Essay Juvenile Death Penalty

1845 Words Mar 10th, 2006 8 Pages
Death at 18? One of the most controversial issues in the country today is addressed in the question, "Should the death penalty be applied to juveniles, and if so how young is too young?" The death penalty has been in the United States for many, many years, and the United States still has yet to figure out how to solve all its dilemmas and whether or not the penalty is right or wrong. Debates about the use of the death penalty for juveniles have grown more intense because of the recent demand for harsher punishment for serious and violent crimes.
The death penalty has been in effect for many years and although some states have ruled it unconstitutional, it is still being used in many states today. The very first juvenile ever to be put
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Even more alarming is the fact that all the executions that have resulted due to the sentencing from a crime of rape or attempted rape by juveniles have been black juvenile men, forty in all. Currently sitting on death row, anticipating execution, sixty-five percent of the juveniles are of minority descent. Gender too appears to be a factor in who is transferred from juvenile courts to adult criminal courts as the offender in ninety-eight percent of these cases is male while only four cases involved females (Potter). In a society that values equality it would seem that we are not treating criminals equally among themselves. While this might seem like a coincidence, there are too many signs which point to an unjust system which unfortunately has a major impact on the outcome of many criminal cases. Looking back at the juvenile justice systems, its purpose is to hold juvenile offenders accountable for the criminal acts which they commit, while providing them with treatment, rehabilitation and programs designed to prevent reoccurring criminal patterns. Juvenile courts, along with the medical and social community, recognize that there are many developmental differences between adults and juveniles. Therefore, it is their goal to employ a rehabilitation system that is developmentally appropriate for each individual it serves. However, with the passage of revised death penalty

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