14
Jul
09

Adulthood and the Law

I have a serious problem with the so-called US Justice System’s handling of adults and juveniles.

According to libraryindex.com, “By the year 2000 all 50 states and the District of Columbia had one or more laws permitting the transfer of youths to criminal courts to be tried as adults. Many states have also expanded these laws in order to make it easier to prosecute juveniles as adults. For example, a 1995 Missouri law removed the minimum age limit, which had been 14, for trying children as adults in cases involving drug dealing, murder, rape, robbery, and first-degree assault. The law also permits children 12 years old to be prosecuted as adults for other crimes. A Texas law allows children as young as 10 to be sentenced to up to 40 years’ incarceration.”

A 12-year-old child can be tried as an adult, and sentenced to years of imprisonment for committing certain crimes, but NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON in the “Land of the Free” United States under 21 years of age is enough of an adult to consume an alcoholic beverage, according to government. (The age limit of 21 is the highest of any country in the world, by the way, and the US has the highest prison population of any country on earth.)

A person can join the Army, and put his life on the line in war, at 17–and operate heavy artillery, assault weapons and vehicles–but is prohibited from going into a bar and having a cold beer at the end of the day.

The double standard is completely illogical and unacceptable. It is used by prosecutors to increase their number of “successfully prosecuted cases,” so they are perceived to be “tough on crime,” and used to increase the overall power of the State.

I don’t care for alcoholic beverages, or court systems, but to make a small improvement in all of this I propose a new, logical standard for determining whether or not someone is an “adult”: If the person in question is not adult enough to enjoy a few shots from a bottle of whiskey, they cannot be tried as an adult in court.

This ridiculous court practice has got to end.

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