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Should Rape Suspects Always Be Charged As Adults?

It is hard to imagine how an adult could commit as disgusting a crime as rape, but when minors commit this act of violence, the law is challenged to confront it as well.

In Florida, four middle school kids accused of raping a 13-year-old boy in a school locker-room over a two-month period will be charged as adults. They each face up to 120 years in prison, if convicted of all counts.

The case of Daniel Hood, a star football player, and convicted rapist, headed to University of Tennessee on a full scholarship, recently inspired a debate over second chances for rapists. When he was 13, Hood was tried as a juvenile for the rape of his cousin. He received probation, and is now free to live the privileged life of a college athlete.

While trying these boys as adults sends the message that rape is a serious crime, do you think they should still be afforded a second chance considering their ages?


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WarEagleNurse WarEagleNurse 6 years
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I feel for you Anonymous. I was molested at the age of 5 and raped at the age of 19. Although my life has been scared in some way by each of those experiences I also understand that my pain and my experiences do not preclude certain new facts and scientific revelation regarding how we now must look at these children who commit such acts.
vpetite vpetite 8 years
Put another way, you can either throw these kids in jail, and subsequently there will be little hope of learning the causes of their behavior and furthermore, any possibility to reverse the behavior through treatment. In this case, you are assuming that the child's understanding of the crime is exactly that of an adult. But again, who is to say what their understanding is? The mind is extremely malleable at such a young age, and this behavior might simply have been learned from the child's experience, without fully understanding the severity of the crime. If instead of trying the child as an adult, you try them as a child, and attempt to figure out what went wrong, then we have learned something new about child development, and ways to prevent future incidents such as these. But by throwing a blanket punishment over everyone without considering the differences from case to case, you are condemning this pattern to repeat. Another way, if an adult year old committed a similarly severe crime, but it was later revealed they were schizophrenic, would you want them to be tried as anyone else? It was only because people decided to take the time out to study those people who were different, that we have been able to treat mentally ill people to the point where they can lead relatively normal lives. If this is a possibility for a child, it would be absurd not to try and at least see if a child's case is different.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I feel like I'm repeating my self since I just addressed the same topic over on the group (citizen 4.0) so if you've read that comment just ignore me here ;) 1. I understand the anger and thirst for some type of vengeance in this situation however I disagree that these youth should treated as adults. As I mentioned on the other post there is clear scientific evidence available now that shows (not suggests) but shows that teens are not capable for lack of natural ability because their brains are simply not mature enough in the physical sense to exercise cognitive reasoning (like) adults do. The Amen Clinic a leader in brain scan research has case history that shows this. Dr. Amen is the leading authority on brain scan research. He sights in his research youth that have committed violent crimes that would have been tried as adults but the courts were convinced to release them to the clinic for treatment. The result, completely changed human beings. Now having said that no I'm not suggesting that these children serve no time or pay for their respective crimes. Yes they should however they should not be tossed into an adult system where they'll be four more lost lives that we will have to deal with and care for for the rest of their lives. 2. IMO other factors that contributed to the act were: Naive and complacent parents who feel that because their children get good grades and achieve in sports that their not capable of such an act. The boys will be boy’s resignation The celebration of this behavior on shows such as Jack-Ass. Our general attitude not to get involved when some one is being blatantly mistreated as illustrated on the TV show (What Would You Do). Our passive and sometimes indifferent stance towards the issue of bullying which contributed to a lake of urgency by witnesses to tell any one of authority about what they saw. Yes, as I said above the 4 boys are responsible for their respective acts and should pay a debt to the young man they harmed and society but as I often like to point out, no clean hands here baby….no clean hands.
depeche3 depeche3 8 years
No matter what age if they commit rape they should be charged as an adult... and if possible leave them in prison forever. I don't believe in second chances at all when it comes to a crime that horrendous. But, that is just my opinion.
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
Like I said above, each case has to be individually analyzed... the 2 month thing is obviously an extreme case. I've taken enough psychology classes in college to know the stage of brain development in a 13 year old is not even close to that of an adult, they're not as rational as they may seem. I'm going to talk about this with my boyfriend today (he has his Psych degree), see what he says.
amofoz amofoz 8 years
"It is not fair to put the child in more danger by placing them in an adult prison." Whaaat? But its FAIR for them to sodomize another child for two months?? Two months!! That sounds like we are protecting the accusers more than the victim!
amofoz amofoz 8 years
Well if they don't know the severity of the crime, they'll know now.
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
"a 13 year old KNOWS that what he's doing is wrong" Yeah, but does he truly understand the severity of the crime?
MeiGaku MeiGaku 8 years
the law on sexual assault and rape in america is deplorable--a man on a third strike for stealing bread can get five years in jail but a convicted rapist gets eight months and parole. a 13 year old KNOWS that what he's doing is wrong, and while i don't necessarily think all under-aged rapists should be convicted as adults, i do believe that the law in general needs to be harsher. also, he should not be given a free ride because of what he's done, he should've been in jail for the past five years and more for what he did. rape is never a light case, whether you're 13 or 35--we all know it's wrong. although i don't necessarily support a life sentence, i do think he should've spent a lot more time in prison.
vpetite vpetite 8 years
If you try them as adults, their lives are bound to be messed up until they die (either if they recieve a life sentence, or if they receive parole at some point). Throwing a person in jail is essentially saying "You are too messed up, and this society no longer wants you." Ultimately, this has a negative influence on society, as it's rare for a person to come out of jail with a more positive and happier outlook on life. By punishing children to such an extreme, you don't allow them to evaluate their mistakes and rehabilitate themselves. These children should receive serious help from therapists and their parents. It's completely different for a grown adult to commit a crime like this, at that point, their perspective and philosophy will probably be much harder to change.
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
I'm going to have to agree with Jinx, it's not always cut and dry, each case needs to be analyzed individually. 13 is so young, it's horrible to hear stories like this.
pink-pirate pink-pirate 8 years
Another important point - do you know what happens to boys tried as adults when they get to prison? They get raped. A 13 year old would be a prime target for sexual assault if placed with adults.
pink-pirate pink-pirate 8 years
#14 I'm not really sure it's reasonable to say that being shot isn't traumatizing for life. I'm pretty sure people who are shot, survive, and are blind or disabled for the rest of their lives experience some major trauma.
heartclearly heartclearly 8 years
I’d love for everyone to be safe, and tried equally under the law, but I also believe that you can’t give a 13 year old the same amount of jail time as a 40 year old. It’s not always too late for younger kids, above 15 maybe, but younger than that they should not be given such heavy jail time. There should be penalties, very serious ones, although they may have ruined someone’s life and traumatized them, sometimes people can still be changed, hence why ruin another life? Second chances can exist...maybe, it all depends on the specific case in my opinion.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
If they want to had forced sex like adults, they should be tried as adults.
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I think it depends, not necessarily. They should be evaluated individually and a decision made on each case.
moonlight-spice moonlight-spice 8 years
Unlike shooting someone, rape is a prolonged act which traumatizes a person in ways that cannot be fully appreciated. ALWAYS try rapists as adults. At 13, you know enough that you should be held accountable. They aren't simpletons.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Yes, they should pay the price as adults.
Deidre Deidre 8 years
Clarification of my previous comment -- underage victims of rape are forced to grow up very quickly due to such a heinous act. Why should an underage rapist not be forced to face the act in a grown up way as well?
Deidre Deidre 8 years
Yes, I absolutely think they should be tried as adults. Sex is an adult act, and should be treated with adult consequences.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 8 years
I agree with weffie. I don't even want to think about how awful they'll be as adults.
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