Often, when (most typically) defending criminal youth, their advocates will say something like, "This one mistake shouldn't affect the entire rest of his/her life."
What was the "mistake"? Often, it's something like one of these:

Armed robbery of a convenience store.
Assaulting a homeless person.
Driving way too fast and causing an accident.
Killing someone.
Stealing from his employer's inventory.

My problem is that none of these things are actual mistakes. A mistake is, literally, a missed take. A misunderstanding. Understood that way, none of the above crimes are mistakes.

One characteristic of a true mistake is that it involves, in part, a lack of intentionality. Consider some real mistakes:

I go around the house looking for my glasses until I realize to my chagrin that I'm already wearing them.
I ask someone how his father is doing, forgetting that his father had died.
I add 286+37,206 and come up with 37,493.
I show up at Josh's party in street clothes. It turns out to be a costume party.
I am wondering why my key isn't opening my car's door until I realize that it's not my car; it just looks like my car.

Have you ever thought about this? Do you agree with me?

Tags: mistakes

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Revenge is done in anger.

"Revenge is a dish best served cold."
-Old Klingon Proverb

Person #2: I did not  even know anyone killed by that attack but how dare they do that to America. 

An affront is not an injury.

@ David Smith and Unseen:

Lady Justice holds a balanced scale in her hand for a reason.

The idea is to balance the punishment to the crime, isn't it?

Justice isn't about retaliation nor rehabilitation, it is about a fair response from society, isn't it?

..................................................

The Justice System we have today does not appear to be meeting the concept of justice too well today, maybe it's time for a overhaul.

The idea is to balance the punishment to the crime, isn't it?

Rocky john views punishment as revenge, I think.

"An eye for an eye" isn't revenge, it's reestablishing a balance, for proponents of that view.

A lot depends on whether one wants to "fix" someone or instead wants justice. 

in many cases it is possible to do both.  justice needs to be served, but if you don't want repeat offenses you need rehabilitation, particularly in younger people. The punishment should be fitting the crime and the rehabilitation should be fitting the person and circumstance.

A lot of people would say that if someone causes someone else harm, fixing the miscreant still doesn't really satisfy the needs of justice.

This is very true, if you commit a criminal offensive against another person, causing bodily harm or death, that needs to be dealt with harshly regardless of your age.  However for minor/civil offences community service and meeting with a community worker can be very effective.

It just needs to be case by case,  I'l give you two hypothetical cases-

1) A 17 year old steals some money for food because their parents were neglectful. perhaps they even wanted to feed their younger siblings.

2) A 30 year old steals the same amount of money because they couldn't afford some vodka and some drugs.

Are these crimes deserving of the same punishment?  What if the 17 y/o in this situation begins to steal regularly, and to cope with the stress of supporting their siblings, takes up a drink or drug habit?  with harsh and un forgiving sentences without rehabilitation you will effectively turn that 17y/o into that 30y/o

justice needs to be served, but there more to justice than prison.

Fixing someone may be something society wants to do, but it does not serve justice. it serves some other purpose.

Fixing someone may be something society wants to do, but it does not serve justice. it serves some other purpose.

I'm not sure I understand.  'justice' is a part of society for a start and is there simply to serve society.

'Fixing' someone, or rehabilitating them, is good for society.  It also reduces pressure on the legal system by reducing repeat offences.

I don't even think we are having the same debate here, To get back to the first point, the word 'mistake' is misused, yes.  

people need to be held accountable for their actions, yes.

But 'criminal youth' as you put it, should not always (depending on the situation) be treated in exactly the same way as people who have had many more years to get wise.  

I'm not saying a young convict should get less that two years for a two year offense, but how do they spend those two years? what will they learn? what happens after? how do we stop it happening again?

I'm sure a lot of the same cases would annoy me that may annoy you, but where many see a criminal going to jail, I worry about what comes back out, I consider if it could have been avoided and can anything be done to stop it happening again.

Fixing someone may be something society wants to do, but it does not serve justice. it serves some other purpose.

I'm not sure I understand.  'justice' is a part of society for a start and is there simply to serve society.

What does "fixing" a criminal do for the people he's injured? How does it provide closure? How does it repair whatever damage he's caused. What about them? 

Fixing a criminal is society selfishly helping itself (hoping not to have to deal with the criminal again), but justice needs to do something for the injured and aggrieved.

Your argument is starting to become repetitive, both of these are points we have already covered.

What does "fixing" a criminal do for the people he's injured? How does it provide closure? How does it repair whatever damage he's caused. What about them?

I'm not saying criminals should avoid punishment.  I have stated this repeatedly, and in as many different ways as I could think of.

Fixing a criminal is society selfishly helping itself (hoping not to have to deal with the criminal again), but justice needs to do something for the injured and aggrieved.

You seem to be implying that it's a case of punishment or rehabilitation with no room for both.  The complete opposite is true, Any sentience needs to contain both punishment and any reasonable rehabilitation strategy possible (acceptation on life sentience / death penalty of course)

You have made both these points before, and I made the same response.  Disagree with the logic if you must, but please offer an alternative solution instead of making the same arguments over again.

What do you regard as "punishment" for someone who has committed a serious crime? 

So, you send someone to see a psychologist who puts him in a discussion group. Let's define that as rehabilitation.

How would you punish him? Flogging?

"How would you punish him? Flogging?"

USMC Boot Camp. Punished and fixed in 13 weeks.

Unseen or anyone else, If you would like to learn a bit more about addiction king's university in London is doing a free MOOC focused on it that started this week. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/understanding-drugs-and-addiction

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