One of the most controversial issues in the rights of juveniles today is addressed in the question, Should the death penalty be applied to juveniles? For nearly a century the juvenile courts have existed to shield the majority of juvenile offenders from the full weight of criminal law and to protect their entitled special rights and immunities. In the case of kent vs. United states in 1996, Justice Fortas stated some of these special rights which include; Protection from publicity, confinement only to twenty-one years of age, no confinement with adults, and protection against the consequences of adult conviction such as the loss of civil rights, the use of adjudication against him in subsequent proceedings and disqualification of public …show more content…
Before the minimum age of 16 statutes, English Common law from the 16th Century had a direct influence on the Constitution. This common law carried over to American statutes and established the presumption that no one under the age of seven had the mental capacity to commit crimes, therefore, they had no concept of mens rea or evil intent (Hale 23). In English Common L, Criminal intent had to be proven in cases concerning offenders of ages seven to fourteen. This carried over to become an American standard (hale 23). Only in cases of youth ages fourteen and over was it possible to concede that they had the mental capacity to perform a crime with mens rea (Samaha 1993:295). After adopting these common laws, individual states made specific changes within the law. For example, some states excluded juvenile court from the proceedings when crimes were severe (hale 23). These exclusions lead to my next subject on the methods of transferring juvenile cases to criminal courts and in turn, makes it possible to sentence violent juvenile offenders the death penalty. The idea of whether or not the death penalty should apply to juvenile violent offenders is only possible through the transfer of juveniles out of the juvenile court and into the adult criminal court. Only then can a guilty violent youth be punished to the full extent. As the number of certified or transferred cases increases, the public recognition that juveniles can and do
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
These cases both received national and international attention but the notoriety of the cases should not detract from the poorly thought out public policy that supports the rendering of such excessive and non-individualized punishments to juveniles. In a society that is focused on law and order it has become acceptable for the prosecution of all criminals defendant, including juveniles, to be controlled by automatic, legislatively determined sentencing that places politicians, not judges, in the position of deciding who is incarcerated, who should be tried and punished as adults, and who should be sent to a juvenile program for possible rehabilitation. On the juvenile level, led by politicians who rose to power on a law and order platform, state laws were changed so that sentencing decisions on juveniles that were once based on child development theories are now based on strict statutory construction. This was clearly demonstrated in the Tate case
One of the most controversial questions in the juvenile justice system today is, "Should the death penalty be applied to juveniles?”. A lot of people think that the death penalty for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment and should only be used for adults. The crimes that juveniles commit are as dangerous and as violent as adult crimes. People argue that the adolescent brain does not mature until the late teens or early twenties, and that death penalty should not be the resolution. Some studies show that childhood abuse or neglect can causes the child to commit crimes when they grow to adulthood. Debate about the use of the death penalty for juveniles has grown more intense because of the crimes they are
With the escalation of murders and rapes committed by minors as seen in recent years the people are looking for the right answer. Public concern over the effectiveness of the juvenile courts when dealing with these offenders has brought about change in the justice system. (Stolba, 2001). The courts now, are quicker to transfer a juveniles’ case to adult court than when the juvenile system was first formed. There stands a conflict of interests within the two court systems. Juvenile courts are to protect the rights of youths determined incapable of adult decisions. The primary concern is that the youth be rehabilitated and not become a repeat offender. Thus, protecting the child from incarceration with adult criminals and any possible future victims. The concerns of the adult court is to make sure the convicted offender pays for their crime and that the victim gets justice. Rehabilitation is not a primary concer of the adult justice system.
Beginning in the 1960s, the US Supreme Court decided on a succession of landmark cases that histrionically altered the processes and all around atmosphere of the Juvenile Justice System in America. One case in particular that played a major role in the Juvenile field is Kent vs. US (383 US. 541 ). The landmark case Kent vs. United States, observed as the first chief juvenile rights case in our history. This important case established the collective standards that entitled juveniles the right to waivers and preliminary hearings, which ensured due process was served. This would ultimately decide if the court would shift Kent into adult jurisdiction or allow him to remain in the juvenile system.
Juveniles should not receive severe adult sentences for the murders they commit due to their underdeveloped prefrontal cortex not allowing them to fully process decisions and consequences at a young age. In fact, the prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain where decision making originates and does not fully develop until the age of 25. Furthermore, sentencing a juvenile as an adult while they are at an impulsive age and subject to peer pressure is resulting to cruel and unusual punishment as defined in the eighth amendment of the United States Bill of Rights. Eventually, imposing an adult verdict over a juvenile would inhibit a proper rehabilitation for the convicted juvenile. Hence, it is recommended that states that currently have life without parole or the death penalty laws, ratify a new law for juvenile convicts for proper sentencing and rehabilitation.
Garinger was a former juvenile court judge, so Garinger is a very credible source when it comes to the topic of juvenile criminals. To support Garinger’s credible usage of ethos, he demonstrates that in 2005, Supreme Court acknowledged that even though juveniles have committed terrible crimes such as homicide “juvenile offenders cannot with reliability be classified among the worst offenders” (6). This technique of providing the opinions of Supreme Court helps build Garinger’s credibility, and even more so that he is was a former juvenile court judges, so he most likely has a personal relationships with the Supreme Court. Readers feel sympathy to any juvenile who have been charged as adults and been sentenced to life without parole.
