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The Great Youth Criminal Justice Act Debate

New: December 2010: Enter Your Comments and Opinion Respecting the YCJA

The Act goes into force April 1, 2003

The debate for January 2002:

At what age should young persons be held responsible for criminal acts?

If young persons under 12 are charged with criminal offences and prosecuted under the Criminal Code of Canada, do they have the developmental capacity to understand the criminal process? If they cannot meaningfully participate in the criminal law process are we not violating their basic rights under s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

    Read What Others Have Said


    City:
    Mississauga
    Date:
    19 Jan 2002
    Time:
    12:32:50

    Comments

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: "7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." Section 3 (1) (e) of the Young Offenders act states: "(e) young persons have rights and freedoms in their own right, including those stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or in the Canadian Bill of Rights, and in particular a right to be heard in the course of, and to participate in, the processes that lead to decisions that affect them, and young persons should have special guarantees of their rights and freedoms." How do you participate if your age precludes you from understanding the basics of the adversarial criminal justice system. How do you instruct a lawyer if you don't understand your role and the role of the lawyer? How do you choose wheter or not to waive a right or elect a mode of proceeding if you are 11 years old? Surely it is not fair in any democracy to criminally prosecute anyone under the age of 12! Persons under 12 should be the subject of child protection proceedings or juvenile delinquency proceedings, not the criminal justice sytem.


    City:
    Langley
    Date:
    04 Feb 2002
    Time:
    23:10:29

    Comments

    To a large extent I agree with the former comment. However one additional concern I have is, where do we draw the line of understanding? Can a 13 year old understand the proceedings of court, advise his or her lawyer, and take part in the court proceedings? How about a 14 year old? At what point is a child/adolescent unable to understand and able to understand these important concepts? And who decides?


    City:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Date:
    10 Feb 2002
    Time:
    17:37:17

    Comments

    I think that if you are old enough to know that what you did was wrong then you should pay for the crime that the youth has to be trialed and accept the punshiment that goes along with the crime. I say that youths from the age of 12 to 17 they should be trialed and have a punishment not writting a letter stating why they committed the crime and how sorry they were. The offenders do not learn anything by doing that they should be trialed as a adult but the term not as long and have psychological treatment because something is not right in that persons brain. the way of thinking has to be fixed.


    City:
    Calgary
    Date:
    11 Feb 2002
    Time:
    17:15:12

    Comments

    I feel that if a child the age of 12 if old enough to know right from wrong. If he can commit a wrong-doing than he can also face the consequences. I don't think they need counselling, nothings wrong with them. They just need to be disciplined.


    City:
    Oakwood
    Date:
    12 Feb 2002
    Time:
    11:21:18

    Comments

    I think that it should be 10 and up because kids get away with a lot.


    City:
    Easton
    Date:
    12 Feb 2002
    Time:
    15:19:13

    Comments

    I think that a child that is 12 or under should should not be held responsible for their actions in full. Their parents are the ones who have made them the way they are or let them become what they are so they should be held responsible as well as the offender him or her self.


    City:
    Edmonton
    Date:
    15 Feb 2002
    Time:
    15:31:22

    Comments

    i think that they should be remanded into pyschiatric care until they can reach an age where they can be tried at a more mature age


    City:
    Ottawa
    Date:
    18 Feb 2002
    Time:
    10:01:12

    Comments

    I feel that children do understand what they subject themeselves too. IF they are old enough to take someones life, then they are responsible to go through court procedings and deal with their consequences. Whether they be 12 or not.


    City:
    Nanaimo, B.C.
    Date:
    21 Feb 2002
    Time:
    12:18:55

    Comments

    i think that the legal age of harsh punnshment should remain at 18. however, i do believe that after the age of 10, if found guilty, should be punnished in a manner by which will help contruct a mental understanding of the morals we have convieved in our society.


    City:
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Date:
    21 Feb 2002
    Time:
    12:51:17

    Comments

    I think that people 15 and over should be punished the same as an adult


    City:
    Ottawa
    Date:
    26 Feb 2002
    Time:
    08:32:48

    Comments

    I think that the new law that thay want to apply for children 14 and over that commit a criminel act such as 1st degre murder should be autumaticly charged as an adult.I find this law much to severe and by applying it we are not giving these children a chance to rehabilitate.


    City:
    Andover
    Date:
    27 Feb 2002
    Time:
    09:25:19

    Comments

    I think that first they should see someone about being messed up in the head, then they should go to court and they shouldn't be tried as an adult, but as a minor. If they can commit a crime, they can be punished, but given a chance. A minor should be punished like an adult, but not to the extent.


    City:
    Oshawa
    Date:
    27 Feb 2002
    Time:
    11:04:28

    Comments

    I THINK THAT THEY SHOULDN'T BE CHARGED AS AN ADULT


    City:
    Edmonton
    Date:
    28 Feb 2002
    Time:
    13:01:27

    Comments

    I am a 16 year old doing an extended credit assignment and I have a question: Should Young Offenders have special treatment under the criminal code??


    City:
    Hamilton Ontario
    Date:
    28 Feb 2002
    Time:
    22:03:13

    Comments

    I am 15 years old i am a student at St.Jean de brebeuf highschool and i feel that teenagers should not be able to go free for killing someone. Just because we are young doesnt mean anything, we know right from wrong, so if a younger person thinks they can kill someone they should be able to take what they get for doing it.


    City:
    ontario
    Date:
    28 Feb 2002
    Time:
    22:11:46

    Comments

    im 16 and i think we deserve what we get and we should be charged with the same punishment as an adult.....as long as the person who comitted it understands it was wrong then they should be charged properly, letting them go free wont stop them from doing it again.


    City:
    Mississauga
    Date:
    01 Mar 2002
    Time:
    14:14:08

    Comments

    I think that KIDS who commit a crime then they should face the consequences of that crime. I know that others say that they don't understande the criminal process. I do agree with that but these KIDS aren't stupid. They know that they have done wrong. I don't think that these KIDS have a hard time understanding the fact that they killed someone. So why treat them nicely??? It doesn't make sense. They did wrong and they know it, so therefore they should face the consequences


    City:
    Halifax
    Date:
    01 Mar 2002
    Time:
    17:38:15

    Comments

    I feel that having a certain age juristiction is very problematic for a number of reasons. Although I do agree most 11 year olds may not understand there actions are criminal, there is the issue of maturity here. It is quite possible that a mature 11 year old could be more aware of his/her actions than a immature 12 year old. Another problem with our justice system is that responsibility is not evenly distributed. We say that an individual is ready to drive when they are 16, legal to vote when they are 18, and legal to drink when they are 19 (in most provinves). How were these ages determined? With these unequal laws it is very difficult to determine the age someone is considered an adult, how then are we able to determine when a child is old enough to be criminally responsible?


    City:
    Ontario
    Date:
    02 Mar 2002
    Time:
    13:47:21

    Comments

    I'm 15, and I think that once you turn 13, you're in full control of your actions, and you know right from wrong. So if you choose to go the wrong way, then you should face punishment as an adult would. Some kids do the same crimes as adults, but just because they're younger why should they be let off the hook?


    City:
    calgary alberta
    Date:
    03 Mar 2002
    Time:
    17:44:09

    Comments

    I feel that childern of the age of 10 or 11 know what is write and what is wrong. I am 18 and i knew back then that killin or hurting someone is wrong but the courts should also look at the up bringing of the child. if they are allowed to hit or punch each other at home what stops them for doing it outside of home and then there is no parent to stop the fight so what about the parents. and i feel they should be tried in criminal court for serouse offences ,which brings up the question of what is a justfiable crime for serouse? the do need help if this occurs. they should not just be lock away in juvie until the are 18 because some kids can't learn that way . that is what i feel


    City:
    victoria
    Date:
    05 Mar 2002
    Time:
    22:52:28

    Comments

    Let's first admit that many ADULTS do not understand the criminal process, whether they have the capacity or not. This aside, the ability to meaningfully participate in the criminal law process should not be the determining factor in a determination of criminal reponsibility. The very nature of a functional society demands that a child brought up within it is exposed to the structured rules and protocols that make the society work from the day that child is born. To excuse any person from gross violations of law and order because of age is simply allowing behaviour contrary to social survival to fester and grow until the offender reaches an age at which offences may be prosecuted. Can children be excused of crimes such as murder or rape because of a determination of comprehension based on age? I don't think so. I don't think age should be a determining factor in the rights of criminals - severity of crime should be the determinant factor as to whether or not a person faces criminal prosecution.


