Juvenile court - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia But, particularly for heinous crimes, there has been a movement to charge "children" under 18 as adults. What I find odd is those very same people often insist that those under 18 are incompetent to enter into contracts independently or give consent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_(law) I am wondering what the reasoning is for people to impose some of the basic responsibilities of adulthood on teens, but without also giving them the basic rights of adulthood (voting, consent, contracts without cosignature)? If a teen is competent to be held responsible for violating the law, then why are they denied participation in making the law or other rights of adulthood? While I believe minors should be able to enter into contracts, I do not believe it is useful to charge those same minors as adults for crimes. My rationale for treating minors differently legally is not based upon competency but rather that for all crimes, including egregious ones, minors are more likely to be rehabilitated than adults. So a second chance of sorts is more likely to be worthwhile.