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Should youth be exempt from the law?


Should youth be exempt from the law?   

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Do you think our youth today, who are not as mentally capable as adults to handle certain situations, should be exempt from the law? Therefore, that means that should they commit a serious crime, they will not get charged criminally? I mean, I don't see much point in charging youth when you can just teach them that what they did is wrong and they'll grow out of it.

Do you agree that youth who commit crimes should be exempt from harsh charges by police?

Edited by windyman
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I mean, I don't see much point in charging youth when you can just teach them that what they did is wrong and they'll grow out of it.

The concepts of "coming of age" and "trouble" should be ingrained by the teen years. It's taught in the home and school. Every year you can't do something you did the year previously or you'll get in trouble for it.

If you want to teach a youth something, be clear and definite. If you do A, you get B.

We are being clear and definite now, but the message is: "if no youth gets into serious trouble for a crime, neither will you."

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Again we see another thread were the overarching circular principle seems to be that the law needs to be enforced simply because its the law. I voted 'Other' to reflect my sense there are just too many variables that play into why kids break laws.

What do we do with kids who argue they were taught to disdain the law, say by scofflaw parents who illegally smoked in the car with their kids? Are kids more responsible for learning to respect the law than their parents are for teaching it? Kids should not be the victims of their shitty upbringing and should be exempt from prosecution if they are. This probably also behooves the government to stop creating shitty laws that only serve to create contempt.

Do as I say not as I do and might makes right are the likeliest thing kids will learn and pass on to their kids if the law treats them as vindictively as I suspect many people would like to see.

Edited by eyeball
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As for kids learning respect for the law from teachers or cops, not to mention tolerance...

In my town, native kids are exempt from smoking on school property. There is a line and everyone knows where it is, outside which the non-native kids smoke. Of course while these kids might be safe from a teacher cracking down on them they still have the police to contend with. Unfortunately the police ignore the native kids like the teachers do so...

What is a parent to do other than explain to their kids that the law is often an ass? My solution was to teach my kids to always remember the golden rule, don't get caught. Does that make me a bad parent?

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Should youths be exempt from the law? No, screaming no.

In fact parents are the problem these days, they make excuse for the little scum buckets instead of hauling them out behind the shed and beating the crap out of them. Our youth aren't taught that there are consequences for their actions and when they become in conflict with the law the parents are in the court room mewling like asses that he's not a bad boy he's just misunderstood. Yea right, one local scum bag has racked up over 30 criminal convictions, he went to jail for two weeks for beating a cat to death with a golf club. He was picked up this week riding in a stolen car with a sawed off shotgun, yes by all means let the touchy feely crowd of idiots absolve him of his reponsibility.

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As for kids learning respect for the law from teachers or cops, not to mention tolerance...

In my town, native kids are exempt from smoking on school property. There is a line and everyone knows where it is, outside which the non-native kids smoke. Of course while these kids might be safe from a teacher cracking down on them they still have the police to contend with. Unfortunately the police ignore the native kids like the teachers do so...

What is a parent to do other than explain to their kids that the law is often an ass? My solution was to teach my kids to always remember the golden rule, don't get caught. Does that make me a bad parent?

No it does not.

You are simply proving - by pointing out an example - that laws are no longer applied evenly across the board.

This is one very good reason why many people no longer have much - if any - respect for law makers and indeed the law itself.

We are well on our way down the slippery slopes and the lefties and special interest groups and cultural groups are quite happy to see this happen - until something affects them. Then they will scream bloody murder.

Right and wrong no longer exist - now it is laws are for those who do not have "the cultural excuse".

Nobody is guilty anymore.

Numerous example - not worth re-producing.

Borg

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What is a parent to do other than explain to their kids that the law is often an ass? My solution was to teach my kids to always remember the golden rule, don't get caught. Does that make me a bad parent?

Do you think that absolves you of all responsibility when they do get caught?

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No it does not.

You are simply proving - by pointing out an example - that laws are no longer applied evenly across the board.

This is one very good reason why many people no longer have much - if any - respect for law makers and indeed the law itself.