    City:
    Dartmouth/Halifax
    Date:
    06 Mar 2002
    Time:
    10:15:07

    Comments

    I think that if you are given the privilege to drive a car at 16 you should be charged as an adult. We are seeing too many youths age 16 & 17 committing serious crimes like murder and attempted murder. Here in Nova Scotia we have had attacks on cab drivers all the youths charged in these cases were 17 years old. One was charged as an adult, another is being charged as a young offender and we hope the most recent youth will be charged as an adult. These youths are thinking that they will get charged as a young offender and will get off easy. In high school when I was 16 I took Law and in that class we studied the Young Offenders Act and to me it just seemed like an overview because I knew all this and the youths today are aware of this. Most youths know by the age of 12 the difference between right and wrong therefore I believe they should be punished for their crimes. At age 16 if you don't know that it is wrong to stab someone multiple times or shoot them in the back of the head then you are not sane.


    City:
    toronto
    Date:
    06 Mar 2002
    Time:
    11:54:05

    Comments

    i need info on some debates that took place and the subjects were about whether or not high charges against young offenders should consider the child or adolescent as an adult


    City:
    Red Deer Alberta CANADA
    Date:
    07 Mar 2002
    Time:
    11:21:01

    Comments

    I THINK THAT THE AGE SHOULD BE 14 FOR A YOUNG OFFENDER. IF YOU ARE CHARGING CHILDREN THAT ARE 12 IT DOESNT REALLY GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO START THEIR LIFE BECUASE THEY WILL HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD. GIVE KIDS A CHANCE. THE PARENTS (EVEN WHEN THE KIDS ARE AT THE AGE OF 14) SHOULD BEABLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR CHILD(REN) AND IF THEY CANT THEN THEY ARE NOT FIT ENOUGH PARENTS AND SHOULDN'T OF TAKEN ON THE RESPONSIBILITY.


    City:
    Richmond, BC
    Date:
    08 Mar 2002
    Time:
    12:14:37

    Comments

    Make it a permanent record and enforce adult punishment.


    City:
    Cobourg
    Date:
    10 Mar 2002
    Time:
    15:47:03

    Comments

    It looks to me that the first thing the system is concern with ,is the rights of the young offender. The rights of the victims become secondary. It looks in most publicised cases by the media that the victims are to blame for the behaviour of the young criminal I am a senior reaching the last phase of my life , and I am becomming uninterested with tha way the game of justice are being played .


    City:
    Cobourg Ont.
    Date:
    10 Mar 2002
    Time:
    15:55:39

    Comments

    If you commit a major crime . you should be responsible for it If a female at 14 decides to have sex and become a mother. the same female kills another person and is considered a victim an treated as a youg offender getting away without feeling the result of her act ????


    City:
    Cobourg Ont.
    Date:
    10 Mar 2002
    Time:
    15:57:52

    Comments

    At any age, you commit a major crime, you should get major punishement.


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    10 Mar 2002
    Time:
    22:35:46

    Comments

    I feel that for the more violent crimes, such as murder and rape, all youths should go to actual jail, instead of just getting off with community service or on technicalities. For example a boy in BC was beaten into a coma for no visible reason, by a group of about 12 youths. Only one was charged and he received a woping one year in jail. You really have to ask what is going on here.


    City:
    Ottawa
    Date:
    12 Mar 2002
    Time:
    10:53:34

    Comments

    Do young offenders know right from wrong? Do they know the consequences of their actions? In my mind, parents (knowingly or unknowingly)are ultimately responsible for the actions of their children. Following this logic, let the youth be tried in youth court, and the parents adult court (for the same offense).


    City:
    Kelowna, B.C. Canada
    Date:
    14 Mar 2002
    Time:
    13:15:36

    Comments

    If you commit a crime, and are too young to know u did so then the point of convicting someone is useless. Another thing that would make the young offenders act good is that people aren't considered resposible enough to drink till 19 and therefore aren't treated as adults until then. WHy treat them any different in the criminal world? IF a person isn't considered an adult then they shouldnt be charged like one. A teenager could try to buy alchohal and be turned away because of age, then go and commit a crime and be charged as the adult that they were just told they weren't.


    City:
    Port Alberni BC
    Date:
    14 Mar 2002
    Time:
    18:06:40

    Comments

    I think that the age of responsibility should be lowered to age 10. Young people are becoming displaying maturity at an earlier age and discipline in society should be no different than discipline in a home. If a child does something wrong at home they are disciplined for it, and the discipline generally meets offense. It should be no different in society. If a young person make an offense, they should be held criminally responsible as young as the age of 10. If they are committing crimes that young already, does it not make sense to hold them responsible then, rather than let them go free to reak havok for 2 more years until we deal with them again ? And you can't rely on parents to control the kids because they wouldn't be committing the offense in the first place if they were being controlled by their parent(s). I say lower it to age 10 and make it a harsh punishment to make others start thinking before they act.


    City:
    Edmonton
    Date:
    18 Mar 2002
    Time:
    14:30:17

    Comments

    I think that kids should also be punished at the same level as adults. Because if you just make them do somehting aimple who knows if they will grow up and keep killing or such, I think they should be penalized!!!!!!!!!!


    City:
    Georgetown
    Date:
    21 Mar 2002
    Time:
    09:18:32

    Comments

    I think that the kids today realize what they are doing by the age of nine and should be punished according to their actions. These days kids are learning more about the world around them, faster, than ever before. At age nine children understand that what they did was wrong. Not all of them are the innocent babes you imagine them to be.


    City:
    Lethbridge
    Date:
    22 Mar 2002
    Time:
    02:30:37

    Comments

    If a kid can premeditate something like beating up his/her class mate in school then they should be responsible for their actions upon that crime. they belong in adult court.


    City:
    St.Thomas Ontario
    Date:
    24 Mar 2002
    Time:
    21:35:19

    Comments

    I am 13 and I am doing an essay on The Young Offenders Act. As a 13 year old I know that I understand the law enough to go through court. I may not know every little tid bit but that is what your lawyer is for. Since I spend 5 days of the week with 12 and 13 year olds as well as children younger then myself I know that the majority of people my age understand the law. I think that if you are 10 or over you should be tried as an adult depending on what you did and the cercumstances.


    City:
    Toronto , East york
    Date:
    24 Mar 2002
    Time:
    23:54:43

    Comments

    Teenagers may look like adults, dress like adults, act like adults, even shoot like adults, but they reason like children. Recent evidence from neurological studies supports the view that juveniles have a limited capacity for understanding consequences.

    According to Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, director of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroimaging at McLean Hospital, the frontal lobe portion of the brain, which controls the ability to think matters through fully, does not tend to develop until late adolescence or early adulthood. Indeed, it has long been accepted as true that teenagers are typically impulsive - in a sense, temporary sociopaths.


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    26 Mar 2002
    Time:
    10:27:24

    Comments

    We are 16 nad 17 doing a project/debate on the topic of whether or not the Young Offenders Act should be abolished. We feel that the YOA teaches teenagers nothing except that they can get away with crimes, just by donating a small amount of money, and a letter of apology and regret. We find that this is ridiculous. One of us has been previously charged under teh YOA and found that it taught us nothing. We also feel, that in regards to Jonathan Wamback, that the youths tried for the crime they committed, were let off very easily. If the YOA was not inplace, these teens would have a been taught a valuable lesson. If there was no YOA, these teens would have been punished accordingly, instead of getting off easy.


