Tonight: Caged Kids

Should Teens Be Tried And Convicted As Adults?

"Caged Kids" examines how the criminal justice system handles minors who are tried as adults for hard crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder.

Many questions will be raised in the broadcast including: Have these young people served enough time? Should they have been tried as adults in the first place? Do they understand what they did wrong? And, do they deserve a second chance?

Find out on 48 Hours Investigates, Wednesday, March 31, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Josh Phillips of Jacksonville, Fla., is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for a murder he committed in 1998 when he was 14 years old.

Phillips first appeared on 48 Hours in an interview with Correspondent Peter Van Sant when he was 15 years old. Now, five years later, Phillips speaks to Van Sant once again about the murder and the remorse he feels for killing his eight-year-old playmate, Maddie Clifton.

Phillips also talks about wanting a second chance at freedom, and for the first time, the victim's mother speaks about whether or not Phillips deserves a second chance.

Sean Pica, 35, from Selden, Long Island, was recently released from prison after serving 16 years for murdering his friend, Cheryl Pierson's father, who, she said was physically abusing her.

Correspondent Harold Dow talks with Pica about how he's making the most of his life on the "outside" from lessons he learned on the "inside." Today, he is earning a second master's degree and spends most of his free time helping other former inmates adjust to their freedom.

Correspondent Erin Moriarty speaks to Lisa Warzeka, one of four teenage girls from Kingwood, Texas, an affluent Houston neighborhood, who is serving seven years for armed robbery.

Warzeka was a promising athlete and student who, to pay for a drug habit, robbed several convenience stores with her friends, holding people at gunpoint, when she was 17 years old.

And, Rebecca Hopfer, 26, of Dayton, Ohio has spent the last eight years in prison for killing her newborn infant. Prosecutors say she stuffed the baby in a trash bag after secretly giving birth, but Hopfer claims the child was dead at birth.

Hopfer refused to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and was found guilty of first-degree murder. At the age of 17, she was sentenced as an adult to 15 years to life in prison. Now, she has a chance to get out early if she can convince the parole board to recommend clemency. Correspondent Susan Spencer reports.