We are well on our way down the slippery slopes and the lefties and special interest groups and cultural groups are quite happy to see this happen - until something affects them. Then they will scream bloody murder.

Right and wrong no longer exist - now it is laws are for those who do not have "the cultural excuse".

Nobody is guilty anymore.

Numerous example - not worth re-producing.

Borg

Sniff that wasn't a very sensitive post Borg, don't you wanna hug the little criminal scum bags and show them love and feelings? Feelings are very important these days, well the crims feelings the victim can go to hell as justice isn't as important as racial and cultural issues. Sniff sniff poor little scum bags so misunderstood. Sarcasism off.

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I'm not in favour of giving kids criminal records if it can be avoided but when they screw up you have to inconvenience the little buggers. Take away use of something they value, their free time, whatever it takes. Just telling them they did something wrong and not to do it again without real consequences is a waist of time just teaches them there are no consequences. If they persist, there comes a point where the public has a right to be protected from them, children or not.

There was a 13 year old girl in this area that the police were picking up on a regular basis in stolen vehicles. Allowing her to continue this behavior until she kills herself or someone else isn't doing anyone a favour.

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Do you think our youth today, who are not as mentally capable as adults to handle certain situations, should be exempt from the law? Therefore, that means that should they commit a serious crime, they will not get charged criminally? I mean, I don't see much point in charging youth when you can just teach them that what they did is wrong and they'll grow out of it.

Do you agree that youth who commit crimes should be exempt from harsh charges by police?

Man that is a tough question. Generally speaking the law is supposed to be flexible with children to determine if they know right from wrong when determining whether to rely on their evidence in court. Not a terribly scientific process.

When it comes to crime, as youmay know, to prove a crime you must establish mens rea, that is to say, intent to commit the crime.

We came up as you know with a Youth Offender's Act that was supposed to distunguish the punishment and criminal laws we dispense to children from adults but then what happens is children are not all at the same level. Physically you can now have fully matured bodies but people under the age of 16.

I.q. and emotional maturity levels differ greatly. Generally speaking when a child begins puberty the frontal lobe explodes insize from a dot to a large watermelon. As it explodes in size judgement, reasoning, inhibitions, emotional impulse, ability to perceive danger, all becomes suspect, because all of that is governed by the front lobe which becomes unstable as it grows.

While that is happening there are also other complex hormonal and other chemical changes going on that effect mood.

Its possible you can have 3 14 year olds and one is a child who has not yet reached puberty, one in puberty, and one having completed it. Each would probably manifest diferent behaviour patterns.

Some children at a very young age already have severe mental pathologies, i.e., are sociopathic or psychopathic-they have no feelings, no inhibitions and kill or maim and feel nothing-there is no emotion and what you think is remorse is simply them manipulating you with false emotional reaction. They might regret getting caught but not much else.

So I can't really answer your question other then to say to you ideally we have to take each child one at a time to determine their physical and mental and emotional states.

I just am not sure how you go about applying a proper test to determine if they are adults or not.

Severity of crime in itself may not tell you. On the other hand, severity of crime may very well tell you.

We believe a child or young adult still has time to change and be rehabilitated and so want to emphasize rehabilitation with them.

I wonder sometimes today when we see street gangs committing mayhem whether these individual gang bangers can be rehabilitated or whether its too late. You get opinions on both sides of the coin on that one.

The real hard one is what about child soldiers or child terrorists?

This one prisoner in Guantanamo Omar Kadr was 15 at the time he was captured after killing a US soldier. Was he a terrorist or was he a child soldier? Did he know what he was doing or because he was 15 and brought up by his father to hate, he never had a chance to exercise free will?

I just can't give you an answer.

I know children that could kill you and feel nothing, others that would kill you and find it quite funny, and others who would cry like little children after getting caught.

Me personally I don't think child prostitutes should be sent to jail and we need to rehab. them. Likewise child drug addicts. On the other hand, when I see a child who at 14, 15, 16, has already knifed and mugged and raped people and has established a clear pattern of crime, I just do not think for them rehab. is realistic.

So me personally I tend to look and ask what are the nature of the crimes and whether the child has a history of crime or it was just a one time thing. Was it done in self-defence? For example did the child knife his father because his father had been beating him or his mother?

