Law Essay

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Submitted By varun24
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Should Youths be treated as Adults in the Canadian Justice System?

Varun Thapar
Due Date: March 1, 2011
Mr. Roberts

The Youth Justice System was originally created in 1908; and was brought about because the government considered facilitating the youth so they wouldn’t be given the same sentence as adults. This early incarnation of youth legislation was called the Juvenile Delinquents Act This act was for young offenders with a guiding philosophy that juveniles are not criminals but children who need direction. An offender was classified to be between the ages of 7-18 could be tried in this system. The accused does not have a right to a lawyer, hearings were closed; and the charter did not apply. Examples of sentencing options were light and included fines and placements in foster care home. In 1984, the Young Offenders Act was changed to the idea that youths are less responsible for crimes than adults. Some of the amendments of this new act were a narrower range of age, 12-17 year olds and the accused must be advised of right to a lawyer, the Charter rights apply, and the accused could be sentenced to open or closed custody, and could be sentenced to 5 years for murder. In 2002, harsher punishments were introduced to the Act along with a change of name to the, Youth Criminal Justice Act. The driving idea for this act is that tougher sentences prevent crimes but rehabilitation is vital. It has been is debated as to whether or not youth should be given the same sentences as adults. Based on adolescent cognitive abilities and higher chances of repeat offenders, it is important to create and distinguish between adult and youth sentencing.
Due to the fact that young people are still developing the main parts of their brain until their early twenties, they should not be given the same sentences as adults. A youth’s brain is not fully developed which may cause…...

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