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On March 7 2000 Californians voted in favor of Proposition 21 - The Juvenile Justice Initiative The number of crimes committed by juveniles has risen dramatically and it will continue to rise unless some action is taken Thus juvenile offenders should be punished more severely to deter other teenagers from committing crimes and for the safety of all citizens I am in favor of the requirement that juvenile offenders age 14 or older be tried as adults for serious crimes such as murder or violent sex offenses Juveniles that commit these serious offenses should be tried and sentenced as an adult rather than just being given a slap on the wrist Having more severe punishments for juvenile offenders that commit violent crimes would most likely decrease juvenile offenses More severe punishment for juveniles would equal less crime because juveniles would then think twice before breaking the law if they are aware that a severe punishment awaits them While it is not appropriate for these individuals to be placed in the same facilities as adult offenders they should receive the same degree of punishment but in a facility with peers their own age who have committed similar offenses The juvenile justice system is not adequate in handling serious crimes committed by minors It does not ensure that these young juvenile offenders will end their days of crime In most cases sentences issued are merely slaps on the wrist With this in consideration it can be realized that a stricter justice system can eventually deter teenagers from committing violent crimesIn the past the majority of cases brought to juvenile court were misdemeanors Today the crimes are becoming more and more serious than in the past More felonies are committed by juveniles today than misdemeanors More strict penalties need to be set for serious crimes committed by juveniles Juveniles who perpetrate violent crimes or felonies should be sentenced as an adult While some misdemeanors are still serious
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