Jonathan Adams Case

Jonathan Adams, twelve year old boy who was charged with first degree murder. Jonathan shot his next door neighbor with his father’s 12-gauge shotgun taking it from an unlocked closet.He did this because his eight year old neighbor would not let him hold her puppy when he asked. Should the court be able to sentence Jonathan a lifetime in prison even though he is only twelve? How old is old enough?Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 9.33.11 AM

In my opinion, I think that no child under the age of 18 should be charged with adult crimes. Most people until the age of twenty do not adapt crime, meaning they do not know what they are doing until after it has already happened, or they might not have meant to commit their crime but it happened on accident. Humans do not have that violence tick in their brain yet at such a young age.

More than 10,000 children are in prison in the America today. I do not think that this is right of America in any way. Children are not capable to know what is happening at such a young age. They can not physically understand crime or the fact that after killing that person they are not coming back. As a kid you should not have to know what crime even is. Being put into jail at such a young age is the worst possible thing you could do to a human. You have not even given them a chance at life yet. Also children at that age have a higher percentage of being raped or abused while in prison which could result in many more suicides.

Looking from the girls families point of view, I could not even imagine the types of grief and pain that they would feel, but in my honest opinion I do not think that grown ups could have the capacity to put a child in jail. I do not think that it should be legal to put a child under the age of eighteen in prison. If it was juvenile detention then that would be something that I could understand but prison with all of the felons and criminals that are in there, that would be setting the child up on its death bed.Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 9.33.28 AM

This raises the issue of whether prolonged incarceration of children violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. In saying this, I personally think that rather than prison being Jonathan’s option the court should consider Juvenile court because he will still be having to serve a severe punishment and learn that what he did was wrong but he should not have to lose his life when he has not even had an opportunity to live it. Jonathan will have to deal with these consequences for the rest of his life but putting a child into prison for a lifetime is cruel and unusual punishment. Jonathan’s deserves to be punished but not with adult consequences, his punishment should be strong enough to the point that he regrets for the rest of his life but not something that could potentially kill him.



About SaintsGOV16
We are students in Dr. Ostroff's sections of U.S. Government at All Saints' Episcopal School in Fort Worth, Texas. (

10 Responses to Jonathan Adams Case

  1. elizabeth says:

    I disagree with Katie. I think that no matter how old you are you must suffer the consequences that come with your actions. Even though he is only twelve years old I believe that he should go to jail because he has committed a very serious crime. I believe that at 12 years old he should of known that killing someone was not the right way to handle the situation.

  2. Alyssa R says:

    I agree that putting a child in jail is not right. But, I’d have to say it is the boy’s parents fault for even letting him know where the gun was. Parent’s should not introduce those dangerous things to their kids because incidents like this will happen. Another case like this is a seven-year old’s parents took her to a gun range and the girl shot her instructor. Some say it was the teacher’s fault for being in the way and I have yet to hear anything against the girl. But no where on the news did anyone say anything to the parents. What are parents in America thinking? Children should not be put in situations that they are too young for.

  3. Tanner R. says:

    I strongly disagree with you Katie. At 12 you should know that killing someone is wrong, no matter what the reason is. I think he should go to jail and suffer the sentencing of a grown man because he ruined a families life.

    Tanner R

  4. SaintsGOV16 says:

    You have a good point and you do a good job supporting your opinion, but I do believe that at the age of twelve children know the consequences of using a gun or committing any type of crime. If nothing were to happen to this child he would never learn that what he did was wrong.


  5. SaintsGOV16 says:

    I disagree with your opinion here. Although the boy is only twelve years old, he should know the impact of using gun. You have your own opinion and use good reasons to support your opinion, but the boy should be punished. Not only adults should undertake their responsibility, but also children should. He killed the little girl, this effect is serious, and he will receive education in the prison.
    Yi L

  6. SaintsGOV16 says:

    wow super cool AmandaS

  7. SaintsGOV16 says:

    I respectfully disagree with your opinion. I believe has the ability to understand his actions. He thought out the way he would kill the girl. Not all kids understand their actions at the age of 12 but I believe he did. Since he took the girls life I believe he should be in prison for the rest of his life.

  8. SaintsGOV16 says:

    I respect everything that you have said in your paper, because you support your stance, but I will have to disagree with you. From what I have read it is evident that this child’s mental state is fine and he deliberately shot a twelve year old girl neighbor. Because this child was bold enough to carry out this action; I believe he is old enough to serve and punishment within reason. I believe that first degree murder is not a cruel punishment for this young man because he took someone else’s life.

    by JerneeG

  9. SaintsGOV16 says:

    I disagree with you here Katie. I believe that at twelve years old you have the ability to make smart decisions. At twelve years old, people should know not to shoot people for little things like holding a puppy.
    Luke A

  10. govhannahb says:

    You have a good point and your photos do support your paper, however I do disagree with your opinion. You have good reasoning behind your opinion and I respect that. I believe that if a child knows how to work a gun, the child should know the significance and the responsibility that comes with it. I also disagree with “Humans do not have that violence tick in their brain yet at such a young age.” That “tick” in your brain can be there through genes that have been passed on, and I know you know this because of Colton. We are to easy with punishments in todays society with kids and their ridiculous actions. I don’t see how Jonathan’s punishment is cruel and injustice, the kid shot a little girl. That little girl had a life to live but it was ended because she refused to let Jonathan hold her puppy. I also disagree with your statement of ” I do not think that grown ups could have the capacity to put a child in jail.” If a 12 year old ended a 8 year olds life then her parents have every right to press charges on this kid and send him to prison.


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