You misunderstand the issue I am adressing. If one is to be considered an adult in any case he or she must be considered an adult in every case, if this is not so, break down for me why it is not. If the child is competent enough to know the implications in his killing of 5 people in the same way an adult is, the external ramifications, the devistation to the family ect. then he is mentally adult and should have the same say rights as an adult for he is essentially an adult. You are either an adult or not an adult, if you are not fully developed mentally when compared to another adult then you are not an adult and thus cannot be tried as one, if you are then you are an adult and should have the rights of one.
This is not my main point though, my point extends beyond the consideration of a single category resulting from the contradiction such as trying children as adults, but rather that there is not scientific process implemented in determining adulthood but rather a mishmosh of inconsistent litigation. I am essentially trying to make a case for the need for a true distinction between a capable sentient being and one who is not or only partial capable of making an important decision. For instance, a mentaly retarded person can vote, however, I do not believe that they can understand the issues properly. There are certainly apes capable of making decisions on a similar level as people who are mentaly retarded, they actually have an edge, they have stronger short term memories than most humans! Why are they not allowed to make decisions on the same level as the mentally retarded? There are apes with consistent full scale i.q.s of 75! They can do very basic mathematics and communicate! There must be guidlines dictating who can vote and why based upon set mental ability and emotional development levels.
This is my true concern, and I am very interested in what ideas can come out of this discussion.
I look foreward to your thoughts on this.