Adults should be held accountable for their actions despite age

Itzel Luna and Cassia Ramelb


Christine Valenzuela

Due to the recent accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, his previous mistakes before he was an adult could have affected his life, as he is rejected from a prestigious university despite exceeding the qualifications.

Shannon Sullivan

Teenagers are always told that their actions in high school will affect their future. What they do now will be seen by their future schools and employers, which means they have to be mindful of what they say, post online or do.

If teenagers are held accountable for their actions, then the same should be applied to adults no matter how long ago it was.

The procedure for prosecuting a crime someone committed as a minor is tricky, though it is possible to go to jail for a crime depending on the person’s age and when the crime was committed. In the case of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexually assaulting a girl when he was 17, he can’t be criminally prosecuted for it because it happened 35 years ago. The statute of limitations for sexual assault unless reported normally has a limit of only a few years. Most courts also lack the authority to charge those over 22 for crimes committed as a minor.

Teenage years are said to be a time to grow as a person and learn from your mistakes. How can anyone learn from their mistakes if they won’t be held accountable for their actions later in life? An adult should be able to take responsibility for their actions in high school and should be held accountable for them, especially if it is related to a crime.

Generally, someone who is 17 years old would be held legally accountable for their crime, while a 9-year-old wouldn’t. A minor can still be prosecuted in an adult court, regardless of age if they commit certain felonies. All of these laws also vary from state to state.

Another factor is the statute of limitations, which is meant to help crimes be prosecuted while evidence and witness testimonies are fresh. The statute of limitations sets a time limit for criminal charges and filing a lawsuit. It can allow some people to get away with their crimes just because it’s too late for them to get a lawsuit.

For example, if a victim of an injury takes two years to sue, then they would no longer have a legitimate case. The statute of limitations exists mainly to help defendants so that they can provide evidence in their defense while they still have it.

The law also exists so that at a certain point, uncharged offenders can stop looking over their shoulders in anticipation of a lawsuit. At a certain point, it becomes too late to sue and they can get away with no repercussions.

That doesn’t mean Kavanaugh or anyone else shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. An assault, no matter how long ago it occurred, is still an assault.

While the physical aftermath might be gone, psychological scars remain. Some sort of responsibility should be taken. The mistakes we make, no matter how long ago, is something we need to own up to. As teenagers and adults.