful attempts at punishment.

Secondly, I'm going to consider the method of how a child obtained his/her weapon. Legally, a person under the age of eighteen can not purchase a firearm, a sword, dagger or even a large knife without a guardian's consent. Carrying gravity knives, daggers and switchblades is an illegal act in Canada and most States (though possession is not necessarily illegal, and some States do permit unconcealed butterfly knives).

In similar manner, nunchukus, morning stars, shanks and other weapons are of dubious legality (most are considered prohibited weapons, though morning stars can be carried in some States). In fact, in many States, pepper spray can not be utilized by people under the age of eighteen (in most, it is strictly legislated).

Therefore, a person who has obtained any of these weapons must have criminal or dubious connections, making the (pre)/teen doubly responsible for his/her actions. If a person knowingly purchases one of these items and then intends to utilize it at some jecture, s/he is committing multiple crimes with both knowledge and even intent.

If a 180 pound teenager of about sixteen or seventeen were to flick a switchblade and assume an offensive combat stance with intent to maim you, would you appreciate that they be sent to juvenile court and sentenced lightly in proportion to the adult sentence? I think not!

A child who maims, tortures, assaults with a weapon or kills should be prosecuted fully by the law.

Adult sentencing in regards to a violent felony or a murder will also serve to prevent juvenile crime.

It would also serve to diminish the extent of gang crime. It is a fact that many teenagers and young adults join gangs (311 Boyz, for example) and are directly responsible for a plethora of violent felonies. Perhaps if the sentencing were to be harsher, the motivation would not be worth the consequences.

That is enough for now, I suppose. Thanks for the debate! It has been enjoyable.

Cheers

Evidence for the dilemma of teen gangs:

http://www.cyc-net.org...



http://www.ehow.com...



Debate Round No. 1
stark73

Con

Thank you for accepting. A brief roadmap, I will state my case and move on to attack my opponentts. The format of my case is a normal case, counterplan, disadvantage of my opponent's plan to send juveniles to adult facilities.

First: I would like to address the fact he says all of the juveniles are horrible murderers.
The resolution says charged, not convicted, In the United States those who are charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty, since we cannot presume these juveniles are horrible murderers, this already renders all of his arguments about juveniles accepting responsiblity nontopical because a juvenile is "presumed innocent" in the timeframe.

First: Bromide explains, "During the charged phase, a defendant is given two options, either pay bail to get out of jail or be incarcerated. However, Justice Policy concluded 82% of all juvenile offenders are below the poverty line and thus are unable to afford the expensive bail to release them, furthermore half of these juveniles come from abusive families who refuse to pay bail even if they had the money, which means during the charged phase a large amount of juveniles will be jailed.

So this shows INCARCERATION happens during the charged phase, but not conviction. So we can debate about the incarceration during the timeframe of the resoltion, we simply cannot automatically say "Oh, that juvenile is a bad bad person."

Now I talk about rape in adult prisons. How do I gain access to this if I say we only talk about the "charged phase?"

Normal Case: LEgal Obligations

I contend Different people have different obligations, and I contend that an individul must fully accpet the terms of the social contract before they can be tried to the fullest extent. So juveniles cannot be tried as adults because they have not fully entered into the "contract" that allows them to do so. If the government wants you to stop breaking laws, they must grant you something in return, similar to a contract. I contend tht the right to vote is denied to all labled "juveniles", and thus the government cannot treat juveniles the same as adults because they havent entered into that contract yet. THe right to vote is a safeguard against the government. It is a fundamental right of a democracy, and is one of the incentives to go to America.When someone embraces the right to vote, they freely consent to become part of that government, along with other smaller rights. So i say once juveniles get the other rights they are denied currently, they will have entered into the contract making them obligated to adhere to the governmental laws and face the full extent of the consequences, but only until then. So thus if juveniles are denied this right and other rights such as the right to drink and get married, I say they cannot be treated exactly equal to an adult because the government has not fulfilled their part of the bargain and cannot expect the same in return. Rothmyer explains, " LAws prhibit juveniles from possessing firearms, which are the number one murder weapons. Furthermore, rights and responsibilities of adults are not granted to juveniles. To treat a juveniles exactly like an adult would be hypocritical because

