Should Minors Who Commit Violent Crimes be Tried as Adults?

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The mounting number of crimes being committed by young people has raised much concern since the 1990s. Countless accounts of juveniles committing serious crimes have emerged. Criminologists have cautioned about the imminent tide of spiteful juveniles capable of undertaking serious crimes. This has sparked concerns enquiring whether the juvenile justice system is taking adequate action to respond to this violent behavior. This proposal seeks to identify whether these vicious juveniles should be tried as adults given the level of serious crimes they may commit or be treated with kid gloves given the existing laws regarding juvenile crimes.

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Reasons for Using the Topic

First, discussing the topic would aid in identifying when it is appropriate to punish juvenile offenders and when to rehabilitate them. The aim is to gauge how adequately the juvenile court system responds to young people committing serious crimes. Determining which variety of juveniles offences are liable for trial in adult courts is, therefore, important. Secondly, the discussion will sensitize the minors who expect lenient judgement even when they have committed serious crimes. Understanding the repercussions of engaging in violent crimes such the possibility of being tried as an adult will make these young people reconsider before harming the innocent.

Audience Characteristics

Official Position

The judges that preside over these crime cases have been given the power to prosecute by the United States Constitution. They act as the arms of the state and federal governments that is given the ability to head these prosecutions.

Decision-Making Power

The powers to administer judgement for crimes committed by minors is also vested in the judges. Whether or not the juvenile offender should be tried in an adult court or otherwise, lies within the laws made by the state and federal legislators. Also, the minors have the ability to choose between what is right or wrong and act upon those choices.

Current View on Topic

Legislators propose that crimes of various degrees may be transferred to the adult justice system for trial thereby making the juvenile justice system more penal. A number of states have already passed laws that permit adult trials for minors.

Scope and Outline

The paper will discuss the both the adult and juvenile justice systems explaining the type of judgement that each can pass. The manner in which crime is treated by these courts given their violent degree will also be explored. Also, the main sections of this paper will include the following topics: The reasons for and against adult trails for minors who have committed violent crimes. Laws pertaining cases involving minors and steps to be taken to deal the juvenile crime cases.

Questions to Be Answered

Question 1: What contributes to juvenile crime?

The factors that contribute to the emergent high number of criminal cases involving minors should be identified. This will aid to understand better whether minors may be tried as adults in certain cases.

Question 2: Is it necessary to transfer other cases involving minors to adult courts?

Considering the different degrees of crime that a minor can commit, it is necessary to understand whether or not all cases should be dealt with the respective court considering the age of the defendant.

Question 3: Are the juvenile courts capable of providing appropriate judgement given their function?

Given that juvenile courts are primarily meant to correct and rehabilitate wrongful minors, it is important to determine whether they possess the capacity to provide sufficient punishment in case of heinous crimes.

Research Plan

Methods of Research

A thorough qualitative research will be carried to determine whether minors who have committed vicious crimes should be tried as adults. This will involve the use of interviews and face to face conversations with lawyers. A focus group of individual below the age of eighteen will also be used. Secondary sources such as books and relevant material of law such as the Constitution will be used to provide information for the research.

Organizing Research

Once the research has been performed, it will be organized by subheadings that indicate different ideas. A working outline will also be prepared to show all the arguments regarding the subject. The sources that support each argument will also be highlighted to facilitate ease of reference. Also, I will take my notes explaining how each source proved helpful in supporting my thesis.


In conclusion, it would be important to identify the factors that contribute to the emergence of juvenile criminal cases. Although there is an increased number of juvenile crimes in the society, their cases should not be transferred to adult courts. Nevertheless, it is essential to determine whether the concerned juvenile courts provide sufficient punishment in cases of heinous crimes.


Myers, D. L. (2005). Boys among men: Trying and sentencing juveniles as adults. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers.

Greenwood, P. W., & National Institute of Justice (U.S.). (1986). Juvenile offenders: A study guide. Rockville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Justice.

Champion, D. J. (2004). The juvenile justice system: Delinquency, Processing, and the Law. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

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