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Introduction to Criminal Justice, Application Essay Example

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Application Essay

A shocking story has been in the news for the last several days, involving the murder of a young man from Australia who had been visiting the United States.  The victim, Christopher Lane, was a university student from Australia who was in Duncan, Oklahoma visiting his girlfriend. Lane was apparently out jogging when he was gunned down by a shot fired from a passing car. Inside the car were three boys ranging in age from 15 to 17 years old. The driver of the car, who is 16 years old, identified one of the passengers as the shooter, but all three of the boys have been charged with murder and other charges. According to one of the boys, they targeted the victim simply because they were “bored.” All three boys have been charged as adults, meaning that their charges will be prosecuted in the adult court system rather than in the juvenile system.

The decision to try the boys in the adult court system is an example of the rehabilitative strategy that many teenaged perpetrators receive. The basic idea behind rehabilitation is that it is a way to help offenders avoid committing crimes in the future. Because these three boys are being tried in the adult court system, it is likely that if they are found guilty and will spend many years in prison. It seems more likely that teenagers charged with crimes would receive effective rehabilitation in a juvenile incarceration system than in regular adult prisons. From an individual-rights standpoint, the decision to move teenagers into adult court systems does not benefit them in terms of rehabilitation. From a public-rights standpoint, it could be said that keeping these teenagers off the streets for many years is in the public interest. If they ever get out of prison, and have not been rehabilitated in any way, they will most likely be even more dangerous and pose a greater threat to society than they did when they shot a young man out of boredom.

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