Off case: CP

THe United States should embrace federalism

Currrently, I agree with my opponent. The states decide what is a juvenile. I say we should keep it this way, because it ought to be the state's responsiblity to decide what a juvenile is, not the federal government. Roytman explains, "If the federal government were to take away the right to decide what a juvenile is, this would be both unnecessary and detrimental to the state and federal relationship. The States will once again perceive the federal government to be untrustworthy or tyrannical and tus disrupting stability. Furthermore, regulating a definitive age on a juvenile would be bad economically becausew thew government would need to spend millions to remove the "juveniles" and certain states and transfer them to adult facilities.

Disadvantage of transferring: Flaherty explains,"Michael G. Flaherty, a researcher with the University of Illinois surveyed the number of suicides in a thousand jails and juvenile detention centers. The study found that the suicide rate of juveniles in adult jails is 7.7 times higher than that of juvenile detention centers. In stark contrast, the survey also found that the juvenile institution suicide rate was much lower than that of the general population."

Moreover, prison rape and assault are commonplace in mixed population jails.

Justice Policy Institute 2 explains:
"Five times as many youth held in adult prisons answered yes to the question "has anyone attempted to sexually attack or rape you?" than those held in juvenile institutions The study also found that children placed with adults were twice as likely to report being "beaten up" by staff: close to one in ten juveniles report being assaulted by staff. The juveniles in adult prison were also 50 percent more likely to report being attacked with a weapon."
in contrast, Flaherty concludes that less than one percent of juveniles are raped within the juvenile justice system.Furthermore, 5o% of the victims are raped within the first 24 hours.

This means that when we treat juveniles under the adult system, we actually treat them WORSE then adults, in fact, way worse. So even if you buy the fact juveniles have it easy right now, I'd say it's better to have it a little easy then to get raped.
Flaherty explains the impact of rape. "...Rape leads to an aids epidemic as prison rape occurs frequently and can spread it within prisons. Furthermore, even when a prisoner is released he will transmit aids to nearby people or his spouse."

Go to his arguments

First: Juveniles know consequences of actions and if they are gith or wrong.

So are you telling me a six year old is going to have as much moral intuition as an elder. And would you give a six year old the death penalty?Furthermore, not everybody's opinion of right or wrong is the same. For example,The hitler regime clearly thought killing jews was morally acceptable but I'm sure none of us think so. I say even if you buy juveniles know right from wrong, they are still undeniably less experienced and more reckless so thus should be treated differently. Even if they are just as bad as adults, they are not worse, thus even if you buy they ought to be treated equally, they are not in adult prisons, because they subjected to rape by adult inmates.

"Secondly, I'm going to consider the method of how a child obtained his/her weapon. Legally, a person under the age of eighteen can not purchase a firearm, a sword, dagger or even a large knife without a guardian's consent. Carrying gravity knives, daggers and switchblades is an illegal act in Canada and most States (though possession is not necessarily illegal, and some States do permit unconcealed butterfly knives). "

You can most defintely turn this argument. This is exaclty what I am talking about, juveniles do NOT have the right to possess firearms, while adults do and thus expected to bear the consequences of possessing one. If juveniles are so inferior they can't even buy a weapon or knife to kill someone with or commit a violent felony, then they most certainly cannot be expected to be held to the same responsibility as an adult.

"If a 180 pound teenager of about sixteen or seventeen were to flick a switchblade and assume an offensive combat stance with intent to maim you, would you appreciate that they be sent to juvenile court and sentenced lightly in proportion to the adult sentence? I think not!"

I'm just going to say right here, do whatever you want with them after conviction. If your moral views say to place a juvenile into a adult program where they are sure to get raped, then that's fine if that coincides with your idea of justice,however the resolution says charge.
1stLordofTheVenerability

Pro


Thanks for hosting the debate! Your response was certainly astonishing, I might say. : ) I hope you enjoyed creating it.

