Essay on Death Penalty for Youth Offenders

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Founded in the Principles of Babalyonian in 1780 BCE, the Code of Hammurabi first
established the action of retalitation and retribution of "an eye for an eye." Over time punishment
theories have developed from retribution, detterence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and reform.
Regardless of this development the death penalty has been in existence as far back as history can tell.
The death penalty is a concept of retribution, it's a simple and swift answer to physical or
pyschological harm done to a person by the victim or victim's family. The only difference now
from ancient times is that the retribution is done by our legal system and not the victim's family.
It is facinating how society has enhanced to what is is today in
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But in reality
murder crimes and violent crimes are more consistent with crimes of passion and sudden emotion.
Many are not planned thought out crimes, therefore detterence through the death penalty has minimal
detterence of violent crimes. The focus of our constitution in this issue is finding punishment through
justice not retribution.

In Roper v Simmons (2005) the Court debated whether it was cruel and unusual
punishment to execute a prisoner for a crime he committed when he was a minor. In previous
decisions, the Court had found it unconstitutional to execute offenders who were less than 16 at
the time of their crime, but had upheld executions of those 16 and 17 at the time of their crimes.
This demonstrates that in recent years youth offenders of ages 16 and 17 have been eligiable for
execution and many now await execution on death row. In the conclusion of the case of
Roper v Simmons the courts voted 5 to 4 on finding the execution of minors at the time of their crime
was a violation against evolving decency thus a violation of the eighth amendment. One is not
considered a minor at the age of 18 and can be tried as an adult, but how can we set a part a
16 or 17 year old from an 18 year old. Does an 18 year old know that much more about the world,
does he have that much more experience? In reality, an 18 year old is not an adult there is a
slight difference in the the ages if any.…

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