Should A Minor Be Tried as an Adult Due to the Seriousness of the Crime?

Here’s a piece I published one year ago today, in case you missed it at the time, and I’d love to hear what you think. I’ll be publishing some brand new pieces very soon, including a piece by a returning guest, the continuing saga of my adventures following the life and ideas of Frederick Douglass, some recommendations, and birthday remembrances of great thinkers. Stay tuned!

Ordinary Philosophy

Here’s a case, currently in the news, in which a young girl helps murder her mother because her mother was trying to break up her relationship with her much older boyfriend.

In this case, the girl charged is 14 years old. A long series of text messages, along with forensic evidence, the timeline of events, and the girl’s own testimony indicate that she and her boyfriend did in fact commit the murder (though, of course, this must be proved in court).

Here’s what troubles me most besides the cruel and terrible murder itself: the girl is being charged as an adult. And she’s being charged as an adult, apparently, due to the seriousness of the crime, a practice that’s been allowed in many states for decades. The main argument in favor of this practice goes something like this: if the crime is serious, or ‘adult’ enough (whatever that means), the…

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