Firstly, I've never stated that all juveniles are horrible murderers. This is especially true since all young people are "juvenile," and it is only the "juvenile delinquents" that this debate regards.

I tend to concur that one is innocent until proved guilty, and I also contend that the wording "Charged" just makes my case stronger.

You see, if a person is charged, the police have apprehended the suspects and either have caught them in the act or compiled substantial evidence against them. Therefore, they are charged and perhaps held before the time of their hearing, where the judge must assume that they are innocent of crime until the Crown/State attorney parades evidence before him/her.

I very adamantly stated that juvenile institutions would remain, in accordance to your premise. Only the most serious of (or repetitive) violent felonies or murders would result in incarceration at an adult penitentiary. An individual holding cell in a jail cell is to be expected, until the time of trial (especially since it occurs, now). The core behind "Treated as adults" is very simply that they be treated in such a manner before the law (during the charge, jury session and sentence). Adult courts can just as capably sentence a juvenile to a maximum security juvenile detention facility as a juvenile court can (except in a more stringent manner).

My opponent states, "So are you telling me a six year old is going to have as much moral intuition as an elder."

Obviously, he completely bypasses the clear points I created regarding the valid "Age of Responsibility," which he agreed with. Anybody under the age of twelve is not legally responsible. Legal "Age of responsibility" also rebuts his attempts to establish that, "If a child is to young to vote or bear arms, a child is to young to be sentenced in an adult court." Legal Age of Responsibility does exist, and is valid. What about permitting fifteen and sixteen year olds to drive, potentially endangering the lives of hundreds?

My opponent has not addressed that the people within this age comprehend the consequences. Therefore, insofar, this crucial portion of the debate rests in my favour.
I'm also not sure if my opponent is maintaining that violent crime is permissible to the impoverished, or those with a good reason, in line one.

My opponent has not addressed the seriousness of gang crime.

Furthermore, minimizing the use of juvenile courts to lesser offenses will save valuable tax dollars.

That's all. Thanks.

Rob

Debate Round No. 2
stark73

Con

First Attacking his Case:

First: Extend the rape analysis, this is a huge reason to vote Con, he makes absolutely zero attacks against this.
"Since the "Age of Responsibility" varies from State to State, we can utilize the age of twelve as an average (twelve is also the Age of Responsibility in Canada). "

He claims I never contradicted this, in fact I did. I contended that the definition of a juvenile is up to the states to decide, not the federal government, this essentailly teaches the states responsiblity and good judgment. Plus that's ridculous. Why would we average the Age of reponsiblity. I'm sure no state has twelve as the age of a nonjuvenile. furthermore, we aren't talking about canada, we are talking about The USA.

"Firstly, I've never stated that all juveniles are horrible murderers. This is especially true since all young people are "juvenile," and it is only the "juvenile delinquents" that this debate regards. "

I don't see why this even matters. Actually he is wrong because he concedes to my charged interpretation of the resolution. You are not a delinquent if you haven't been convicted yet. Nowhere in the resolution does it say "delinquents."

He says that even juveniles charged with violent felonies have substantial evidence against them, I contend that's not always true, once again even if all the evidence in the world was against a juvenile he is still innocent until proven guilty so we can't just say "Oh that guy appears horrible, let's just plan ahead and think what we're going to do to huim in prison" I'm sure none of us would like that to happen to us.

It is at this age that a young person begins to understand morality, consequentialism and crime. Therefore, a young person realizes that there are consequences for his/her actions, whether they be right or wrong.

"Therefore, a teenager who is armed and assaults somebody with the weapon comprehends fully what will occur to the victim, and also what the consequences should be for that felony.
Perhaps to further this, most teenagers realize that a sentence for them will be lighter, and indeed laugh at the pitiful attempts at punishment. "
He just admitted that he is debating the charged phase , yet he keeps saying a young child should be held accountable for their actions, we cannot presume their guilt therefore we can't even say they did whatever action he is implying, and he says they should accept consequences, in the charged phase there are no consequences. If we are debating the charged phase, what possible conseuquences must a juvenile bear? Are they going to sent to these horribel adult jails before they've even been convicted? How would that be just.

