Apr 19th, 2015
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Peter is a 14-year-old boy living in New York in the year 1870. Peter has stolen a horse and has been arrested by local law enforcement. Discuss what life may have been like for Peter as a young person in the United States at this time. • How were young people treated in everyday life? • How were their criminal actions handled? • How would Peter's punishment be different as compared to an adult who was arrested for the same crime?

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CRJS315-DB1NameClassDateProfessorCRJS315-DB1 In 1870 a horse thief would have received a trial and most likely hung for the crime if found guilty. A boy of fourteen years of age would have received the same treatment as an adult that stole a horse. Before the Progressive Era children were pretty much treated like adults unless they were under the age of seven and then they were considered incapable of criminal thought or malice. Youths between the ages of seven and fourteen could be treated as a child and not charged or they could be treated as adults and punished for the crime as an adult, including being sentenced to death. In order for a juvenile to have malice they have to have intent to cause harm. While fourteen was the legal standard for juveniles if they showed malice at a younger age they would be treated and tried like an adult. When a juvenile was arrested in New York during this time they were thrown into jail with male and female offenders. There was no separate system for juveniles and no special treatment. It was not until the beginning of the 19th Century that the way society looked at juvenile offenders began to change (Scott, 20

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