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Why routinely harsh exactions against young offenders lack sense

Unless you happen to be an adult who favors a stern and uncompromising criminal law outcome for an offender in every instance, you likely view that some lenience should logically attach to sentences meted out to youthful offenders in Colorado and elsewhere.

And, candidly, it's not hard to see why that should be the case, right?

After all, we were all juveniles once, and can think back now to how awkward and uncertain the unsteady march toward adulthood seemed, notwithstanding our attempts to routinely act mature and fully informed throughout the process.

The trek to adulthood was a difficult journey at times for most of us, and we can now empathize as older, more mature versions of our earlier selves with juveniles -- often, now, our own children -- who show lapses in judgment and are sometimes forced to interact with legal authorities as a result.

A recent media report refers to the "gawky brains" of teenagers, which is a depiction that most parents and other caregivers will instantly understand. As that article implies, full arrival at adulthood is preceded by a sort of two-steps-forward-and-one-back adventure for many evolving teens.

And while they walk that walk, many of them make mistakes that might reasonably seem to be more correctible through a rehabilitative and educational response rather than through adults' recourse to quick and heavy punishment.

Teenagers sometimes fight. They sometimes shoplift. In Colorado and across the country, juveniles occasionally run into legal difficulties for things like underage drinking and driving, drug possession and assorted traffic violations.

In some instances, it seems manifestly clear that a tempered response to such behavior will best quell it in the future and ensure that a youthful offender learns a lesson without being unnecessarily scarred in the process.

At the Denver criminal defense law firm of Shazam Kianpour & Associates, P.C., our attorneys provide proven and aggressive legal representation to teen offenders who need strong advocacy in a time of need.

We welcome contacts to the firm and the opportunity to help youthful offenders defend against criminal charges and obtain best-case outcomes to their legal challenges.

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