Ok, first off, I'm pretty sure no teenager laughsn at the prospect of being sent to a facility away from their friends and being restricted. He tries to portray juvenile facilities as heaven, don't buy into this, juvenile facilities still punish, just have most focus on rehabilitation, and punishment doesn't necessaarily involve throwiong someone into am filthy prison cell.

"Secondly, I'm going to consider the method of how a child obtained his/her weapon. Legally, a person under the age of eighteen can not purchase a firearm, a sword, dagger or even a large knife without a guardian's consent. Carrying gravity knives, daggers and switchblades is an illegal act in Canada and most States (though possession is not necessarily illegal, and some States do permit unconcealed butterfly knives). "

Ok, he concedes to the charged not convicted interpreation and then goes on to question how a child obtained firearms? If we indeed abide by the charged phase, we can't assume the child had anything to do with murdering or committing a violent felony against someone else.
Obviously, he completely bypasses the clear points I created regarding the valid "Age of Responsibility," which he agreed with. Anybody under the age of twelve is not legally responsible. Legal "Age of responsibility" also rebuts his attempts to establish that, "If a child is to young to vote or bear arms, a child is to young to be sentenced in an adult court." Legal Age of Responsibility does exist, and is valid. What about permitting fifteen and sixteen year olds to drive, potentially endangering the lives of hundreds?

I say the responsiblity to drive and vote are two very different things. A gun is designed to kill, a car is necessary to travel. Those two rights are fundamentally different.

Since the "Age of Responsibility" varies from State to State, we can utilize the age of twelve as an average (twelve is also the Age of Responsibility in Canada).

My opponent has not addressed that the people within this age comprehend the consequences. Therefore, insofar, this crucial portion of the debate rests in my favour. "

ON to my case:

Extend the Rape analysis, this is going to be huge in the round and a Voter.

extend the fact the states, not the federal government have the righto to regulate the

Extend the fact that juveniles are not obligated to the government because the government has not given them all their rights in return.'

The charged interpretation kills his case, although he pretends he is abiding by it, which he clearly is not.

conclusion: My opponent tries to make up fake arguments and things I conceded to, however if you look at the debate, I never agreed to anything he said.
1stLordofTheVenerability

Pro

Greetings, once again!

My opponent seems determined to muddy the resolution with semantics. Though his resolution doesn't mention "delinquents," it does mention that the juveniles have been arrested, thus making them delinquent.

My opponent also contends that I didn't address the case of rape. That is because if juvenile offenders were charged and sentenced in an adult court, but sent to a juvenile facility, his entire case on the matter is refuted, and I already have done so.

"He just admitted that he is debating the charged phase , yet he keeps saying a young child should be held accountable for their actions"

Why does a child need to commit a felony to be held accountable for their actions? Isn't a child responsible for lying? Most children comprehend that lying is wrong. Or cheating, for example. If a teenager cheated on a test, is s/he not held responsible?

"I'm pretty sure no teenager laughsn at the prospect of being sent to a facility away from their friends and being restricted."

It is apparent that some either simply do not care about the conditions of juvenile detention, or they believe that the profits are better than the consequences (or that they won't get caught). Of course they do not laugh, but does this mean that the juveniles charged with violent crime against another human should merely be tried in a juvenile court and given a couple of months community service as a sentence? I think not!

My opponent states that a "gun" and a "car" are fundamentally different, and then seems to believe that voting isn't so?

And I must conclude. I apologize for the brevity of this round, but I will be away from the computer for the entire day, tomorrow.

Cheerio and good luck in the voting,

1st Lord of the Venerability
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sottaceti 5 years ago
Sottaceti
Children are unable to perform with optimal cognitive abilities as their elder fellow humans, but I'm not sure where I stand on this matter. Nevertheless, this was an intriguing debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
stark731stLordofTheVenerabilityTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Nice presentation from Con, especially on social contract.