    City:
    Greater Sudbury
    Date:
    26 Mar 2002
    Time:
    13:08:47

    Comments

    If the age is changed to a lower age, think about it. 12 year olds in adult court!? What if they start crying for their parents! This is to harsh! Leave the age where it is.


    City:
    medicine hat
    Date:
    26 Mar 2002
    Time:
    16:13:41

    Comments

    if u do the crime no matter what age u should have to do the time. you should know right from wrong.


    City:
    Moose Jaw, SK,Canada
    Date:
    27 Mar 2002
    Time:
    13:30:12

    Comments

    After reading the comments from some of the young people on the site my beliefs are strengthened. I think that we should treat each PERSON as an individual not as an "age group". As for understanding the "JUSTICE SYSTEM" and the "COURT PROCESS" there are a lot of adults that don't understand it. If there is a problem with understanding the courts and the processes, then there should be a "new subject" in the classrooms of our schools!


    City:
    Belleville
    Date:
    27 Mar 2002
    Time:
    14:00:54

    Comments

    I think that kids should take responsabilty for their actions because if we let them get away with stuff when they're young what will happen when they grow up? Will they still be doing bad things? One day everyone should be held responsible for their actions and that day is.........TODAY!!!


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    29 Mar 2002
    Time:
    20:16:50

    Comments

    If a person is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, then they are old enough to recieve the punishment for breaking the law 'the wrong' reguardless of age. Parents are not to blame in some cases, I'm a student in high school and I know plenty of people who have caring parents and they still cause trouble and break the law. Its not just youths who live in project like conditions who break the law, but rich kids and the kid next door too. A slap on the wrist and maybe some community survice is a F'ing joke. How is a person going to learn if they are always being saved by mama & papa or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If they want to play with the 'big boys' so to speak, then treat them like one. I believe that if a youth commits a crime then they should be delt with the same way as an adult. Community survice should be more like boot camp, not a holiday fixing bikes in some community centre.


    City:
    Lethbridge
    Date:
    30 Mar 2002
    Time:
    13:46:11

    Comments

    I believe that children that commit an offence should be held accountable. But I do believe that every child should be dealt with accordingly to their age, offence etc. At no time should a child be given an adult sentence, they are children and should remain as children. For the people that have made comments about young offenders getting a smack on the hand for the offences they have done. I would really like to know what offences are you talking about? I don't know if any of you have ever been in a young offenders centre, well I have and I can tell you it's not a walk in the park.Also did you know that some young offenders get a stiffer sentence than an adult that did the same crime.Does anyone know how many young offenders actually reoffend? If the government is going to lower the age for young offenders, then they need to change the correctional class code for young offenders. I really do have to wonder that everyone is so hyped about young offenders, that when an adult does the same crime, it's oh well. Isn't that strange.


    City:
    Oakville
    Date:
    01 Apr 2002
    Time:
    11:59:55

    Comments

    I think that 12 to 15 year old kids may be thought of as young offerneds, but if you are 16 or 17, and commite a serious crime, then you should be held accountable for your actions and tried as an adult.


    City:
    BRAMPTON
    Date:
    01 Apr 2002
    Time:
    13:44:04

    Comments

    IT IS MY OPINION THAT A CHILD SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THERE ACTIONS AND IT SHOULD BE OUR JOB AS COMMUINTY AND PARENTS TEACHERS TO MAKE THEM AWARE OF THE CRIMINAL CODE AND WHAT ARE THE CONCQUINCES!


    City:
    ottawa
    Date:
    01 Apr 2002
    Time:
    20:56:52

    Comments

    I think that yes if I child is old enough to know better he should be punished the same especially at the age of 15 or 16, but in some cases it is hard to blame the child since the parents haven't tought him/her any other way


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    02 Apr 2002
    Time:
    16:55:15

    Comments

    people are not stupid I mean I am 11 going on 12 and I know good from bad and when you get older and you do something thats against the law you cant go crying to your mommy its a good thing to know that if someone my age was to kill me that person will face the juctice system and hopefully will learn from experience and never go against the law again


    City:
    Surrey
    Date:
    03 Apr 2002
    Time:
    00:54:25

    Comments

    I am 14 years old, and I fully agree that any child no matter what there age should be charged, and have to deal with their punishment like anyone else. I've seen kids do some pretty stupid things. Kids are stupid, they don't think before they act. First of all, why should we be sympathic toward a child because there ten years old, and are just "beginning their life"? They can begin it as a criminal then. We shouldn't just let people off because their to young to deal with the pressure of reality. That's life, deal with it. If any person commits a crime, they should be punished no matter how old or young they are. They must have been old enough to realize what they were doing was wrong. Society is too easy on children today.


    City:
    Oakville
    Date:
    03 Apr 2002
    Time:
    20:46:50

    Comments

    You are given the responsibility drive at 16, you can vote at 18, i know that people whom are between the ages of 15-17 should be given adult punishments for adult crimes committed. Anything younger than that may know very well what they are doing, ex. murder, but their minds are not mutred enough to fully understand the dinamics of life.


    City:
    Parksville BC
    Date:
    04 Apr 2002
    Time:
    16:44:46

    Comments

    The age i am at now, 17, I can say that if a criminal offense is comiited by me i would know IN FULL what i am doing. The importamt thing people are forgeting in dealing with juviniles is mens rea (the guilty mind). This is NOT motive. This is the thought that goes through the head of the person commiting the act. If a child does commit a crime you still need to prove weather in was intened to be done for criminal reasons. I also have something to say to people who think kid are a product of thier parents, to an extent. Childeren are pruducts of their surounding. take two totally oppisite up-bringings. 1) Child is shelterd from things that the perent thinks is "damaging" to the child ie) T.V., Juvinile delinquents etc etc. then that person would be exposed to the world a "virgin" and would want to try all the stuff he has missed. 2) child's parents are very lenient then they will be able to go out and see thier friends make mistakes and even make mistakes themselfs but learn from them and turn out president. There really is not set "rule" or law for it. it HAS to be a case by case circumstance. There can be no set law or presidence.


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    04 Apr 2002
    Time:
    21:13:53

    Comments

    I believe that we need stricter rules when it comes to the Young Offenders Act. Of course a child of 13 years of age will not understand court proceedings, and the criminal process. This is where the child's parents should take an active role. I think that the parents should be there with their child to explain to them what is going on. I think an experience of going through the criminal process at such a young age is good discipline for them. Right now teens can do whatever they want knowing that they are protected under the Young Offenders Act. Of course everyone has the right to life, liberty and freedom, but justice needs to be brought to those who violate the criminal code, and to those who rflect bad behaviour on our society by commiting crimes.


    City:
    brantford
    Date:
    04 Apr 2002
    Time:
    21:51:25

    Comments

    i believe by the time a child is 15 years of age he fully understands the seriousness of his his actions. he has had time to see the good and evil of many by then, and is able to distinguish right from wrong. at the age of twelve or under they are still trying to find out where they belong and what their purpose really is. they begin grow mentally and are very curious of eveything that is made available to them.to their understanding mom and dad say no!! to everything they find. weather they know what it actually intails or mean. they are curious and eager to make as many friends a possible,(good or bad) only bad in mom and dad's eyes. if the crime is as serios as taking a life at the age of twelve:should that chikd be in custody with the child that brought a friends slingslot to school and said to a girl (whom didn'nt)like him i'm going to get you. be in the same place to share experiernce? now this boy knows how to comitt murder, and know he will be free in a few years. the system has everything backwards, and are setting our furture leaders,our children become just another number.. they are worth more than that. yes the act deffinanly has to be changed, but acordingly.. treat the mischift. deal with the murderer's seperatly. don't let all our children be affected by the one who doesn't care.. after all these little people will be here after we are all gone, and changes will be made again.hopefully it will be better.


