Terrorists May Receive More Rights than Minors

Mackenzie Lee

Have you ever thought about committing a serious crime?  Let’s hope not, but if you were going to, you would need to know your rights…or better yet, the rights that you do not have as a minor.  Rights that recently have been awarded to the terrorists who commit crimes against America.

True or False: Judges hear most juvenile cases because juveniles do not have the right to a jury, unless they are tried as an adult. True.

True or False: Juveniles have a right to bail and a public trial. False.

True or False: The above rights will be given to terrorists against the U.S. if they are  tried in the U.S. court system. True.

The rights to bail and a trial by jury are fundamental to the United States justice system. All citizens are supposedly guaranteed these rights established by our Founding Fathers.  They are privileges enjoyed by all United States citizens, right? Not quite.

Minors, that’s people under 18 years of age (except in a handful of states where the age of adulthood is 16 or 17), are denied these basic rights.  However, President Barack Obama would like to grant privileges to anti-American terrorists that juveniles of our country do not.

President Obama banished the term “enemy combatant,” defined as “an individual who, under the laws and customs of war, may be detained for the duration of an armed conflict” by the Council on Foreign Relations.  In doing so he plans to prosecute terrorists (such as the Christmas day attacker) as criminals, giving them rights as Americans in the U.S. court system.  Rights that minors of our country don’t have.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, citizens under 18 years of age make up approximately 25% of the American population.  In a country that boasts equality for all citizens, minors are being deprived of basic liberties while terrorists are being tried in the U.S. justice system, thereby placing terrorists higher on the totem pole than American minors.

The problem is not necessarily that minors have fewer rights in the justice system than adults (with serious crimes juveniles can be tried as adults, at which point they do receive the same rights as adults).  The problem is that people who are not citizens of the U.S., even enemies who have tried to kill Americans, are getting the plush benefits that our court system has to offer.

Trying terrorists as criminals, instead of the enemy combatants and murderers that they are, betrays all U.S. citizens.

The solution is simple: do not give undeserving, foreign terrorists the right to be tried in the justice system that is one of the things that makes America so great.