Monday, February 22, 2010

Kids should never be tried as adults but not because they're immature

There's been some debate raging about whether it's right to charge a "minor" as an "adult." There are essentially 2 main arguments both for and against this.

The for side generally has the saying, nay, the motto of "adult crime adult time" which is to say that things like rape and murder are only "adult" crimes which so-called minors (should) never do. However, this is a fallacy and a big one. If one merely takes a peek back in human history, during our more primitive eras one might say, there is strong evidence that these "children" raped and murdered in the thousands if not millions over the centuries. Children are just as capable if not more so capable of killing and raping other people especially adults! So why is it such a surprise when children kill or rape other people? Because society simply not only views, but demands by law, they be innocent and pure and we all know that's a load of horse manure. Children are not pure and they are fleetingly innocent (everyone reading this went through or is going through puberty, right? You know what I'm talking about, once you hit puberty your innocence is gone for good). Since children are fundamentally not pure and very fleetingly innocent what then are they that accounts for their... childlike... behavior? Naivety, of course. Children are kept in ignorance about the real world, they're told nothing about the legal system and their access to it almost impossible, unless of course, they're charged with a crime.

The against side's argument is simple as it is idiotic though I can't blame them for thinking this: minors are incompetent, minors are stupid, minors are immature and therefore they're less "responsible" or "culpable" for their crime. Now THAT is getting a "break" because you're young. I'm not necessarily against getting breaks but not because you're being seen as stupider than a doorknob. The whole idea around this is that they be given the "opportunit[y] to become productive adults. " Which of course means they're not being productive now (because they're incomepetent and are accused of a crime). This IS the brain argument at its height (that people under 25 have undeveloped brains and are incapable of making very rational choices) which is quite frankly a load of bollocks. Why is this a load of bollocks? Let me teach some biology really fast (note: I'm no brain surgeon or doctor): Once you reach 25 your brain does NOT finish developing and become a "complete" brain but instead it goes in reverse -- it means you get stupider. Ever heard of menopause in women? That's reverse puberty. You essentially turn into an oversized baby the older [and wiser?] you get.

But what about really young kids? Like the 9 year old charged as an adult? He killed two people didn't he? I don't know. Perhaps he did. Only he knows for sure. So is his brain underdeveloped? Is he less responsible for his actions? Should he have been charged as an adult? His brain is still developing, that is true as are his emotions, but it's not "underdeveloped" and he's not "less" responsible for his actions but he shouldn't be charged as adult. Why? Because he isn't one! He has no rights as an adult and being charged as one only grants him to ability to be given bail (apparently), he can't vote, he can't smoke, he can't sign contracts, he can't buy a house, he can't buy a car, he can't consent or refuse medical treatment and so on an so forth he can't do anything! Am I saying he should granted the right to smoke or buy a house etc?! Well, he doesn't have the credit to buy a house no lender would dare touch him and should he be allowed to smoke? Smoking kills. You smoke you have the high chance of dying from it but hey so does sugar (hello diabetes) but there's no age limit on that.

It's common sense here. Charge him as an adult give him the rights of an adult. He can go to the juvenile system until he's an adult (which for these purpose seems to be 21! WTF?) then transfer him to the adult system but don't label someone with no rights and only responsibilities and say they were responsible when they did it but deny them the rights of someone who actually is an adult! It's unfair, it's unjust and it's cruel.

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