    City:
    Oakville
    Date:
    04 Apr 2002
    Time:
    22:45:28

    Comments

    In this last week, my friends as well as myself have been through a lot. Just last Saturday one of our friends was taken from us. Anyone who knew him knew that he was just the sweetest and funniest guy. He literally cared about everyone, even if he barely knew you he was always there for you. It came as a shock to all of us to hear that he was hit and killed by another car that was speeding as he was standing beside his car. He had just turned 18 at the end of February. But what came to us as a greater shock was the fact that it was a 17 year old girl, just two months shy of her 18th birthday from our school that had hit him while driving high. It's been a week now and she's back at school already. It hurts us all and it really pisses the hell out of all of us. I have law class and just as I was trying to deal with all of this we begin talking about the YOA. This just made me angrier. I do not understand how it is fair that she will get away with vehicular manslaughter because she had two months left until her 18th birthday. If she got her liscense at 16 she knew she now had a responsibility and that others lives were at stake. I also don't see how this will all be off her record in another 2 months. It makes no sense and justice has failed my friend, his family, our friends and the rest of you because now another wreckless driver is on the road. our laws are a joke it makes me sick


    City:
    Vancouver B.C.
    Date:
    06 Apr 2002
    Time:
    02:33:10

    Comments

    A requirement to understand the criminal process is not a prerequisite to committing a crime, therefore it should also not be a prerequisite to being prosecuted. This question is typical of a justice system badly in need of an infusion of intelligence. The Y.O.A. makes a mockery of justice by challenging anyone to define it as anything but a revolving door. On March 31, 2002, a 15 year old attempted to murder my 17 year old son after he and his 18 year old brother bullied and threatened (death) my son for 18 months. My son barely survived a severe stab wound in the chest, attacked from behind and totally unaware of the presence of his attacker. There were 12 witnesses. On April 3, the accused was released to his mother with nothing more severe than a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Although the series of incidents leading up to the stabbing took place in school, the boy was allowed to return to school, causing conflict with the B.C. School Act which makes the school liable for the safety and protection of the students. The accused is not safe at the school because of possible retaliation by the student body, while my son is too injured to return to classes any time soon, with only 3 months before his intended graduation as an honour student. I pose a further question to anyone interested: What kind of a society are we living in? Unless we intend to cultivate a whole new era of ruthless incorrigibles, we'd better scrap the entire Y.O.A., and the sooner the better. The notion of violating the basic rights of anyone commiting serious crime is misleading. Basic rights should be suspended from the point of bail hearing until either release from custody or completion of sentence.


    City:
    St.Catharines, Ontario
    Date:
    06 Apr 2002
    Time:
    17:17:49

    Comments

    I as a youth myself, and interested in law. I feel that young persons do not fully have the mental capacity to know what the criminal process is. Even though they may have commited a crime they haven't been around long enuogh to know how law works. I think that many adults don't even know how law works never mind the kids. So in sec.7 when it is telling you about security of the person, they don't know what is going on, and with a young person you would have to explain a lot more about his/hers case or dealings with the law than you would when dealing with an adult, because they have a better idea of what is going on.


    City:
    Calgary
    Date:
    07 Apr 2002
    Time:
    05:39:33

    Comments

    I am 16 myself and i feel that any child of the age of 10 and up knows the difference between right and wrong. But that doesnt mean that they have the power to comprehend what is going to happen to them if they do something wrong. There is a difference in knowing what you did wrong and knowing what the consequences are.


    City:
    Saskatoon
    Date:
    07 Apr 2002
    Time:
    16:11:45

    Comments

    YOU DO THE CRIME YOU DO THE TIME !!!!!!!AT EVERY AGE CHILD OR ADULT PEOPLE HAVE TO TAKE SOME SORT OF RESPONSIBILITY!!


    City:
    calgary
    Date:
    09 Apr 2002
    Time:
    18:54:52

    Comments

    i think that anyone old or young if they have done someting wrong and they know from right and wrong then yes i think they should be charged . my social class is talking about this right now !!!. but how would you like it if there was a 11 year old in your naberhood and he killed somone how would you feel i wouldnt want that kid around mine ( to babysite or be friends) just because your young does not mean that your sweet and would never kill or hurt someone .


    City:
    Brampton
    Date:
    10 Apr 2002
    Time:
    14:35:27

    Comments

    I think that the Canadian law sytem is too easy on young offenders. If you do the crime you do the time


    City:
    Calgary
    Date:
    10 Apr 2002
    Time:
    17:20:38

    Comments

    Personally, I believe that 16 and 17 year olds, who have to prove that their trial should go to a Youth Court, should have the rights of an Adult. Why can they have the responsibility, but not the advantages


    City:
    Edmonton
    Date:
    12 Apr 2002
    Time:
    01:11:02

    Comments

    I think that its absoulutley disturbing how much young offenders are getting away with. Obviously looking at the growing amount of young offenders, they know what they're doing, and they also know that because of there age that there going to get away with it. In most cases these young offenders don't even face what most you and i would call a punishment. Its not right, i know how it feels personally to be a victim of young offenders, and why is it that i feel that being the victim i faced ten times the punishment?? These kids will never learn untill the adults start putting there foot down. I guess what i'm wondering is how many more innocent people have to die before, somone realizes there's a problem with this act???


    City:
    North Bay
    Date:
    12 Apr 2002
    Time:
    14:05:22

    Comments

    I think that kids who are 10-14 have a sense of waht they are doing and that they should be charged if the crime is serious but for things such as simple shoplifting then you know it isn't taht bad but for crimes higher on the list such as armed robbery, theft, assault, trafficking and murder then these kids must know waht they are doing is wrong and they should be charged for it not just get away with it because they are young I tihnk that is complete crap and shouldn't get away with it because they are 10-14 and their minds have not developped a mens rea. If they do it, it was because they knew what they were doing


    City:
    North York 
    Date:
    13 Apr 2002
    Time:
    20:57:16

    Comments

    At age 11 a child would be in grade 6, I believe that a child of that age would definetly have the mental capabilities to commit a crime. Kids 10 and 11 know exactly what their getting themselves into, and I believe that if they commit a crime they should be punished according to the severity of their crime. I agree with people who may argue that a child of that age would not no their rights, but that's where their parents or an older relative becomes involved! Some kids these days are getting away with murder and we need to put a stop to it some how!


    City:
    Gaza
    Date:
    14 Apr 2002
    Time:
    17:14:13

    Comments

    I think this age should be 5 years of age because it is hard to control children this days. If a 7 year old does not lisen to his elders he should be put in jail until he is at least 70.


    City:
    mississauga
    Date:
    14 Apr 2002
    Time:
    20:29:54

    Comments

    ok im sorry to all those ppl who think the parents have something to do with the crimes of their kid did BUT ever try to blame the tv programs or computer games or watever all around us there is violence and there is'nt anything or anyone that can fix that and if a kid has it in him/her to do a crime by all means pay for the damage you did.people are so focused on the rights of the offenders that they dont even think of the victims involved their the ones we should be looking at,thinking of what to do to protect them not the offeder.im 14 and i went through alot already and if there is one thing i learned is that the criminals are the ones ppl are focusing on


    City:
    Aurora
    Date:
    15 Apr 2002
    Time:
    09:03:15

    Comments

    I'm in a grade 8 english class, and we are doing debats on "The young offenders act". Does anybody have an opinion on whether or not children in the ages from 12-18 should be punished the same way as an adult? My friend and I are against this but we would still like to hear what other people think. Thank you


    City:
    Vancouver
    Date:
    15 Apr 2002
    Time:
    12:15:10

    Comments

    Just Because the kid knows he/she did wrong doesnt mean they understand the full consequences of it until after they have done it.


