Should a teen's age be irrelevant when they break the law?

I’m seeing a rather disturbing trend in teens breaking the law and getting away with it because of their age. It troubles me that these teens want to be treated like grown ups with all the rights and responsibilities, but they can’t take responsibility for breaking the law, doing something they know is wrong.

So, do you think that age should be irrelevant when a teen breaks the law?

Also, for more minor crimes, do you think a teen should be given the opportunity through personal endeavor to earn the removal of that from their criminal record? (As in, prove they have changed and reformed from their own hard work, rather than someone else trying to change the record for them.)

Opinions? Ideas?

Answer #1

I think they should have to keep it on their record, and I don’t think they should be punished any less severely because of age.

Answer #2

I’m just going to clarify here, I’m not suggesting we dish out heavy sentences on these kids. I’m more saying, should it be so easy to get these things erased off their permanent records based solely on their age? What if there was evidence the crime was a pre-meditated act? Or they don’t regret what they did?

Answer #3

It depends on the crime…everyone should be given the opportunity to learn …As with anything like a driving mishap …maybe over a period of time it could be erased…

Answer #4

At the end of the day they are still kids… Maybe at 17 is not the same as 13, but you need a cut off line some place, and they picked 18… if they’re going to be treated like adults then they really should have the same rights… but they dont… and there’s a reason for that, kids brains are simply not fully developed… the frontal lobe is still immature, so things like impulse are not fully controlled… yes they know right from wrong, so do 10 year olds… but as teens the focus is on rehabillitation and not punishment… it’s a lot easier to change a person’s course in life when they’re young…

Answer #5

Well, a teenager’s brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25. They don’t think about the consequences because of the immaturity still. Teens have always broken the law, its just heard about more now because of the internet and television. The only way people learn are through mistakes, thats how they become better person. I’m sure there isn’t a single adult who hasn’t made a huge mistake when they were a teenager that’s contributed to who they are now.

I do think they should get harsher punishments if its like murder or sexual assault. But things like drinking, tresspassing, no they shouldn’t get adult sentences.

Answer #6

I agree…it depends on the crime and the age of the teenager…there’s a lot of difference between 13 and 18. Maybe they should keep their record until the age of 21, if it’s felony charges…and then delete it, as proof of rehabilitation.

Teens wanting all the priveledges of an adult isn’t much of a criteria for handing out adult punishment…There isn’t a teenager alive who didn’t feel they “could handle anything” when they were young…


Answer #7

Great ideas Phrannie- thanks!

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