Liberals say 24-year-olds should be tried as kids but vote as adults

Liberals have been gradually watering down the criminal justice system.  They have launched a campaign to eliminate bail, they want drug addicts and drug dealers released from jail, and they certainly don't want 16- and 17-year-olds accused of violent crimes to be charged as adults.  Now, in a new campaign, liberals are calling for 18- and 19-year-olds and even people in their 20s to be charged as children, on the theory that their brains are not fully developed.

After attending a lecture at Harvard on brain development, George Gascón, the San Francisco district attorney, decided to tackle these questions head on. In 2015, he and Wendy Still, then the city’s probation chief, established Young Adult Court, a hybrid of the adult and juvenile justice systems tailored to the biology and circumstances of offenders 18 to 24.

Mr. Gascón and his colleagues argue that neurological immaturity may contribute to criminal behavior. Adult sentences constitute cruel and unusual punishment, they say, and undermine the possibility of rehabilitation.

[According to studies] ... psychosocial maturity – measured by impulsivity, risk perception, thrill-seeking, resistance to peer influence – did not begin until age 18, gathering momentum through the early 20s.

You can read a lot more about this in the Times article, but the claim is that young people ages 18-24 are not mature enough to understand what they are doing when they commit crimes, therefore they should not be sent to prison.

By the same token, then, shouldn't the voting age be changed to reflect this new and important scientific research?  If the research is good enough to guide criminal law policy, shouldn't it be applied across all areas?  That is, if the brain is not mature enough to be responsible for crimes in the early 20s, how then can someone of the same age be responsible enough to vote?

The voting age used to be 21 until the 26th Amendment to the Constitution was passed lowering it to 18.  If liberals feel so strongly about this, they should support raising the age again to 21 or 24 or even 25.

I know I support it.

When people in their late teens and early 20s vote, they are often in the process of being indoctrinated by left-wing education either in high school or in college (or both).  They haven't gotten the chance to get out into the real world yet.  They haven't had to support themselves.  They haven't felt the first sting of taxes or of having money withheld from a paycheck.  Until they have, they live in an artificial environment where all their needs are taken care of and simplistic slogans such as "equality for all" fill their minds without any consideration as to what that really means or what the consequences would be.

Of course, the whole liberal argument about brains is nonsense.  Young people may be more rash and impulsive than older people, but somehow most young people manage to make it to their 30s without bashing someone's head in or robbing a bank.  Young people are capable of making such basic decisions of right and wrong without having a "30-year-old brain."  But liberals want to claim that young people are not capable of making such decisions, while still being fully capable of deciding which candidates are best for the economy, social matters, and national defense.  "Science" is simply, like our Constitution, a malleable tool to be used as a label to support whatever social theory liberals want to support.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at

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