Punishing Juveniles Who Kill Analysis

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Life without parole sounds fine for a 35-year-old man who commits a heinous crime, right? What about life without parole for a 15-year-old boy? That is my question I am wrestling with in this essay. I’m wondering how severe of a punishment is appropriate for adolescents. Studies have shown that people under the age of 18 are not capable of making major decisions and are unable to think properly. Their brains are underdeveloped and they are more susceptible to peer pressure. Humans are trying to find themselves throughout their entire life, but they are specifically impressionable under the age of 18. Adolescents definitely do deserve punishment, being immature does not excuse a crime. It is where the line needs to be drawn is the question. …show more content…
He starts off with the dilemma for courts when juveniles kill, committing the “ultimate offense” causes a similar sense of outrage that adults would. Legislature is stuck between two impulses regarding this; whether to treat minors the same as adults or let them off easier. Then Appelbaum goes into introducing the two cases that produced the issue for supreme court; Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs. Both cases involved a 14-year-old male, robbery, and murder. Both cases were presented in adult criminal courts, convicted of murder, and appealed. Then goes into describing the evolution of the juvenile justice system. A movement in the 19th and 20th century resulted in juveniles being dealt with in a court separate from adults. Juvenile courts used to be less formal than adult courts and used rehabilitation methods rather than punishment. In the 1960s justices were required to increase protection of juveniles. Juvenile courts still differed significantly than adult courts, but juveniles were now more likely to be tried as adults and would receive similar punishments. Then he finishes by bringing up the Miller case again, advocating to extend limits on the punishment of minors. It states that there is a dilemma for legislatures and courts when juveniles kill. The dilemma is whether juveniles are too under developed to receive maximum punishment or if they commit a heinous crime they should receive punishment worthy of the crime. Which is directly related to my question. Appelbaum seems to think that the severity of punishment for minors should be lowered and that we should look into further restrictions on the juvenile court. He suggests more restrictions on the juvenile justice system, to ban the death penalty and life without parole, and to focus on the rehabilitation model. This article seems to be reliable because of its use of facts instead of bias opinions. He also uses background

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