Pros And Cons Of Minors Life Without Parole

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In 2012 the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to give minors life in prison without the opportunity for parole. This case built off a previous case in 2010, Graham v. Florida, which banned giving minors life without parole for crimes excluding murder. This most recent case, Miller v. Alabama, banned life without parole for all minors regardless of the crime. Both these conclusions did not take into account the families of the victims of these crimes. The basis behind these rulings only benefits one party. Minors should be able to receive the life sentence without parole.
66 percent of juveniles arrested will become repeat offenders within 24 months of their release and 49 percent of these offenders will commit another crime
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In many cultures adulthood began at the start of puberty. The term adolescence wasn’t officially “coined” until the industrial revolution when they wanted to pro long schooling before children were sent to work (teenkillers.org). Psychologist Jean Piaget stated that a person acquires “formal operational thinking” by the age of twelve. This form of thinking is the most mature and abstract thinking stage in development (teenkillers.org). This is why criminals should be sentenced based on their crimes not their age. A minor should be able to receive life in prison without the possibility of parole if the crime warrants such a sentence. These teens should be under the same standards as any person who commits a crime such as murder. The guideline is whether or not they had the ability to form intent. If the criminal minor or not achieves that standard, they should be sentenced accordingly, regardless of age. Dr. Jerome Kagan, a developmental psychologist from Harvard, conducted a brain study that showed that adolescents do not typically have reduced legal culpability for the crimes they commit …show more content…
This defense held up in court as the Supreme Court ruled this sentence unconstitutional. Groups such as this one give statistics such as that 80 percent of juvenile lifers experienced violence in their household (fairsentencingofyouth.org). They believe that somehow this makes the juvenile less culpable because of the way their brain developed. They also stated that juveniles are “more given to impulsivity, recklessness, and are more susceptible to peer pressure” (Coleman para 8). They say that because the minors are in a different stage of brain development they have a greater chance of rehabilitation. Another one of their claims is that every other country has banned life without the possibility of parole being given to minors. However their strongest supporting claim remains the issue of brain development. They believe that minors do not have the brain maturity to take full culpability for their actions. Another supporting point they use is the sense of self worth. Groups against life sentences for minors state that if given the life sentence, “you have nothing to gain, nothing to lose. You are given absolutely no incentive to improve yourself as a person” (Coleman para

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