The Georgia legislature has completed their most recent session. In the course of the session they took up certain issues involving the criminal justice system but did not address one of critical importance. The state is one of only four that considers 17-year-olds as adults for the purpose of criminal prosecution. The negative impact of prosecuting all 17-year-olds as adults instead of viewing their transgressions as juvenile crimes is significant.
Crimes involving juveniles are on the rise in many communities. Young people are prone to making hasty decisions and are easily manipulated into situations that they may later regret. The need to fit in, to be cool and to be accepted can be strong motivators. Sadly, young people get involved in situations in Georgia that may lead to the commission of juvenile crimes.
Being a teenager in 2018 in Georgia is not easy. The pressures on today's young people to fit in and figure out their place in a complex social strata can be truly overwhelming. Some young people feel lost and succumb to the welcoming arms of violent groups. These groups can exercise great influence on impressionable teens that can lead to the commission of juvenile crimes.
Anyone can be subject to peer pressure. Teens are particularly susceptible and when crime is involved it can having devastating consequences in Georgia. An incident involving a stolen vehicle near Tucker is a recent incident. Three men, one a juvenile, were involved in the incident that led to charges of juvenile crimes.
Violent crime is an ever-present threat in Georgia and around the country. When juveniles are involved it becomes a double tragedy. A young life can be forever changed when a violent act is committed. Youths accused of juvenile crimes are entitled to as vigorous a defense as adults. Juvenile law can be complicated but can also afford a person an opportunity to turn one's life around.