Teens Who Commit Violent Crimes Essay

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If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. How would you feel if a teen that committed murder was in the same class as your son or daughter, or any other teenager that you care about? That would be pretty scary. Being a teen myself, I would not want to be surrounded by anyone that is potentially harmful. The White House held a televised conference on adolescent development, and they discussed about whether teen’s brain development disadvantages could explain their “impulsive, erratic behavior”. Paul Thompson wrote an article titled “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains”. He explained how we lose brain tissue in our teen years and how it could possibly affect our impulses, risk-taking, and self control. Teens who commit violent crimes should be tried as adults because even though their brain is not fully developed, they should still have the capability to control themselves.

If a teen commits a violent crime they should not be given sympathy just because they are going through changes and are not fully aware of the entire judicial system. In Greg Krikorian’s article “Many Kids Called Unfit for Adult Trial” he explains the mindset of a teenager compared to an eighteen year old. “Research showed that the performance in reasoning and understanding for youth ages sixteen and seventeen did not differ from those at least eighteen years of age” (Krikorian 39). Just because you have yet another birthday and hit the big eighteen, doesn’t mean you suddenly get the knowledge of the judicial system and an amazing brain magically inserted into you. How you mature and control your actions is completely up to the person.

Every single person can make up a reason as to why they should not be held accountable for their actions, but that doesn’t make whatever they did ok. In the article “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains.” Paul Thompson discusses about the brain tissue we lose and how it could possibly affect our actions. “Grey matter, which brain researchers believe supports all our thinking and emotions are purged at a rate of 1 percent to 2 percent a year during this period. Stranger still, brain cells and connections are only being lost in the areas controlling impulses, risk-taking and self-control” (Thompson 39). Really? One to two percent? That means we still have ninety-eight to ninety-nine percent. He based his whole article on a piece of evidence that doesn’t even matter. If teens are not going to be tried for their violent crimes, shouldn’t we let woman PMS-ing go crazy just because their ability to calm themselves is seriously impaired due to hormonal imbalances. I think not.

As a teenager I do not want to have a murderer next to me next to me in class, on the bus, or anywhere else I go. That’s really scary, and much more unreasonable than trying a teenager for a crime they chose to commit. Paul Thompson brought up a good point in his article, “Startling finds on Teenage Brains”.”Does planning mean the same thing for an adult, with his diminished capacity to controlling erratic behaviors as it means for an adult” (Thompson 46). The answer is clearly yes.

Planning is a system that really doesn’t differ depending on your age, the only thing that does in fact differ is what they’re planning to do. If you have the capability to plan a murder, or even the capability to murder someone without premeditation, you certainly have the capability to know the consequences of committing a violent crime. I go to school with hundreds of other kids, and I can guarantee just about every single one of them is aware that if they were to commit a violent crime there would be punishments. Also, if any one of them did murder someone, even if it was my best friend, I would expect them to be punished.

Murder is murder. No matter how old someone is and what experiences or difficulties they are going through, people should very well know that murder and rape are crimes that come with severe punishments. As a teenager losing brain cells, just like everyone else, I know it is taboo to kill someone. Today, teen murder rates are going way down in the world.

If so many people are aware of the consequences for these violent crimes and choose not commit them, why would anyone have an excuse to commit them. As teens, we do not have fully developed brains, and we don’t understand the whole judicial system, but then again, neither do a lot of adults. However, losing one to two percent of brain tissue every year while you’re a teenage is definitely not an excuse to commit violent crimes. Overall, teens should be tried as adults no matter what stages in their life they are going through.