I think the law tries to ask those kinds of questions and take that kind of thing into context but many believe the Youth Offender Act has miserably failed.

I just don't know what the alternative can be at this point.

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Do you think that absolves you of all responsibility when they do get caught?

If they're caught breaking the stupid laws or laws that are applied as whimsically as in the case I provided? Not at all, it only increases my responsibility to get in those laws face and let my kids know I'm on their side.

I'm sure as hell not going to take them out behind the shed like Moxie suggests. In another thread Moxie lambasted me for suggesting that the state has the right to makes laws and that its our duty to follow them without question. In this thread Moxie now seems to be saying that people should follow every law the government makes without question, and that its my responsibility to physically beat that unquestioning respect for the law into them.

Borg seems to be giving me brownie points for teaching my kids to not get caught breaking the stupid one's. So what do you say Moxie, should ALL laws be followed without question simply because the law says we should or should we just obey the one's that make sense? How do we get our kids to differentiate between these? Perhaps we should teach them to first look at whether the law was written by lefties and follow Borg's advice.

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Sniff that wasn't a very sensitive post Borg, don't you wanna hug the little criminal scum bags and show them love and feelings? Feelings are very important these days, well the crims feelings the victim can go to hell as justice isn't as important as racial and cultural issues. Sniff sniff poor little scum bags so misunderstood. Sarcasism off.

Problem is Moxie the scum bag response is lazy. It states the obvious. We all know someone who commits a crime should not get away with it. That is not the issue.

The issue is whether someone can be rehabilitated or not and whether because someone is younger you might have a chance to get to them and put them back on the right path before its too late.

It's lazy to generalize and write all criminals off using the word scum . Nice and black and white and simplistic. You are either bad or good, the problem is in the real world it is not that simple and many people who commit crime do so not because they are scum bags but because they became prostitutes or drug addicts and they become that way not because they started off as scum-they came into the world no different then you or I. What turned them into scum was not moral failure which people who use labels like scum bag do to justify hating them-some of us don't have the luxury to iknee jerk react and see the world as blck and white-we live in the grey-we live in the world where what looks like refuse to you, cries out to us with pain.

I have worked with crack whores who started off as beautiful children. They end up that way because their fathers raped them then they run onto the streets where some pimp snatches them up and uses drugs and sex to fuck their minds. Not sure you would be so quick to call them scum if you saw a 12 year old whore after his/her pimp beat her or him silly or someone sodomized him or her and threw him or her in an ally to bleed and wonder if they have aids.

Not all drug addicts are scum. They started off as people and then the drugs lowers them into hell slowly. You want to judge them-go ahead-me-honestly I feel only humility and sadness. I don't hate them or feel superior to them. That could be me I am looking at under the right circumstances.

The ones that are genuinely scum, oh I know them-you get to the point you feel them in the next room coming-I would never let them dominate my head and write off all others based on what they are.

That is exactly what they want and I'll be damned if I indulge them.

So no with due respect not all scum are scum-some of those scum are people in pain and if they still can feel the pain-there is always hope. Its the ones who can't feel pain anymore, those are the ones we have to ask tough hard questions about.

If you do not want to deal with them fine. Many people do not. They don't want them in their neighbourhoods. They don't want to think about prisons and the criminal system. I understand that. I am not asking anybody to.

But I am asking you to realize some of those scum still feel-they still can cry-they still can dream. They still if given the right programs can make it.

What may be garbage to you could be someone who still has potential and could go on to help turn other garbage into something meaningful.

It is not a matter of being a bleeding heart. I have seen cops tougher then anyone on this forum after many years on the job, still reach into cess pools and pull people out. If they can do it and they do, then those of you that do not have to should try remember that-if for no other reason because the cops on the street, the social workers, the nurses, the mental health workers-they still do their jobs and should not be ridiculed for what they do and if they get 1 from 1000 back from hell, its worth it.

I am not saying we should endanger anyone to do that either. I am not saying we should release pedophiles or rapists onto the streets thinking we are rehabilitating them. That is another issue-appropriate sentencing-and its not the issue I am talking about.