    City:
    philadelphia,pa
    Date:
    15 Apr 2002
    Time:
    12:23:58

    Comments

    i don't thnk that it is fair plus the parents should work and talk to their child about right and wrong.


    City:
    Ottawa
    Date:
    15 Apr 2002
    Time:
    14:24:49

    Comments

    I think that a child of 12 knows that it's wrong to steal, murder, harras what ever. I think most know the consequences for doing these things and I know for a fact that teens steal and stuff up until they are 18 because nothing can really happen to them.


    City:
    Thorold, Ontario
    Date:
    16 Apr 2002
    Time:
    09:43:09

    Comments

    Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Being a victim myself of assult by a man 3 wks prior to his 18th birthday,I am afraid to think of what this world is coming to when people who commit serious adult crimes are only slapped on the wrist. I am afraid to go anywhere by myself, and yet he can live it up and no one can know about his crime or his name because of the YOA. At the age of 16, I know if I am going to try and assult someone it is wrong, I was 13 at the time and fully understood the court preceedings so why is it an 17yr old apparently cannot. This is rediculous. People between the ages of 12-14 should be subject to the YOA,(soon to be YCJA)for less serious crimes, but once the come into Hybrid offences all bets are off, they're an adult in my eyes and shouldn't be allowed to go crying for forgivness when they know damn well they will commit another crime just the same, but it will be stricken from their records. This is a free country last time I checked, so why am I living in fear of my life?


    City:
    Calgary
    Date:
    17 Apr 2002
    Time:
    12:09:51

    Comments

    I think that if a young person under the age of 17 should be charged for crimal act if they have done so,and I dont think that it is right to areste a parent for there childerns behaver, because its not always there falt


    City:
    grimshaw
    Date:
    18 Apr 2002
    Time:
    15:27:22

    Comments

    kids should be charged according to the crime they have committed.Nobody should get away with doing something illegal,it doesn't matter that you might be under 18


    City:
    St.Catharines, Ontario
    Date:
    19 Apr 2002
    Time:
    16:13:08

    Comments

    We have created the culture and the society we live in so why are we shocked that it can now bit us in the ass.


    City:
    Edmonton
    Date:
    19 Apr 2002
    Time:
    17:58:52

    Comments

    I am now 19 and when i was 16 i was serverly beaten by an asian gang. These Asaian girls beat me and a friend or mine becase my friend had supposedly said somthing about one of these other girls. To make a long story short, i wound up being hospitalized with a concussion, bruised ribs, earings ripped right out of my ears, and numerous cuts and scrapes all over my body. These Girls who did this were all within about a year short of there 18th birthdays all eight of them. After this happened my parents and i were constantly calling the police station hoping to hear anything, absolutely anything to help give us some sort of closure. They wouldn't tell us anything, nothing at all. finally 7 months after, we recieved a call from a police officer saying that three of the girls were given tweenty hours of community service each. I was in complete shock, here i am still seeing a theripst, still on antidepressents (at my parents expense), still not able to lead a normal life... and three out of the eight of these girls where facing tweenty hours of community service?????? how does that even compare to what my family and i went through. I wasnt even able to return to my highschool and graduate with the people i had gone to school with since elementary, i was so physically ill and uncomfortable in a school setting i had to resort to an outreach program. How is this justice?? Why is it that the victims are the ones who are being punished?? Somthings got to change these kids have got to start recieving some sort or punishments for there actions at least one that somewhat matches there crime, and makes them understand what there doing is worong there never gonna learn the way things are right now. Kids should be punished in a fashion that they realize the severity of there actions. The words "repeat offenders" should be unheard of. Age does not make that big of a deal they know what there doing.


    City:
    Taber, AB
    Date:
    20 Apr 2002
    Time:
    15:34:42

    Comments

    I think that they should be held responsible for any crime at any age. If they can accomplish a crime at a young age than they should be held responsible for any crime as well.


    City:
    Calgary
    Date:
    21 Apr 2002
    Time:
    10:30:25

    Comments

    I honestly believe that all people that can sit there and tell anyone that children are NOT responsible for their actions,whether they are 2 or 18 are completely and utterly insane. If you know enough to do something wrong, is writting an appology letter REALYL going to take back the murder they commited? The store they robbed? Think about it! And this whole cop-out about it being the parents` fault,get a grip on reality! No one raises a criminal!!!


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    21 Apr 2002
    Time:
    19:56:35

    Comments

    I think that at age 12 you know right from wrong. The Parents may not have taught their children, however all children must be schooled in some form. At school you are taught right from wrong.So I believe they do know what they are doing. If they are old enough to take someones life they are old enough to deal with the consequences! - K


    City:
    Van City
    Date:
    23 Apr 2002
    Time:
    15:09:52

    Comments

    We are gr 11 sudents doing research on this topic and we think that if minors are convicted as adults and if people think that they know what they are doing when they commit a crime then other laws should be changed Ex. Alchol laws, smoking laws gambling laws and pornography. We personaly dont think same consiquences should not be applied on minors as adults. Many teenagers go through phases and research shows that at one point their bodies grow faster then their brains. 


    City:
    Calgary
    Date:
    23 Apr 2002
    Time:
    18:32:41

    Comments

    The federal government is putting it's citizens lives at stake by not allowing the justice system to try cases based on their severity instead of the perpetrator's age.For crimes as serious as murder,children are getting mere slaps on the wrist and worse yet,the citizens of Canada are not even allowed to protect themselves by at least knowing the individual's name,in order to at least be on guard.Law abiding citizens should be given priority,not criminals.(No matter what their age.)


    City:
    Squamish
    Date:
    24 Apr 2002
    Time:
    17:40:21

    Comments

    I think that children under twelve can totally comprehend what they have done wrong and their consequences that will happen when they commit these acts. i think that they should be charged under the young offenders act, because the majority of them have grown up emotionally and have the mental stability to understand that what they have done is either right or wrong


    City:
    Portsmouth, England
    Date:
    26 Apr 2002
    Time:
    02:12:55

    Comments

    i think that if a young person offends then they should be treated like an adult in court, because if they are old enough to commit the crime then they are old enough to accept there punnishment and they should do. The punishment for young offenders isn't harsh enough and you can tell that by the number who re-affend.


    City: Lundville
    Date:
    29 Apr 2002
    Time:
    20:45:10

    Comments

    its tough to say where to draw the line. i know some 15 yr old who dont know as much as some 12 yr olds. i do think that if a young person has commited a crime they whould be punished, not just counselled or whatever.


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    30 Apr 2002
    Time:
    19:13:33

    Comments

    The young offender's act is amazing in allowing young offenders to learn from their mistakes, and to think twice in commiting another crime.


    City:
    ontario
    Date:
    30 Apr 2002
    Time:
    20:00:39

    Comments

    i think that if someones matture enough to kill or harm someone there old enough to take the consicuences


    City:
    Belleville
    Date:
    01 May 2002
    Time:
    12:38:03

    Comments

    I feel that children under the age of 12 but over the age of 10 have some ability to comprehend and understand their actions. If you ask a 12 year old if killing someone is wrong they will tell you that it is. At there age they have the basics of morality already formed in their minds and yet are still impressionable enough to be molded by event around them. If a child under 12 commits a criminal act and goes unpunished, he/she will learn that such an action is okay and will continue to perform that act. Through new legisation designed to help young offenders rather than throwing them into jail we can directly aid these youths in forming their moral bases. If we are able to impress upon them the severity of their wrong we can prevent them from committing such acts in the future. Which I might add, was the whole purpose behind the YOA in the first place.


