Teen crimes the same as adults

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Carmen Daugherty is the policy director for the Campaign for Youth Justicewhich is dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating youth under 18 in the adult criminal justice system. Laws that permit youth under the age of 18 to enter the adult criminal justice system represent a departure from the traditional understanding of juvenile justice — to serve the best interests of the child. An overwhelming amount of research shows that the adult criminal justice system is ill equipped to meet the needs of youth offenders, from trial to incarceration and re-entry.

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Skip to content. In June, a year-old boy was arrested after he threw a rock at police during a political rally in New Mexico. Prosecutors stated that the boy, who was charged with two felonies, would be tried as an adult.

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The United States is the only country in the world where the justice system will sentence children to death behind bars for the crimes that they commit. Although the conduct is usually deemed to be violent, which makes the individual a threat to the general population, there is no way out of the system if you are a juvenile tried as an adult and then sentenced to life in prison. Cyntoia Brown is one story of about 10, who was sentenced as a juvenile for killing a man when she was just 16 years old.

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The juvenile justice system handles criminal cases for youth under the age of majority, which is 18 in most states. Most cases involving juveniles are tried in juvenile-specific courts. However, there are some exceptions, and those exceptions along with everyone over legal age are tried in standard criminal courts for adults. One of the features setting the juvenile system apart from the adult system, is that the sentencing differences between adult and juvenile cases is significant.

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At the age of 16, Cameron Williams lives a life far removed from the world of other teenagers. Williams, who celebrated his sixteenth birthday in jail, faces up to years behind bars for second-degree attempted murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony. In November, Williams shot at a police officer in Omaha, Nebraska as he was being chased after being pulled over in a car with two other men.

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Despite the establishment of a separate juvenile justice system over a century ago, youth are routinely charged and prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. While crime has steadily decreased since that time, these laws continue to subject youth to criminal conviction and sentencing. While these differences do not excuse youth from responsibility for their actions, the U.

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A report on health impacts of charging youth as adults, with recommendations for increased community investment and restorative justice-oriented solutions. In all 50 states, youth under age 18 can be tried in adult criminal court through various types of juvenile transfer laws. In California, youth as young as 14 can be tried as adults at the discretion of a juvenile court judge.

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Juvenile courts should be abolished. Supporters of getting rid of juvenile courts center their arguments on the need to punish juvenile criminals and a concern for juveniles' rights. The juvenile court is founded on false premises because its purpose is to shield youths from the consequences of their own actions.

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Have your parents ever grounded you for something your little sister did? Have you ever groaned while your principal barred everybody from a privilege because a single person abused it? And our country does the same—it threatens to take away your rights because of what a few teens did a thousand miles away.

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From age 12 onwards, people are responsible for the crimes they commit. Youth under 18 generally get special punishments. But in some cases, the punishment can be just as severe as it would be for an adult. Teens under 18 who have committed a crime are usually not punished in the same way as adults.

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