Juveniles And The Death Penalty

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Juveniles and the Death Penalty Do you think juveniles should be held responsible for their actions? For many years, children have been sentenced to death without trial. Young people are not capable of making rational decisions. Hence, children are restricted from doing many things. For instance, children under the age eighteen are not allowed by law to vote, and work for a certain number of hours. However, when it comes to sentencing children as adults to the death penalty, it is not illegal. If children are viewed differently from adults by law, then why is that not the case when being trialed? Moreover, children are not yet matured to receive such punishments. Likewise, juveniles should not be sentenced to death, because they are still growing and need time to learn from their mistakes in order to make adult decisions. Many people question whether sentencing children to death row should be legal. Sentencing juveniles to capital punishment is unethical and cruel. It is too severe for juveniles without the full reasoning ability and limited brain development to be sentence to the death penalty. Horn (2009) writes, “Youths lack the sense of responsibility that society requires of adults. Their personalities are not yet fixed… Young people have to little experience to fully grasp the consequences of their actions.” (Horn, 2009). This shows that juveniles do not have the experience that adults have to be like adults. Also, Stevenson (2014) writes, “Contemporary neurological, psychological…evidence has established that children are impaired by immature judgement, an underdeveloped capacity for self-regulation and responsibility, vulnerability to negative influences and outside pressures, and a lack of control over their own impul... ... middle of paper ... ...2008). Juveniles are the utmost beleaguered in adult prisons to be sexually mistreated. In Just Mercy, Joe “In prison…was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted. He developed multiple sclerosis, which eventually forced him into a wheelchair. Doctors later concluded that his neurological disorder might have been triggered by trauma in prison.” (Stevenson, 2014, pg259). Stevenson (2014) shows how unsafe juveniles in adult prisons are by sharing Joe’s story. In the document, Equal Justice Initiative it says “…one Alabama inmate who…was incarcerated in an adult prison…has been repeatedly raped. He was forced to prostitute himself in exchange for protection from physical beatings and sexual assault by other inmates.” (Equal Justice Initiative, 2008). Although, I believe sentencing children under eighteen is unethical and morally wrong, other people may think it is not.

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