The Pros And Cons Of Criminal Punishment

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The Eighth Amendment has, for a long stretch of time, had a ban on specific courses of action which fall under its category of “cruel and unusual punishments.” That being said; the Supreme Court ruled - in June of 2012 - that juveniles who committed murder could not be sentenced to life in prison due to the fact that it violated that ban. After thorough research, group discussions, and intake of multimedia and professional input: I have come to the conclusion that I - in fact - agree with the decision of the court that is indeed cruel, unusual and unreasonable to sentence juveniles to life sentences let alone death sentences. Juveniles are vulnerable and impressionable, they are influenced by their upbringing and they don't yet have sufficient brain development to make fully mature decisions. In a video shown to the class, post-prison inmate Alonsa Thomas was a 15-year-old runaway who felt overwhelmed and overbeared by the adult figures in his life; he felt the need to get away and start over to prove something to his elders. He met bad company whilst on his endeavor and consequentially ended up being persuaded into committing a crime in exchange for food and shelter over a period of a few days. The crime Alonza committed would cause him to spend over 13 years in federal prison for armed robbery and weapon usage in a gas station convenience store all at the young age of 15. Thomas speaks with his audience about his experiences in prison and the short and long term
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