Should minors who commit serious crimes receive the same punishments as adults?
These days crimes being committed by minors are getting serious. When minors commit violent crimes such as murder, rape, and armed robber, the question as to whether they should be treated as adults has arisen. I think that minors aged 16 or 17 should fairly receive the same or similar punishments as adults for serious crimes for the following three reasons.
Firstly, even minors are likely to be able to distinguish between right and wrong. Some people say that putting minors in prison is not a wise policy because they are not mentally mature. However, as adults and minors are capable of understanding what is right and wrong, both are no different. A crime is a crime.
Secondly, severe punishments must help deter heinous crimes. Putting minors in prison can also make society safer. Most potential offenders will hesitate to commit the violent crimes mentioned above because of fearing severe punishments. Toughening the laws will work as a deterrent.
Finally, if minors take advantage of any education or training during the sentence, this will lead to the decrease in the rate of recidivism. Most minors who committed violent crimes come from poor environments. Courts are trying to give minors a second chance in life. They are offered an effective rehabilitation systems. They can have access to counselling, academic education and job training in prison.
(Finally, some families of victims of crimes seek the most severe possible punishment for their offenders. The lack of heavy punishments causes the family to feel empty and unsatisfied with justice. Society should support them emotionally or heal their wounds. )
For all these reasons, it is unfair that violent criminals receive lighter and shorter punishments just because they are minors. Juvenile offenders should receive severe punishments as any other member who is a responsible citizen. In other words, imposing severe punishments against minors will promote more public safety.