While is difficult to imagine any teenager being capable of an offense such as rape or murder, it certainly it does happen. When it does, it is up to the court to decide whether or not the defendant should be charged as an adult.
Recently, two assaults against women haunted the Nassau County town of Valley Stream, when two women were assaulted. In one of the two cases, the woman attacked was seven months pregnant. Several weeks later, a 16-year-old boy was arrested for the attacks, linked to the case through DNA evidence. While both of the attacks were disturbing, the age of the attacker is also quite shocking.
The suspect is being currently being held without bail, and could face decades in prison if convicted. He will also be tried as an adult.
While most of us may not want to see a juvenile charged as an adult, there are always many factors to consider when it comes to this, including past behaviors and the potential for future offenses. In this particular case, the suspect had previous brushes with the law, although this does not always guarantee a conviction. However, the alleged violent nature of the crime likely played a role in the decision to try the defendant as an adult.
Many will also object to charging a juvenile as an adult. In our society, we believe in rehabilitation and second chances, often believing that no one is truly incapable of changing. Would charging someone so young as an adult rob our society of a potentially beneficial member, if jail is recommended over extensive therapy and counseling? Can a teenager truly process right and wrong the same way an adult can? During the trial, these will all likely be arguments, especially due to the age of the suspect.
What do you think: should teenagers be charged as adults for violent crimes?