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Should Juveniles Be Responsible For Their Actions: Juveniless 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…show more content…
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 impulses and their environment.” (Stevenson, 2014, pg. 267-268). Stevenson (2014) is basically saying that children are not matured as adults and the court needs to look at these facts before giving such punishments. Not only that, Stevenson (2014) says, “Young adolescents lack life experience and background knowledge to inform their choices; they struggle to generate options and to imagine consequences; and, perhaps for good reason, they lack the necessary self-confidence to make reasoned judgements and stick by them” (Stevenson, 2014, pg. 268-269). Children should be…show more content…
In adult prisons, children are not protected from getting harmed by adult prisoners. According to the Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13- and 14-year Old Children to Die in Prison it elucidates that “Young inmates are at particular risk of rape in prison. Children sentenced to adult prisons typically are victimized because they have “no prison experience, friends, companions or social support.” Children are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted in adult prisons than in juvenile facilities.” (Equal Justice Initiative, 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,
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