I am just talking about not being quick to write people off. The other stuff, i.e., inappropriate sentencing, that is another complex issue.

Edited by Rue
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If they're caught breaking the stupid laws or laws that are applied as whimsically as in the case I provided? Not at all, it only increases my responsibility to get in those laws face and let my kids know I'm on their side.

Having taught them that, do you then think that you should bear whatever penalty is applied when they break laws which you think are stupid?

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I know the YCJA and other youth crimes were on the books for around a hundred years. This was back when IMO parents were more accountable for their kid's actions and sending them to con college only to be hardened before their "immediate" re-release was a recipe for disaster.

IMO if parents aren't going to be good parents and let kids run around like crazy, then the YCJA should be ammended.

IMO it's also in the same boat as mentally insane people commiting the crime. Should society have to pay because somebody has issues? Just because somebody has issues it's alright to kill somebody? I think that anyone who commits murder is insane, should they all be allowed to get huge reductions on their sentances because they plead insanity? A dangerous person is a dangerous person no matter how you slice it and they should be kept away from society when it's proven they've commited a crime. If they want back, it should be up to them to explain why they should be let back in.

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A dangerous person is a dangerous person no matter how you slice it and they should be kept away from society when it's proven they've commited a crime. If they want back, it should be up to them to explain why they should be let back in.

What could they say that would convince you they are no longer dangerous?

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My friend and I were just talking today about the increase of crime amongst the teens in our little town now, as opposed to years ago. (pop 3000). I've lived here for over 30 years and raised my kids here. My kids are now well into adulthood. Vandalism was practically unheard of here when my kids were teens. Now it's an every weekend occurance. Lights smashed out at the mall, personal property broken, cars being stolen for joy riding and left wrecked. Businesses broken into on a regular basis. Up until the last 10 years, we never had to lock our cars in our own driveway. Now you wouldn't think of not locking it up. We have had no change in the size of the population and we are a one industry town, so we have not experienced a demographic change in the population either.

We need to ask ourselves WHY are our kids acting out this way? Is it stemming from our own busy lives and not having enough time to pay full attention to them? Are we excusing their unruly behaviour because we feel a sense of guilt about this? Is the rise in broken homes and more kids having step parents an issue? Is the cause the result of a drug epidemic? Or a lack of consistency in parenting? I would add poverty too, but I don't see much desparate poverty in this isolated area. One could assume boredom may be the cause but the kids who were raised here in the 60's, 70's and 80's had no more entertainment opportunities than the kids who live here today.

Until we discover the reason for the increase in crime amongst teens, and we are actually willing to face and change the reasons, we will not find a solveable way to deal with them. An insurmountable task, me thinks.

I raised my teens as a hard working single Mom, so I know first hand how hard it can be.

Incarcerating teens is not the answer. To me, it compounds the problem for kids who are already cynical and confused. It just guarantees them a road to hell.

Edited by Carinthia
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Having taught them that, do you then think that you should bear whatever penalty is applied when they break laws which you think are stupid?

If by stupid laws you mean the example I gave then sure bring it on. I'll gladly take responsibility for teaching my kids to do whatever they think is appropriate in the face of;

In my town, native kids are exempt from smoking on school property. There is a line and everyone knows where it is, outside which the non-native kids smoke. Of course while these kids might be safe from a teacher cracking down on them they still have the police to contend with. Unfortunately the police ignore the native kids like the teachers do so...

When the police harass the non-native kids for smoking but leave the native kids alone, how much harm could I possibly be doing by teaching my kids to remember the golden rule? this is something that comes naturally to most kids anyway.

I find it telling that most of the non-native kids who smoked ten feet from the native kids did so to prove a point and demonstrate they weren't going to stand for this double standard. Something I'm particularily proud of as a parent is the fact that native and non-native kids get along much better today than us adults did when we were kids. I think its because the native kids and non-native kids today have a much better sense of what's fair and what isn't than we did. They have certainly found lots of common ground in the face of how they're being treated by cops and teachers.

My kids say that native kids often offer smokes to the non-native kids that lose theirs to the cops. I do find it funny that the non-native kids would rather face the cops than the teachers. Probably because the kids know the teachers are more apt to call their parents.

