In August of 2004, Robert Acuna was sentenced to the death penalty. His crime? Shooting his two elderly neighbors, James and Joyce Carroll, "execution style" and then proceeding to steal their car (Liptak). This heinous crime only adds to the current debate: should juveniles be sentenced as adults? The answer is yes, there should be no leniency displayed towards minors who commit the same serious crimes as adults. Although young, juveniles should be capable of understanding the serious extent of the crime they commit. Sentencing juveniles as adults will prevent perpetrators of major crimes, such as mass murder, from walking free. Furthermore, judges have enough experience to know whether to try a minor as an adult or not. Juvenile sentencing as adults is not a wrong but rather a form of justice in the face of rising teen violence.
Picture a mother receiving a phone call from the local police station that her ten-year-old son is being held in a jail cell for stealing school supplies and is facing charges of five years in prison; his mother weeps as she knows it is her fault for not being able to afford them. This has been an issue in the juvenile system since the early 1800s. The juvenile justice system has not been strong enough to find an appropriate sentence for small crimes committed by children who are not living stable lives. In the 1800s, they believed that the death sentence was one of the only ways to teach people that crime is not permissible, and even if children committed a very low-level crime, they could be put to death. Since then, the justice system has gone through phases of accepting the death sentence for children, to banning the death sentence for children under 18, and then banning the death sentence and life without parole for children completely. Many of these children have not had a fair chance in the system and have been punished for crimes that others may have done, so this problem must be fixed. Although most people would say that juveniles should be punished for their crimes, the community should be better involved in helping these children to know that these crimes are not allowed, and if they are committed, the community should be there to help these children learn from their mistakes.
Regardless of age, a killer is a killer. A killer can be the daily customer you have at your job or the child you’re babysitting. “The Supreme Court justices would be wise as well as compassionate to strike a balance: Make juvenile offenders responsible for their actions but don't completely rob them of hope. And this should apply not only to the inmates who were 14 at the time of their crimes but to the remaining 2,497 who were 15 to 18 years old,” (Ellison 19). Kids make mistakes all the time, that doesn’t mean we should take their life away from them. With overlooking the listed factors in court when sentencing a juvenile, this will improve the number of children in prisons. Not all of these children partake in the act because of evil, but merely because of
Juvenile Death Penalty 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
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
Juveniles should be charged as adults in cases of extreme crimes, such as first-degree murder and rape. This is so that Justice can be delivered, the punishment can be proportionate the crime(s), it acts as a deterrent against future crimes Everyone, especially in matters of serious crimes, should get the Justice
Research Paper: Death Penalty for Juveniles Capital punishment for juveniles is one of the most controversial topics to ever be explored in society and in the criminal justice system. The death penalty is a rare occurrence amongst juveniles since it is so arguable as to whether they should be tried as
If a ruthless fifteen-year old killed your mother, how would you want the inhumane murderer to be punished? How would you feel if you never got to see your mother alive again while her killer served only a short sentence before being released from jail? Clearly, one would want the
For example, sixteen-year old Sarah Kruzan was sentenced to life without parole for murdering her pimp. However, she is now 29 years of age, and says how she “deserved the punishment and that it is not okay to take anyone’s life” (Serwer, 1).In the same way how Sara Kruzan understood the wrong in her actions, minors can do the same and change their behaviour, allowing them to be respected by society once again. Another teen killer, Jacob Ind murdered his parents while they were laying in bed. However, Jacob and his brother were physically and emotionally abused by their parents. Years later, Jacob told a local news station that he killed his parents, because he was too “weak to directly confront them and that it was of pure selfishness” (Serwer,
A murder is a murder, no matter what the age. Today, teenagers are committing crimes no one should be committing. They are stealing cars, lying, ruining property and killing. These juveniles all go into different categories. Some commit crimes for the thrill and do not regret it and some act on impulse and wish it never happened. How will the government punish these juveniles for their crimes? This question leads to a variety of consequences and the life sentence should be highly considered. The life sentence in prison should be an option for juveniles, however, there must be an extreme crime, like murder, in order to be given this sentence.
Should a kid be put on death row for the killing of their parents? In most cases, i would say no, especially if the child has a mental disorder or has experienced something unimaginably traumatizing. Not in all cases should someone be held accountable for their actions, as in the case of Eric Smith, on january 22nd 1980. At the age of 13, he blamed his mother for his big glasses, freckles and red hair. Eric has a disorder that causes him to rage uncontrollable. After he was arrested, he was not given a death sentence, showing that not everyone can be fully accountable for their actions. It is not reasonable for everyone to be fully accountable for their actions especially when there are multiple factors involved.
In today’s society, it would be assumptive that the juvenile justice system would take the necessary precautions to preserve and or rehabilitate the juveniles that are present in its system. With this in mind adolescents still, face sentencing of life without the possibility of parole and trials transferred to adult court. When you think of adolescence, the term development or puberty may come to mind. Teens or pre- teens are still in developmental stages of their lives and tend not to think or act on the level that an adult would. Juvenile justice focuses on the mere ideal that juveniles are not adults and should not be treated or tried as such. Heinous crimes, such as murder, could possibly draw a wedge between this thought. Taking the life
A 16 year old boy is at the peak of their adolescent life, learning and discovering about puberty, maturity, right and wrong and future life goals. On the other hand, a man of 25 has matured, lived long enough to have made both good and bad judgments and has already been in the process of achieving those life goals they once thought of as a teenager. In a given situation, is it ethical to hold these two age groups, with mentalities that are worlds apart, to the same standards and punishments in the justice system? Until Roper v. Simmons in 2005, the justice system did just that, treat the actions of 16 year old with the same consequences as if they had been committed by an adult. In Roper v. Simmons the United States Supreme Court declared
In 2005, the Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons struck down the death penalty for juveniles. 22 Defendants had been executed for crimes committed as juveniles since 1976 ("Juvenile Offenders Who Were On Death Row | Death Penalty Information Center"). From the research I have gone through Tennessee has never executed a juvenile, to date the youngest person to be on death row is Sedrick Clayton, 33. (Courtesy: Tennessee Department of Correction).
Should the death penalty be given for sexually assaulting a minor? In the article, Is rape a crime worth of the death penalty, was written by Ryan J. Winter who has a PhD in Psychology. In his article, he informs the reader of a past occurrence that happened in 1998 where the stepfather raped his stepdaughter and he was sentence to death. Dr.Winter also states that the death penalty against sexually abusing a minor is only available in five states. It also states that it exempts mentally retarded and people under the age of eighteen from the death penalty. Lastly, he advises the reader about prejudice among jurors. That it is challenging to find suitable jurors for sex offence crime cases because of the jurors’ personal beliefs.