    City:
    New Brunswick
    Date:
    01 May 2002
    Time:
    14:21:42

    Comments

    I think that regardless of age, those who commit murder should get equal punishment. There should be no exceptions. If there are exceptions, what is that teaching our children? That they can go out and do as they please? Besides, if they can get away with murder now, at a young age, what are they going to be like when they become adults? If a person is old enough to take someone's life, they are old enough to put up with the consequences. For all of you out there who disagree, why don't you put yourself in the shoes of the parents whose child was killed!! Maybe then, you'll see the big picture.


    City:
    North Bay
    Date:
    03 May 2002
    Time:
    13:57:15

    Comments

    I think that at the age of 15 you are aware of your actions and should be held acounted for your actions.


    City:
    Owen Sound Ontario
    Date:
    03 May 2002
    Time:
    18:57:59

    Comments

    Persons under 12 are very often extremely street wise individuals. They are often very aware of the circumstances which lead to being charged and what the results are of being charged. They are often times more aware of the system than some of the adults running the system.


    City:
    London
    Date:
    04 May 2002
    Time:
    08:52:20

    Comments

    If a 12 year old commits an offence the child will be well aware of what they are doing. However we should not simply put them in prison and punish them because not many sain 12 years who have commited an offence have come from a great back-ground. Therefore i suggest that we should treat the child with theapy and put them on special programs. This will stop them doing it again.


    City:
    Oakvile Ont
    Date:
    04 May 2002
    Time:
    10:22:47

    Comments

    I feel that not all kids are at the same level of thinking. Each child shuold first go through some sort of maturity testing, see if thy understand what they did ad their rights legaly.


    City:
    Vancouver, BC
    Date:
    05 May 2002
    Time:
    19:20:19

    Comments

    Whether or not a child has the capacity to undstand the criminal process, in my view, society would be better served - and specifically our youth as well - by the complete, open, transparent dealings within the justice system - INCLUDING youth.

    I am 40. When I was a child, the knowledge that others would learn of any bad behaviour on my part undoubtedly helped shape my person - in a wholly positive way. Children of any age understand this, and I feel strongly that we do society and our children a disservice by setting them apart in areas such as publication of offender names. As problematic youth age, some use the very nature of the system to undermine its intent.

    Our public services, ranging from police to teachers, and our communities, deserve to have the right to know who problematic youth are. Openness is the right approach, not the current closed system that fails society.


    City:
    calgary
    Date:
    06 May 2002
    Time:
    12:20:56

    Comments

    i think they should have the same punishment.


    City:
    Barrie, Ontario
    Date:
    07 May 2002
    Time:
    11:51:49

    Comments

    I think that the young offenders act should stay. I think that teenagers from ages 12 to 18 make stupid mistakes, and should be punished for them, but their lives should not be runed from it just because the decided to do something that they would regret for the rest of their lives. Unless, if they have commeted a serious crime like rape, murder or anything of that nature, they should be tried as an adult. But for things like B and E, assualt, etc. They may have made a stupid mistake and they should have a chance to make better of their life.


    City:
    cambridge
    Date:
    08 May 2002
    Time:
    20:28:13

    Comments

    as a child i knew EXACTLY what was right and wrong...and i knew that there would be a punishment. i believe that if a child can knowingly go and do something, they should get some punishment for it. we are not violating a childs basic rights by punishing them, because if that child went and killed some one, or stole from some one, then that child is violating another persons rights and that deserves a punishment. also, i think that the child's parents should keep a closer eye on their children. these days, i'm 17, and i see children running around yelling obsenities at random people...where do they learn this from?


    City:
    Lethbridge Alberta
    Date:
    09 May 2002
    Time:
    20:19:45

    Comments

    I think that when looking at the age of a child at the time of the offence and if that child knows what is right or wrong, I think that you also need to look at the type of crime that is being committed. For example if you have a twelve year old child that steals a car, yes they should be held responsible for their actions, but on the other hand if you have a twelve year old child that may have tried to french kiss another child and that child has been molested his/her whole life then that is the only way that child knows how to express their love to someone else and is that the child's fault. Children are a product of their environment, and some of the children in today's society are not raised in the most ideal of environments. Not to say that parents are responsible for the child's actions, but they are responsible for instilling morals and values in their children.


    City:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Date:
    14 May 2002
    Time:
    14:29:40

    Comments

    I think that wether your 32 or 15 you have some sort of understanding about whats right and wrong. When you do something that you know is wrong you obviously know that there are going to be some sort of consiquences to pay for your actions. Young people aren't stupid, there actually pretty smart, and there making us look like the fools because we allow them to commit such violent crimes and get away with it. Why wouldn't they do it again. The law needs to stop looking at the age of each individual, and start to realize that it all has to do with the maturity and mentality of the individual.


    City:
    australia
    Date:
    15 May 2002
    Time:
    02:29:01

    Comments

    im am 13 femail and i think being able to charge someone who is only 12 is not at all right no one well i dont think at the age of 12 is mature enoughf make them do comunity service or somthing like that not charg them when they are older theyb will have records that they would need for there first job they probly have a hard time finding work because no one wants to hire a crimanal well thats all i have got to say 


    City:
    Summerside, PEI
    Date:
    16 May 2002
    Time:
    08:16:47

    Comments

    I believe that a crime is a crime. Whether the accused is 12 or 64, what they have done is wrong. In Canada, it has been decided that we shall deal with these wrong-doings by peaceful means...discussion or negotiation...or by due process in court as a last resort. By doing something wrong, there should automatically be punishment. Now, for the younger offenders, there should be additional measures taken, such as psychiatric help to pin-point the real problem and to see what possessed a "virgin of innocence" to commit the crime. Perhaps though, all criminals of all ages should receive treatments to aid in the recovery before being returned into society.


    City:
    London, Ontario
    Date:
    16 May 2002
    Time:
    09:31:59

    Comments

    I believe that if a person has the capacity to commit a crime that takes away someone's life then that person should know that they are commiting a serious crime and should be punished for the crime they commited. just because you are under the age of 18 it does not excuse the crime that you have commited. people are not matured by age but by how they are brought up and by their morals. if you are 2 days from becoming 18 it does not mean that you should be treated as a young offender just because your birthday is 2 days away.


    City:
    Edmonton
    Date:
    16 May 2002
    Time:
    16:58:38

    Comments

    I believe that young offenders who commit a serious crime such as murder, attempted murder, sexual assualt should be trialed as adults, provided they are thirteen or older. At thirteen a person is coined as a teenager and are given more responsibilities, they also have received enough education and direction to know right and wrong, and how to

     understand a court proceeding, provided they have an older perosn to accompany them. During the next week I'll be studying the young offenders act for a social 10AP project, and if anyone can give me help understanding the basics of the law and the contiversial issues surrounding the Act, please let that be know on this site, and I'll check this site everyday, and somehow get in touch with who ever can help me. Thank you


    City:
    Edmonton
    Date:
    16 May 2002
    Time:
    23:35:20

    Comments

    I'm 14 and lots of adults underestimate the intelligence of young people. if guys on the street (yes, i do know some) know where to get drugs and illegal handguns, and they think that robbery, rape and murder is ok knowing full well the morals expected of them, and then they go to youth court and laugh about it afterwards, they can take whatever 


    City:
    Oakville, Ontario
    Date:
    20 May 2002
    Time:
    19:56:58

    Comments

    I think that what people need to realize is that child at a very young age know the difference between right and wrong. They also begin to understand that there are consequences to their actions and that begins with good parenting. A child does not need to understand the criminal process to be charged. They need to understand that they have done something wrong and if it goes to the extreme of being illegal the fact that they don't understand what is going on during the trial is irrelevant. They have still commit that crime and should be punished accordingly.


    City:
    windsor
    Date:
    22 May 2002
    Time:
    12:31:57

    Comments

    they should take responsibilit for the own problems not their parents.


