Marie is a 13 year old female, who, along with 2 adults (both age 18), staged a kidnapping of a 13 year old girl in Marie’s class. They tied and gagged the little girl to the kidnapping spot. Should Marie be brought to trial as a juvenille or tried in an adult court? Is Marie classified as a juvenile offender? To answer these questions we will look at what classifies a juvenile offender, offenses that constitutes juvenile tried as adults, criminal intent surrounding Marie’s case, what sentencing guidelines should be considered and what treatment conditions should be made.
It is a sad fact that people of all ages commit crimes, yes, even children under legal age of adult hood which varies from state to state. Because of this “juvenile” court systems have been designed to “sentence” those who are too young to be tried as an adult. Those juvenile that commit crimes usually are tried before a special the juvenile court and receive their punishment. However, some juvenile are committing adult crimes and therefore should be charged as adults. When these cases arise a juvenile offender can be waived from juvenile court to adult court if the offense was “adult” enough.
Usually a wavering processing has to be conducted via the procecustor. However, many states have laws allowing prosecutors to file adult charges against juvenile offenders for serious offenses without applying for a waiver (www.expertlaw.com). In addition, many states have seen the need to eliminate some serious offensives from juvenile court. Because of their severity; offenses such as capital crimes, murders, and other offenses against persons will be tried only in adult courts.
According to www.co.san-joaquin.ca.us, those adolesants at least 14 years of age can be tried and sentenced to as an adult form a number of felonies. These felonies include: murder, attempted murder, arson, robbery with a deadly or dangerous weapon, various forms of rape, kidnapping, and carjacking. It is vital to point out that under most state laws, juvenile offenders do not commit crimes, they commit delinquent acts that some would constitute as crimes in committed by adults.
With the understanding of juvenile offenders and what offenses permit a juvenile to be tried as an adult, should Marie be tried as an adult for her involvement in the kidnapping of her classmate? In my opinion, yes Marie should be tried as an adult. As a juvenile offender tried as an adult she will have the legal protection as adult’s defendants: right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, and the right to confront accusers, cross-examine witnesses and appeal to a higher court.
According to the legal dictonary criminal intent is a mental desire and will to act in a particular way. Marie’s intent was plotting with the adults to kidnap her classmate. Because juvenile are not “sentenced” even when tried as adults, instead they are rehabilitated, Marie should still face a juror of six adults. Her past history with the juvenile system, opportunity of reform, seriousness and her involvement in the kidnapping as well as how the public’s safety will be affected if she is not locked up should be considered in the guidelines of the sentencing of the case.
Treatment consideration should be provided to the court as a rehabilitation program such as a detention center or “boot camp”. Even if this is her first offense, it is clear by her involvement in this crime that she is headed down the wrong path and redirection is in order. It is known by adult court judges that the adult prisons offer little in the way of rehabilitation, counseling, or schooling. Therefore rehabilitation is mostly likely the route the juvenile would get.
A rehabilitation center would provide her the maximum security training schools operated by state governments or non-profit organizations. In these facilities she would be placed through a rigorous program of education and counseling. Marie should not be sent to an adult prison, as a 1996 study of children sent to an adult prison were 1/3 more likely to commit crimes when released than those who were sent to a rehabilitation center (Juvenile Justice). If she is transferred into a boot camp, she would be involved in a military style regimen or hard work, calisthenics and discipline (Kresnak, pg 04). According to Jack Kresnak, the purposes of these camps are imposing structure into their chaotic live.
Even though I have suggested and support Marie being tried as an adult for her involvement in this terrible crime and refer her to obtaining rehabilitation for her actions, this is not saying that juveniles are not sentenced to pinion. In retrospect, www.expertlaw.com was quick to point out that many states have large juvenile prisons and treatment facilities. It is highly understood that some juvenile offenders are extremely dangerous and despite their age incarceration can and should be appropriate for them. It is also vital to know that if tried as a juvenile, these juvenile offenders are not offered the same guidelines as adults.
They have no constitutional right to a jury trial, and do have a right to a public trail or bail. The purpose of juvenile trail is to rehabilitate not to punish. That is why I stand firm on my ground that Marie should be tried as an adult. She committed a crime and being tried as an adult will ensure that she is “scared” into the proper social behavior.
However, the only problem we foresee in her being tried as an adult is that Marie is only 13 years of age. Most states as we have read allow children as young as 14 to be tried as an adult for various felonies, because of this legal catch, can we still have her tried as an adult? Yes, in the state of Colorado according to http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir. “a juvenile 12 or 13 years of age and is alleged to have committed an act that if committed by an adult would constitute a Class 1 or 2 felony or crime of violence as defined in section 18-1.3-406, C.R.S.” can be tried as an adult.
Because of this law in Colorado I conclude that Marie should be tried as an adult for her involvement in the kidnapping of her classmate and sentenced to a rehabilitation center or boot camp. In either place, she will gain the educational and discipline to become a better citizen and well rounded person and hopefully become reformed enough to play an active, good moral role in our society upon her completion of the program.
When a Child can be tried as an adult, A publication of the office of Legilaive legal services. August 30, 2005. https://www.expertlaw.com/library/criminal/juvenile_law.html
Criminal Law: Juvenile Criminal Cases. 1999 National Report Series, Juvenile Justice. Bulletin: Juvenile Justice: A Century of Change: December 1999. Kresnak, Jack. Chapter 2, Juvenile Justice.