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Should adolescents be tried in a court of law as adults?


University Affiliation


The issue of whether adolescents should be tried in a court of law as adults has been a

debated issue over the years. Teenagers commit various delinquent crimes such as armed

robbery, rape, murder, harassment, threatening, and similar offenses. Whether or not juvenile

offenses should be considered criminal offenses and the offenders tried in court as minors or

adults has produced intensified controversy. Many adolescents that are below 18 years of age

commit criminal offenses and have not understood that crime has consequences. With criminal

offenses, it is clear they are causing more harm to the society and since they are old enough to

commit serious offenses; they are old enough to be considered criminals and tried as adults.

People that do not support teenagers tried as adults may claim their brain is less mature to

understand the consequences of their actions, yet they are afraid of death itself. After watching

the video “Insight into the Teenage Brain,” Adriana Galvan states the brain has many regions

including the prefrontal cortex, which is helps with self-control and is the last section to develop

continuing to change up to teenage. The prefrontal cortex is important and relevant in adolescent

crime since it helps an individual to think about the costs or potential impacts of their actions

before they act. It regulates emotions and behavior.

Therefore, although other factors contribute to criminal activities, the teenager cannot be

excused for their crimes and the factors cannot be blamed for their criminal activities since the

teenagers should be responsible for their own emotional stability in making more impulsive

decisions regarding possible future outcomes. Also, Adriana observes that since brain is still

developing throughout adolescence, teenagers might not fully understand their crimes, but they

learn rather quickly how bad their actions were after being tried and convicted in court. So they

should be tried in a court of law as adults.