How old is too old for juvenile court? Most people agree that those under 18 are juveniles, right? Unfortunately, our governor doesn’t think so. In fact, he thinks those 21 and under are juveniles, too!
Posted today in the legislative update is Governor Malloy’s erratic proposal: consider those under 21-years-old young adults. Also known as Governor’s Bill No. 5040.
Meaning, if someone who is under 21 commits a crime in 2021, they will go through the juvenile court system. Meaning, the state conceals their identity and they avoid trial by jury. Instead, a judge will hear their case and determine the appropriate course of action.
And, by doing that, the juvenile avoids harsher sentences because juvenile court focuses more on rehabilitation than sending kids to jail.
Not to mention, it also wipes their slates clean if certain actions and thresholds are met. So, commit away, you young adults. The state will do its damnest to protect you.
Because, by definition of our lawmakers, by 21 a person still doesn’t know right from wrong or if the prison life is right for them.
Give me a break. If they did the crime, they should definitely face the consequences of their actions. That’s the only way they’ll learn, anyway. You rob a bank, you go to jail. It doesn’t matter what drove that person to rob a bank, the focus should be on that they did the actual crime and carried it out.
This debate brings us right back to a few years ago. Back in 2007, the state considered a similar matter when it wanted to classify 18-year-olds as juveniles.
On a national scale, the cap is normally set at 16-years-old. Also, those who commit more serious crimes are normally tried as adults.
Rightfully so, the nation met this move with intense criticism and skepticism. Heck, law enforcement officials said this would overburden the juvenile court system and cost the state more money.
Thankfully, our juvenile incarceration rate continues to decline year-after-year. Then again, our state seemingly captures teenage criminals and releases them to their parents instead of keeping them in handcuffs.
A good example of this is what’s happening right now in Fairfield County. The area continues to deal with teenage gangs breaking into the cars and stealing them to take on joyrides. Yes, not to strip them for parts or anything, but just to take these vehicles on an early morning cruise before abandoning them on the side of the road.
When police capture these suspects, they release them back to their parents, and they re-offend the following night.
Because, hey, they don’t face the consequences. Or, simply put, they don’t care. It’s literally a revolving door of crime at this point and the only people paying are, well, those who refuse to lock their cars at night.
But now, 21-years-olds might soon enjoy the same perks.
Under Malloy’s proposal, he writes:
“Age for adult jurisdiction” means (A) on and after July 1, 2019, but not later than June 30, 2020, nineteen years of age and older, (B) on and after July 1, 2020, but not later than June 30, 2021, twenty years of age and older, and (C) on and after July 1, 2021, twenty-one years of age and older.”
And, honestly, considering this guy wanted to classify 25-year-olds as young adults makes me believe that ugly attempt will rise from the grave again.
Considering a new study says our brains stop developing at 25, watch the “Raise the Age” movement clutch onto that.
Sure, our Governor is a sympathetic man. He hates the idea that an 18-year-old will face a lifetime of punishment for a crime a 17-year-old can commit without consequence.
Then again, when I turned 18, I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do with my life. Committing crimes and doing drugs was, emphatically, not a part of my life plan.
18-year-olds can legally go to war, buy cigarettes, and enjoy tasteless nudity on the big screen. Also, back in the day, society expected them to have their marbles all in one bag since they were considered adults back then.
And, shockingly, most 18-year-olds felt okay with that. It was their responsibility to venture out into the brave new world and make something of themselves.
That mentality is ever present in most 21-year-olds. These adults pretty much have their life figured out because they went to college and declared a major. They know what they want to do with their life.
But now we’ve become a society that embraces mistakes and rewards failures. Heck, people say our UConn women need to stop winning their games by too many points. Because it’s “unfair.”
Sorry, Deborah, it’s the NCAA tournament where the best face the best for the sport’s highest honor. If UConn embarrasses their rivals, it forces them to work harder to avoid feeling that crushing defeat again.
Pampering their feelings isn’t going to give them the same drive to achieve as failing spectacularly.
But, back to our juvenile court system. If a budding 21-year-old breaks into a car, steals a purse, and completely empties their victim’s bank account – they should pay for it.
However, if this law goes though, they’ll be spared from the consequences, enjoy rehab, and maintain a clean record while their victim tries to clean up the mess they made.
Shortly put, if you are under 21 and commit a crime in 2021, the state will send you to juvenile court.
Do you agree that our state should raise the age or is 21-years-old simply pushing it too far?