Trying Minors as Adults: Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? - October 25, 2001

In March 2000, California voters passed Proposition 21 giving prosecutors discretion to charge youths between 14 and 17 as adults for certain offenses.  The California Supreme Court is currently reviewing the constitutionality of Prop. 21.  Many other states have similar policies in place.  At a time when juvenile crime is actually decreasing, is this the best way to punish young people or have policymakers and voters overreacted?  If found constitutional, are certain population groups more likely to be subject to Prop. 21 than others and how far should our society go in holding minors accountable for crimes?