The Chastised Children of America

718 Words3 Pages
There comes a time in anyone’s life where their actions become more that just purposeful or irreversible mistakes. This day is realized once the individual attributes the motives behind these actions to themselves. Rather than to circumstance or social conditioning the causation lies solely on the character of the individual. This is exactly what is creating criminals out of misguided youth in today’s society. If only we can look back to the irrational thoughts and history of overbearing societal processes; then we can look to the future and the rehabilitative nature it could hold. When looking back into history the general theme towards children is at times illogical. For example, “In the Western world prior to the twentieth century, children over the age of seven were treated under the criminal law the same as adults.” (Berger, 1980 p. 250) Then the common law at that time goes on to state that those younger than seven were inept of committing crime. How can they have such a definite understanding of the exact age when intent and insight are enough for someone to commit illegal actions? This view point is not only twisted but illogical; there is evidence that the brain isn’t fully developed until someone is twenty-five, let alone seven. More recently, in the 1980’s, an influential group of criminologists take a pessimistic stance towards juveniles. They “predicted a coming wave of violent juvenile crime: ‘superpredators,’ as young as 11, committing crimes in ‘wolf packs.’” (Garinger, 2012) Unfortunately politicians were none the wiser and were fearful of this upcoming wave and pushed for judicial support. Eventually the criminologists recanted their theory and changed their stance entirely; asking the court to lighten up on ad... ... middle of paper ... ...stand the repercussions of their actions, would agree. Works Cited "About Us." Center for Children's Law and Policy -. Ed. Mark Soler. Gravitate Design Studio, 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. Berger, Ronald J. The Sociology of Juvenile Delinquency. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1991. Print. Forer, Lois G. Criminals and Victims: A Trial Judge Reflects on Crime and Punishment. New York: Norton, 1980. Print. Garinger, Gail. "Juveniles Don’t Deserve Life Sentences." The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 14 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. . Myers, David L. Boys among Men: Trying and Sentencing Juveniles as Adults. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005. Print. Stevenson, Bryan. "Equal Justice Initiative." Death in Prison Sentences for Children. Equal Justice Initiative, 2012. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
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