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Word Count: 579
For both international and United States standards special protection and treatment is deemed necessary for those under 18 accused of committing crimes Yet across America prosecutors and legislators are attempting to try more and more juveniles as adults At the same time law-abiding adolescents are subject to growing restrictions that clearly treat them as non-adults including curfews parental-consent requirements and a variety of zero-tolerance policies in schools Since many exceptions to the rule exist I believe that it is wrong to try any 14-year-old as an adult Over the past ten years nearly every state has created laws making it easier for minors to be tried in adult courts The question that surfaces however is Who is an adult and who isnt If a 12-year-old can be tried as an adult but 20-year-olds cannot purchase alcohol because they are too young where do we as a society draw the line between childhood and adulthood Girls under 18 can release a baby for adoption without parental consent but the legal age of consent for sex ranges from 14 to 18 depending upon the state At 18 youth can join the military and fight in combat units vote and decide on their medical treatments but are still too young to rent a car Since the range in maturity is so diverse there can be no generalization as to who is really an adult and who isnt when it comes to teens under 18 Due to all these inconsistencies I believe a 14-year-old should not be tried as an adult Traditionally lawbreakers under 18 were tried in juvenile courts and their sentences shortened to better their chances for rehabilitation since it is generally agreed that children have a better capacity for rehabilitation than adults Mental health problems are commonly associated with teens who commit violent crimes Immaturity and naivete also come into play when dealing with children who have committed crimes Concern
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