Teens tend to complain that they are not given enough freedom. They claim they are old enough to make their own decisions. They want to choose where they go, who they see, and what they do. They feel they are mature enough to make such decisions. On the other hand, they feel that they should not be held responsible for their actions because they are under age. I think if a teen feels they are old enough to make risky decisions, then they are old enough to take responsibility for their actions. If they disobey their parents and get in trouble, then they should face up to their actions by paying the same price.
I am not saying that we should put a kid in the same cell as a hardened criminal but that too could depend on the severity of the crime. Further, if charged with a criminal act it should stay on their record when they become legal adults.
Gang play into how kids are given less punishment so have them do illegal acts instead of an adult getting real time. Further, I hear about so many teen wanting to get pregnant yet expect their parents or the government to pay for their babies to be raised.
In the end, maturity is more than just a measure of age but the level of responsibility the person takes upon themselves. If a teen wants to try and make their own decisions, they should take responsibility for those decisions.
In my opinion age doesn't matter, the juvenile delinquent committed a crime, just because they're not the right age doesn't mean they should get away with it. Juvenile delinquents think just because they're under aged they can get away with any crime. Then they grow up thinking they're invincible or untouchable by the law.
Justice systems of most countries of the world, are based on and stress upon punitive action rather than corrective action. Small children when commit an offence are not fully aware of the consequences or of the serious outcomes of that action.
Justice systems should be based on improving a child's mental health and making him/her a better human being.
Moreover, the circumstances under which the crime was committed should be analysed and then the trial should take place.