The native kids probably just shake their heads at crazy loco pink people and their even crazier rules.

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If by stupid laws you mean the example I gave then sure bring it on. I'll gladly take responsibility for teaching my kids to do whatever they think is appropriate in the face of;

But we both know you never will be.

When the police harass the non-native kids for smoking but leave the native kids alone, how much harm could I possibly be doing by teaching my kids to remember the golden rule? this is something that comes naturally to most kids anyway.

The Golden Rule is now, don't get caught? That's something to be proud of.

Edited by Wilber
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My friend and I were just talking today about the increase of crime amongst the teens in our little town now, as opposed to years ago. (pop 3000). I've lived here for over 30 years and raised my kids here. My kids are now well into adulthood. Vandalism was practically unheard of here when my kids were teens. Now it's an every weekend occurance. Lights smashed out at the mall, personal property broken, cars being stolen for joy riding and left wrecked. Businesses broken into on a regular basis. Up until the last 10 years, we never had to lock our cars in our own driveway. Now you wouldn't think of not locking it up. We have had no change in the size of the population and we are a one industry town, so we have not experienced a demographic change in the population either.

We need to ask ourselves WHY are our kids acting out this way? Is it stemming from our own busy lives and not having enough time to pay full attention to them? Are we excusing their unruly behaviour because we feel a sense of guilt about this? Is the rise in broken homes and more kids having step parents an issue? Is the cause the result of a drug epidemic? Or a lack of consistency in parenting? I would add poverty too, but I don't see much desparate poverty in this isolated area. One could assume boredom may be the cause but the kids who were raised here in the 60's, 70's and 80's had no more entertainment opportunities than the kids who live here today.

Until we discover the reason for the increase in crime amongst teens, and we are actually willing to face and change the reasons, we will not find a solveable way to deal with them. An insurmountable task, me thinks.

I raised my teens as a hard working single Mom, so I know first hand how hard it can be.

Incarcerating teens is not the answer. To me, it compounds the problem for kids who are already cynical and confused. It just guarantees them a road to hell.

It wasn't until the late 1800's that we started to really understand human behavior. Now look where we are! Feels good, doesn't it?

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What could they say that would convince you they are no longer dangerous?

Actual good behavior in jail, going above and beyond in jail, a shrink confirming that they aren't a threat. A polygraph test, the fact that they hate it so much they are desperate never to return. Something along those lines.

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Given the kinds of things "kids" get up to these days, and the fact they don't seem to grow out of their criminal behaviour just because they reach the magical age of eighteen - I think the law should come down hard on them.

Not that the law comes down hard on anyone, of course, ever.

Examine this case from today, in fact, and see how harsh the law can be. I don't think there could be a more obvious case of planned, premeditated murder. You had people - excuse me, children - carrying walkey talkies to warn of a group getting near, and a dozen people hiding in bushes with guns ready to ambush them.

But six years is the sentence - for manslaughter. And that's for the adults involved. God knows what the "youths" will get.

Sentence Shocks Shooting Victim's Mother

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Given the kinds of things "kids" get up to these days, and the fact they don't seem to grow out of their criminal behaviour just because they reach the magical age of eighteen - I think the law should come down hard on them.

Not that the law comes down hard on anyone, of course, ever.

Examine this case from today, in fact, and see how harsh the law can be. I don't think there could be a more obvious case of planned, premeditated murder. You had people - excuse me, children - carrying walkey talkies to warn of a group getting near, and a dozen people hiding in bushes with guns ready to ambush them.

But six years is the sentence - for manslaughter. And that's for the adults involved. God knows what the "youths" will get.

Sentence Shocks Shooting Victim's Mother

Unbelievable. Is it any wonder that whenever politicians and lawyers babble on about maximum sentences, more and more Canadian eyes glaze over and all their ears hear is Bla, bla, Bla, bla, Bla, Bla, Bla.

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Actual good behavior in jail, going above and beyond in jail, a shrink confirming that they aren't a threat. A polygraph test, the fact that they hate it so much they are desperate never to return. Something along those lines.

Would the nature of the crime have any influence upon those things?

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