There are many controversial issues in our world today, and each of those issues is well debated by people who either support it or absolutely loathe it. One of those highly debated controversial issues is the juvenile death penalty. Since the Roper v. Simmons case in 2005, sentencing juveniles to death is considered illegal on the grounds that it violates the Eighth Amendment rights (Babcock 6). Although it is considered illegal in the United States, it is still a highly debated problem. There are people that believe the juvenile death penalty is an effective punishment and should not be illegal. On the other hand, many believe that the juvenile death penalty is an extreme punishment and should not be an option when it comes to sentencing juveniles. With such a critical issue, it is only considered fair to understand both sides opinions about the juvenile death penalty.
Today’s heated debate regarding the decision to try juveniles as adults has prompted individuals to construct opinionated and informational articles on the topic. The nation’s troubled youth are protected by groups that believe these offenders deserve rehabilitation and a chance to develop into a productive member of society. However, others believe that those committing certain heinous crimes should be tried as adults as a means to protect public safety, prevent second offenders, and “dispense justice in the form of punishment” (Aliprandini & Michael, 2016). Because these perspectives offer a reasonable and valid argument, juveniles responsible for major crimes
As a contrast, there are many differences between the adult and juvenile justice system. These differences consist of the right to a jury, the right to post bail, leniency of evidence, different court proceedings, the right to a public trial, and rehabilitation efforts. As for the purpose of this paper, we will dissect the differences of the two systems. Many appeals have been filed under the notion that a right to a jury should be upheld for juvenile offenders. The courts have voted against this action time and time again. These appeals are made on the assumption that, as noted earlier, adult crimes should be tried as adult crimes. However, the court rules on this matter while keeping the rehabilitation efforts of the juvenile courts in mind, as opposed to the more punitive measures. Their desire to see kids treated as kids are defined with their upholding of the law, and pushing rehabilitation to its max. But should rehabilitation be the prime focus when the act is of adult capacity; even in a child’s body? I do not think so. What are the percentages of rehabilitation success with adults for committed capital offenses? How are they going to differ when a child partakes in them? I think there is a
Supreme Court ruling Graham v. Florida (2010) banned the use of life without parole for juveniles who committed non-homicide crimes, and Roper v. Simmons (2005) abolished the use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders. They both argued that these sentences violated the 8th Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. While these landmark cases made great strides for the rights of minors passing through the criminal justice system, they are just the first steps in creating a juvenile justice system that takes into consideration the vast differences between adolescents and adults. Using sociological (Butler, 2010) and legal (Harvard Law Review, 2010) documents, this essay will explicate why the next such step to be taken is
The dilemma of whether or not to transfer juveniles to adult court has been a major topic, for many years, in the United States. Since 1899, judges have had the option to transfer juveniles to adult court. The major factor for transferring juveniles to adult court since then has been the seriousness of the offense. That being said, juveniles only make up a small portion of violent crimes in the United States. Only 16 percent of juvenile offenders in 2008 were arrested for violent crimes (Champion,2008). The problem is the determination of whether the crime is serious enough to be waived and transferred to adult court. Almost every state has statutory judicial waiver provisions, which grant juvenile judges the authority to transfer
In the United Sates, the first juvenile death penalty recorded occurred in 1642 of a minor under the age of 18 and the youngest person ever given the death penalty was ten-year old James Arcene in 1885 for robbery and murder (Strater, 1994-1995). By 1994 there were only 9 states, among which were New Jersey, Kansas, and Maryland, that prohibited the death penalties for juveniles. In 2003 the number of states permitting capital punishment declined to 21, a number of them allowing this punishment to those as young as 16 (Steinberg & Scott, 2003). Since the days of the first juvenile execution approximately 362 more juveniles have been
While many argue that juveniles who commit a serious crime such as murder should be treated as adults, juveniles under the age of eighteen should not be treated as adult. Juveniles are not mature enough and well developed psychologically, and, therefore, do not consider further consequences of their actions. In the article “ Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” by Thompson, he argues that juveniles
Many young adolescents who have committed horrendous crimes have been a huge topic amongst the Supreme Court. Whether young adolescents are viewed as innocent, naive children to the public, this not changed the fact they can commit brutal crimes. In spite of the fact that adolescents have committed brutal crimes such as murder, one needs to understand that their brains are not as fully developed as an adult brain would be. Adolescents should not be trialed to a life sentence or attend adult prisons; however, they should be punished for their actions and undergo rehabilitation programs to help them be prepared to fit in with the rest of society.
Serious crimes such as murder, burglary and rape have raised questions as to whether the young offenders should face severe punitive treatment or the normal punitive measures in juvenile courts. Many would prefer the juveniles given harsh punishment in order to discourage other young people from engaging in similar activities and to serve as a lesson to these particular offenders. However, results from previous studies indicate such punitive measures were neither successful nor morally acceptable. Instead, the solutions achieved have unfairly treated the youths and compromised the society status (Kristin, page 1).