Letters to the Editor

CRIME: Is 18-year-old a youth or a man?

Re: “Justices: Youth can be a factor” (TNT, 8-14).

I’ve seen, depending on the author’s slant, the words “teenager,” “youth” and “man” when referring to an 18-year old male. A “Gosh, he’s still a kid” point of view or “he’s an adult and ought to know better” view varies by story.

The article states that 18-year olds’ “cognitive and emotional development” can be a factor in lighter sentencing and “ people’s brains continue to develop until they’re in their 20s.”

These statements suggest young adults shouldn’t vote, marry, drive, go to war, run for office, have children, smoke, drink, fire weapons or be entitled to other privileges – and attached responsibilities – of being an adult.

These pursuits all involve awareness, choosing options and decision-making, which should be done with mature brains. Let’s raise the legal age to 25 or so, when brains have finished growing. This way most young defendants can be considered 100 percent – and not partially – culpable.

What has happened to earned punishment?

Lorraine Murphy