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    22 May 2002
    Time:
    12:43:18

    Comments

    By age twelve there should be no doubt that the individual does not know what is wright and what is wrong. If that individual commits a grusome act they should be held fully responsible for it. They may not have fully matured, but if they do something as horrible as say murder, they should be made to pay. They took someone else's rights away, they should have none of their own.


    City:
    Red Deer
    Date:
    23 May 2002
    Time:
    21:23:13

    Comments

    I think that once you are 13, you are a teenager, so you should be charged as an adult. But has anyone ever considered that someone might hire a young child to do their dirty work for them because a younger child might not know what they are doing, and if they're caught, they won't be punished as severely. In reality, a young child should face the same punishment because then you have no risks of these things. As a child of 13, you know right from wrong, and if you think about it, if they can live with the guilt of killing and such, they deserve what come to them for their actions


    City:
    russell
    Date:
    26 May 2002
    Time:
    22:56:57

    Comments

    i am a grade 11 17 year old student and i think if someone can think enough to have a child carry out there plan they have way to much time on there hand and will also get charged....also i think the YOA should be lowered to 10 to 15


    City:
    toronto
    Date:
    28 May 2002
    Time:
    10:08:10

    Comments

    i think thw young offenders act should enforced with kids 10and up


    City:
    winnipeg
    Date:
    28 May 2002
    Time:
    10:44:12

    Comments

    the young offende5rs act should be changed to the age of 10


    City:
    bradford
    Date:
    28 May 2002
    Time:
    11:14:39

    Comments

    If someone commits a serious crime, they know it. No one can do something as serious as kill someone without realizing that they have done something wrong, and they should receive consequences no matter what. People that are 13 and have committed a serious crime should be treatd as adults for serious crimes, and not treated as if they don't know what they did, because they do. Even some adults have difficulty understanding the criminal process, and exceptions aren't made for them, so exceptions shouldn't be made for perfectly intelligent young adults.


    City:
    oshawa
    Date:
    28 May 2002
    Time:
    17:07:19

    Comments

    i think that the age should be lowered to 9 because what if a nine year old killed someone really nothing is going to happen to them and dont say that they dont know what they are doing because they do there is no reason to take some one's life if they did'nt already kill someone there self.


    City:
    Barrie, ON
    Date:
    28 May 2002
    Time:
    20:01:33

    Comments

    I don't think that whether children understand the justice system is the question at all. They don't need to. They need to understand what is right and what is wrong. We need to concentrate more on the victims of these crimes, and how their lives are going to be affected, not some punk-ass 12 year old who thinks he's hot stuff.


    City:
    New Brunswick
    Date:
    28 May 2002
    Time:
    23:13:25

    Comments

    Young persons know the system through word of mouth of a young person who has been trough the system. I am a youth care open custody home worker and trust me they know how the system works and they know how to beat the system and they know the consequences of their actions. In my 10 years of experience most youth be it age 12 to 17 they know what is right and what is wrong and in time they gradually become more perceptive to positve role modeling.


    City:
    ned
    Date:
    29 May 2002
    Time:
    10:15:11

    Comments

    they should be tried as adults when they turn 3 and they should be avaliable for capital punishment at the age of 4


    City:
    Mississauga
    Date:
    29 May 2002
    Time:
    10:16:20

    Comments

    we feel the provincial government's decision to take away OAC in Ontario is adding to the fact that criminal acts are being committed more because students are walking around with loads of responsibilities and tons of unecessary concern about their lives as they go through the process of graduating a year ealier!


    City:
    Sechelt
    Date:
    31 May 2002
    Time:
    02:05:31

    Comments

    I am 16 and I believe that young people such as my self do understand and know right from wrong. But I believe that it would be a HUGE mistake to charge any youth as an adult. A young offender should be rehabilitated and released because sending them to jail for half their life is not the answer. If the govít lowers the standard for prosecuting youths as adults when will it stop? The next thing you now they will be prosecuting an eight year old for murder because hey, the CHILD had to know what he was doing when he pulled the trigger.... right!!??


    City:
    London , Ontario,
    Date:
    02 Jun 2002
    Time:
    06:56:47

    Comments

    How many of the general population OVER the age of 19 understand the Criminal Justice System and its proceedings? Will their ignorance be a defence? I think not. If a child is under the age of 12, their parent/guardian should act as mediator between them and the Court System. Being a minor should be intended for issues such as supporting oneself, drinking, driving, and such like. Criminal behaviour should not be the exception, unless we want to experience rampant disrespect and disregard for authority. Oh! That's what we ARE experiencing. Time for the Young Offenders Act to change dramatically and make young people, regardless of age, accountable for their actions.


    City:
    Vancouver
    Date:
    02 Jun 2002
    Time:
    13:07:26

    Comments

    I'm a student who is doing a debate about the Young Offenders Act in my English E class and we are trying to prove that it does not work in Canada. If anyone has any good sites where I could find info please post it here. Thanx. My opinion is that children who are able to commit brutal crimes should suffer the consequences. If we can show them now that the things they are doing are wrong then maybe they will realize. If they are let off they will know how easy it is to get away with crimes and that is not lesson that should be sent to them. Just because they are children does not give them the right to do crimes.


    City:
    Ottawa
    Date:
    03 Jun 2002
    Time:
    21:10:34

    Comments

    You can give an age as a guidline buct each case should be treated as unique. historical and psycological factors must be assessed and condidered in each case. The question is 'Should young persons be held responsible for criminal acts'; Without doubt. The only way to learn and better oneself is to accept responsibility for decisions one makes. The consequences that follow decsions made, makes one realize their mistakes. In addition, you ask, do young offenders have the developmental capacity to understand the criminal process? If they don't that will become evident in assessment stage. In my opinion, most young offenders know their rights very well, therefore they too have the potencial to understand the criminal process.


    City:
    Carleton Place
    Date:
    04 Jun 2002
    Time:
    09:54:32

    Comments

    Make parents accountable. If parents are aware of their children's activities and whereabouts, or simply cared enough to be a part of their children's lives maybe we wouldn't have the need for stricter youth laws. Good parenting seems to have gone out the window and these kids are suffering for that. Children have always been rebelious and I am no exception to that fact however, my parents taught us respect, discipline and most importantly how to love life. I am the mother of two sweet little girls and already I see the struggle they must endure to be a part of the in crowd. Peer pressure can not only be frustrating but harmful to our children. I agree that a 12 year old cannot comprehend the full extent of the law and therefore their parents should be held accountable for their actions until they are considered adults. As the the punishment that these kids should receive, a day in a real prison might keep them from a life of crime. This is a topic that will always be debated and hopefully with the changes that the YCJA is offering we can get a handle on this and make this Country a safer happier place to live for everyones children.


    City:
    halifax
    Date:
    04 Jun 2002
    Time:
    11:09:30

    Comments

    I feel that it is being to easy on them


    City:
    halifax
    Date:
    05 Jun 2002
    Time:
    18:53:01

    Comments

    I think if a person is capable of commiting the crime they are therefor capable of being held responsable for it and taking the punishment for it. Age doesn't prevent you from commiting a crime so why should it prevent you from taking the responsabilities for it aswell? It shouldn't


    City:
    Orillia
    Date:
    06 Jun 2002
    Time:
    12:43:45

    Comments

    At 12 years of age, they should know rigth from worng!


