Do you think children who commit SERIOUS offences should be given adult sentences?

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#1
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This has come to interest to me following the new allegations against Venables.
What do you think?
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#2
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I can't make up my mind!

I guess it is important that the family of the victim in murder cases get justice...but I also feel like harsh sentences for children might create more problems for them. Like they feel socially excluded - maybe this means they'd live up to their criminal identity and would prevent them from social ntegration.
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Napp
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I think it would be foolish to make a general comment on the matter, criminals and their crimes should only be examined within the proper context. However, with that being said, some probably should be yes.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Current Chat)
This has come to interest to me following the new allegations against Venables.
What do you think?
errr how about NO.

Theres a difference between culpability when you are a child and an adult.

Why cant you recognise the difference between charging a child or teenager as compared to an adult?
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SWCoffee
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Again, if they are a public hazard, yes, until they are treated.
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waleed99
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Yup. By the age of 7 everyone should be able to know what is wrong from what is right.
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  1. I feel like the strongest 'for' argument is to give justice to the victim's family (if there is a victim - I'm talking murder).

    However, I definitely feel that the child's mental capacity does need to be taken into account. Not only this, but I worry that adult sentences may be counterproductive for children. Surely they'll be made to feel like outsiders from a young age. Perhaps this is enough to prevent the child from proper social integration; maybe it will cause them to 'live up' to how they perceive by themselves and by other people - as a criminal.

    I've actually written my first blog post on this, but am not going to link it here because I'm genuinely interested in this discussion. If anyone does want to read it though I've put it in the 'about me' section of my profile.
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SWCoffee
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#8
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Imprisonment is obviously alienating.

The key argument here is.. is the personal damage done via imprisonment comparable to the potential social damage of the unimprisoned?

I'm a government. I need productive kids. How do I discipline them?
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doodle_333
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Clearly not. Children and even teens have less ability to comprehend their actions and the permanence of what they're doing. That only becomes more extreme with the extremity of their actions - e.g. it's harder to comprehend death than a shop keeper losing £1 when you steal chocolate.
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(Original post by doodle_333)
Clearly not. Children and even teens have less ability to comprehend their actions and the permanence of what they're doing. That only becomes more extreme with the extremity of their actions - e.g. it's harder to comprehend death than a shop keeper losing £1 when you steal chocolate.
What about a brutal and planned murder though? And what about the victim's family?

I don't think they should be viewed on equal terms as adults, BUT I think there is still a lot to consider
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doodle_333
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(Original post by Current Chat)
What about a brutal and planned murder though? And what about the victim's family?

I don't think they should be viewed on equal terms as adults, BUT I think there is still a lot to consider
The act they commit is irrelevant. As I said - children cannot comprehend the consequences or permanence of their actions. They are less able to empathise with the victim, undertand the impact on their family and comprehend that murdering them is permanent. As such what they do doesn't matter. They didn't understand it. The only impact severity of crime has is on the amount of mental health care and rehabilitation they will need.

The victims family aren't relevant either TBH. The victim deserves justice but justice doesn't mean someone being locked in jail forever or executed - it means someone paying for their crimes and then making amends. If the family don't believe that then that's not on the justice system to solve. In the UK some families will be unhappy with adult murderers/rapists sentences. We don't sentence based on what the family wants.
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Napp
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(Original post by 999tigger)
errr how about NO.

Theres a difference between culpability when you are a child and an adult.

Why cant you recognise the difference between charging a child or teenager as compared to an adult?
I feel obliged to point out the obvious issue, that a teenager is widely seen as responsible for their crimes. If a 15yr old went out and raped and murdered someone they quite clearly knew what they were doing and that it was evil, despite them not being an adult. Indeed under English law it is 10yrs old the age of criminal responsibility is it not?
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Yaboi
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What's the point of classing someone as a child then
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crocodile_ears
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#14
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I think it should be specific to the child, it's not that common to have children committing serious offences, so every case should be treated individually. I think having a general rule that children should get adult sentences is counter-productive.
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#15
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(Original post by crocodile_ears)
I think it should be specific to the child, it's not that common to have children committing serious offences, so every case should be treated individually. I think having a general rule that children should get adult sentences is counter-productive.
This is actually a point I discuss in my blog. I think this is a fair opinion to have, and did initially hold this view.

However, if each case were to be treated individually, each case would be determined by the opinions of different judges on different days. Albeit Judges are supposed to view the case objectively etc, however, there would undoubtedly be inconsistencies. For example, different sentences given for very similar crimes. Even if there is not outright misconduct, over time inconsistencies will inevitably appear.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Napp)
I feel obliged to point out the obvious issue, that a teenager is widely seen as responsible for their crimes. If a 15yr old went out and raped and murdered someone they quite clearly knew what they were doing and that it was evil, despite them not being an adult. Indeed under English law it is 10yrs old the age of criminal responsibility is it not?
They are treated under the youth justice system, which is different from the adult one. Those under the age of criminal responsibility are treated differently as well.
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looloo2134
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(Original post by Napp)
I feel obliged to point out the obvious issue, that a teenager is widely seen as responsible for their crimes. If a 15yr old went out and raped and murdered someone they quite clearly knew what they were doing and that it was evil, despite them not being an adult. Indeed under English law it is 10yrs old the age of criminal responsibility is it not?
In Scotland the age of criminal responsibility was 8 years old now it 12 years old.

Most counties in Europe the age for criminal responsibility is 14 years old I don't think must 10 year old children understand fully what they done when they commit a serious offences but 14 year does.
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Napp
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(Original post by looloo2134)
In Scotland the age of criminal responsibility was 8 years old now it 12 years old.

Most counties in Europe the age for criminal responsibility is 14 years old I don't think must 10 year old children understand fully what they done when they commit a serious offences but 14 year does.
I know, that is why i said England not Britain//UK.

Indeed I would agree with that.
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SmileyVibe
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#19
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Yes. Not punishing children for murder, rape, theft you name it will teach them that in the future they can commit the same crime with no consequences.
Children do have an idea of right vs wrong. Also by punishing an adult for crime and not punishing a child, it does not send a fair message.
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