Should a person under 18 be charged as an adult Essay

When beginning to write this paper I am undecided when I think about the question. It really doesn’t only depend on the offense and age, but also strongly depending on the mental state of the juvenile as well. You can’t just send a 15 year old to prison, for life. I just don’t think that it’s right. I believe that juvenile needs to be mentally evaluated before we can just jolt to conclusion about allowing them to spend the rest of their life locked up behind bars. First I believe that we need to look at how youth have a full life ahead of them to rehabilitate from what they have done. I believe that the circumstances should definitely be weighed. Juveniles are not at an age where they can comprehend the actions they are committing, nor would they understand the consequences of those actions. I think under extreme circumstances and ignored cries for help that a juvenile would be pushed to step out on anything, whether they know it or not. I’ve looked at a couple of articles on which youth did some outrageous things, and these are the cases that really need to be mentally evaluated. Sometimes the juvenile has been so messed up somewhere down the line, that they have become mentally unstable, and numb to anything. A report from CBS News from October 2009 was about a juvenile, Alyssa Bustamante, she was fifteen. Alyssa had a very troubled childhood according to reports. The troubled juvenile wrote in her journal on the night of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten: “I just f—— killed someone. I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they’re dead. I don’t know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the “ohmygawd I can’t do this” feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable.

I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol.” These are her exact spellings and all (CBS New, 2012, Web). When I read this, I had to read it over again. You really have to wonder what was going through this child’s head for her to write something like this. Its pretty crazy that she adds, “Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol” at the end. She writes this entry as if she has no emotion. She says it was amazing, any normal person or maybe even another person in their right mind in this same situation probably would have felt remorse, something! This little 15 year old, killed someone enjoyed it and headed to church. I think that any person under the age of 18, regardless of the crime, should not be transferred to adult court. I believe they should be evaluated, and rehabilitated. The process for a juvenile case to transfer to adult court is not hard and is referred to as a “waiver”. This is when the judge waives the protection that juvenile courts provide, and juveniles can be subjected to harsher punishments, and even life in prison. The waiver process usually gratifies youth that are 16 and older for serious crimes like rape, and murder, which are adult crimes. These juveniles have been in trouble more than once with the law. All rehabilitation efforts have ultimately failed I don’t believe that in 15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante case that it should be transferred to adult court because she hasn’t been in trouble before. Although she has cruel, disgusting writings in her journal like the one above, she hasn’t been helped obviously. At that age a child can be rehabilitated or treated for mental illnesses instead of treated as an adult.

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