Rasi Bless up...
Firstly, I think we as society react more so to circumstance or "How" a crime is committed rather than the crime itself.
For example a child's life being taken away weighs heavier than an adult's life even though no life is 'greater' than anothers.
A police officers home being robbed compared to an immigrants home.
If this is the perception towards a crime committed, being a Juvenile Offender is less determining and significant verses the circumstance/how the crime is committed regarding sentencing.
Secondly...(well you should know more about) reform of the penial system; Removal from society vs Rehabilitation towards society, the latter being the stance of more spiritually inclined individuals who seemingly cope better with a 'loss of life' or 'property' compared to those who are for 'Removing' individuals(criminals) from society. In other words if societies majority isn't more 'spiritual' so to speak, there just may be more an more and more youths in the circumstance like the yout you speak of.
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