    City:
    Date:
    08 Jun 2002
    Time:
    15:20:17

    Comments

    first of all I think that you should only post a comment that has any relativity to this and is not a waste of space, such as continuous comments of burn em all! It portrays immaturity and disconcern of a very serious situation! Secondly I believe that if the crime is proved to have been intentional, then no matter what the age they should be charged. I think this because they had the knowledge of their actions and they should be held responsible, just like any other person would be of an older age. If an 12 year old were to commit second degree murder because they were part of a group who ganged up to beat an individual to death. They had the knowledge of what they were doing because they joined into the group and helped pick out that individual and knew that they were intentionally going to inflict pain there fore they should tried. Actually it wouldn't matter the age what if it were a group of eight year olds. What if one got a hold of a gun, well then the parent should be tried for enabling the child to the knowledge of a gun in the house as well as access to a gun. As well as the child because they were the one who took the intiative to take the gun as well as to shoot it. There fore they should be tried under the YOA


    City:
    Gronlid
    Date:
    10 Jun 2002
    Time:
    15:10:54

    Comments

    I think that people who are in there teen years should be able to get arrested because they do know better. The reason should be taken into consideration though, because if it was out of group pressure theyt should get less of a punishment.


    City:
    Ontario
    Date:
    11 Jun 2002
    Time:
    13:51:49

    Comments

    I am 16 years old and I believe that anyone, no matter the age, should be punished fopr the crime they commit.


    City:
    Ottawa
    Date:
    16 Jun 2002
    Time:
    20:35:40

    Comments

    I think that anyone who is willing to hurt anyone or who are willing to break the rules have to be charged because it is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms not to charge them because if everyone was allowed to break the law, then we would not be here now would we?


    City:
    ponoka
    Date:
    17 Jun 2002
    Time:
    18:01:49

    Comments

    The young offenders act should be tougher.


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    19 Jun 2002
    Time:
    19:34:35

    Comments

    Section 16 of the YOA mandates that serious crimes are transferred to adult courts -- Although this does not happen automatically. Remember, three things must be considered: age, seriousness of offence (indictable), inappropriateness of max sentence in youth court.

    Logic dictates that the YOA is NOT at fault. The responsibility falls upon the Crown and ultimately the youth court judge.


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    24 Jun 2002
    Time:
    09:40:06

    Comments

    I think the young offenders act shouyld be changed due to startling events committted by underaged people. I myself, who am only 13, believe that this act should be changed to something harsher depending on what the crime is. It's unfair that someone could be confined to a wheelchair the rest of their life on accont of a young offender who now has to be in by ten o'clock the rest of his life.


    City:
    London
    Date:
    30 Jun 2002
    Time:
    17:55:41

    Comments

    I believe that at any age, it really does not matter, if a child commets an act of wrong doing which is immoral, they should be punished weather they're eight or eighteen


    City:
    Rocky Mount  North Carolina
    Date:
    01 Jul 2002
    Time:
    12:29:04

    Comments

    I would like to know if I have any crimal records against me


    City:
    Chicago, Illinois
    Date:
    01 Jul 2002
    Time:
    19:03:17

    Comments

    I feel that children over eight years of age should fess up to their responsibilities. I am in a situation now where I don't know what to do.. I think the system is twisted when it comes to juveniles.... There is a 16 yr old girl the name which will go unknown "Jane" has been in and out of the police station.. She is known for slashing tires, theft, harrasment, being i a gang, just out of control teen. Her mother is mentally ill. She walks the streets and her dad is in and out of jail. She has threated numerous lives and all the police will do is take the report and tell me that there is nothing that can be done because she is a minor.. She has been in and out of trouble her whole life, she has come to residents of her town with her gang which consists of 4-6 girls "GD" banged on all of their windows and threaten them; and all that can be done which "they say" is that they can only take a police report... If anyone knows of any suggestion on how to get this girl and other children off the streets let me know please.


    City:
    Surrey BC
    Date:
    11 Jul 2002
    Time:
    02:00:53

    Comments

    I believe today's youth are too free to do as they please. They have little or no obligations or responsibilities. The laws are too easy for them, children at age of 12 are fully capable of understanding between right/wrong and good/bad. If they are able to make decisions for themselves than I believe they should be held accountable for their wrong doings.


    City:
    Los Angeles
    Date:
    16 Jul 2002
    Time:
    19:54:18

    Comments

    Parents should be held liable for juvienile crimes


    City:
    Mississauga
    Date:
    18 Jul 2002
    Time:
    17:14:42

    Comments

    This depends upon when an individual is at the age when they are expected to take responsibilty for their decisions and the choices they make.


    City:
    Winnipeg
    Date:
    19 Jul 2002
    Time:
    15:22:09

    Comments

    Why would anyone be foolish enough to say how you will treat a person with respect to criminal wrong doing before the person has been found guilty of the crime. A young person's attorney should certainly be allowed to argue that age and stage of development should be considered in the forming of intent element of a crime. They could also argue that age be considered in sentencing. There is no need for a young offenders act but rather an offenders act that considers age in sentencing.


    City:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Date:
    21 Jul 2002
    Time:
    13:29:30

    Comments

    If a young person is old enough to commit a crime, provided that the crime was not an act of self-defense and providing that the person is not mentally incapable of comprehending the reult of the said action, that person should be tried as an adult. There is sufficient exposure in the media, including movies, to generate the expectation that striking soemone, or worse, will cause injury or death. Exceptions would be someone with learning disabilities, who does not recognize the effects of a decision. Rage, drug and alcohol use, etc. do not excuse the person from culpability. Similarly, I think that names of young offenders should be published. If one is old enough to commit the crime, one is old enough to accept responsibility for his actions. (As I write this, I am aware of all kinds of ensuing debates regarding "awareness", "comprehension" special situations, such as parents had a gun, child knows where to find the gun, child reacts with the gun, a death ensues. I am refering to clear cut cases where there was intent to do harm.


    City:
    Ottawa
    Date:
    23 Jul 2002
    Time:
    14:21:46

    Comments

    Commit the crime, serve the time. It sounds cliche, but it's appropriate. Arguments about "mental capacity" aside, special treatment only softens the blow. Youth offenders must be shown that "this is wrong - don't do it!"


    City:
    Tor. Ont
    Date:
    25 Jul 2002
    Time:
    12:50:46

    Comments

    I think that a child under the age of 12 should be held responsible for there actions, if not then they or others would take this into advantage and do many criminal activities using there age. If a child is old enough to do drugs or anything related to criminal activities then him/her is old enough to understand the consiqences of there actions. A child whom has no disabilities relating to there brain such as down syndrome should be held a trial for doing wrong against the law. What a child must remember is that everything comes with its prize and if don't obey that law then there are consiquence that come along with it so if a child is not smart enough to remember that then there must be something wrong with him/her brain and will need professional help!!!!


    City:
    Cullman Al,
    Date:
    02 Aug 2002
    Time:
    15:02:12

    Comments

    I think that if an adalecsent has commited a crime they should be at least put in juvinile because what gives the right to do something wrong and break the law and still have nothing done to them but yet adults who have done the same thing and got 1-life in prison than the children of today should have the same thing done to them if they are of the understanding age of what they have done is wrong!!!


    City:
    Burlington, ON
    Date:
    06 Aug 2002
    Time:
    20:32:48

    Comments

    The first response summed up this argument well: According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof". The definition of "Child" has drastically changed. A 12 year old, even a 10 year old and arguably an 8 year old has the ability to determine extreme right and wrong. Inflicting pain, in any form on a living creature is wrong. Don't be fooled, that is something a "child" learns at a very young age. Disrespect for others - another lesson that is learned at a young age. My fear is that if a young adolescent is capable of inflicting severe harm at such a young age, what would they be capable of when they are adults? How successful has adolescent rehabilitation been to date? And successful will it be if these adolescents are not forced to face realistic consequences? If they are capable of committing a serious "adult" crime, they should face "adult" consequences.

     


     

     

 

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Advertisement. Any legal opinions expressed at this site relate to the Province of Ontario, Canada only. If you reside or carry on business in any other jurisdiction please consult a lawyer, solicitor, or attorney in your own jurisdiction. WARNING: All information contained herein is provided for the purpose of providing basic information only and should not be construed as formal legal advice. The author disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance upon such information. You are strongly encouraged to seek and retain professional legal advice before relying upon any of the information contained herein.