Death Penalty For Teens Analysis

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In the article Death Penalty for Teens, Frank W. Heft JR thinks that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment for teens. While David Smith thinks that the death penalty for teens is not cruel and unusual punishment, they both have different views points about this matter and they do not agree. Heft and Smith disagree on juvenile capital punishment in three different areas, physical maturity which includes age, state law versus federal law, and emotional maturity that refers to the ability to understand, and manage their emotions and the ability to respond to the environment in the appropriate manner. Because of their disagreement on age maturity, and emotional maturity, federal law and states law, it leaves the reader undecided …show more content…
On the age accountability, Heft said that they are not old enough to be responsible for their actions. They are still viewed as children under the law and by the American society that they live in. While Smith argues that it is very unrealistic to assume that all persons that belong in a certain age group share the same degree of immaturity.The maturity is a factor that varies from individual to individual so they have to be treated like adults and be responsible for their violent actions. Heft and Smith’s points are realistic and well developed but leave the reader in the middle on this situation as undecided on the matter. Thus on the issue of emotional maturity, Heft argues that the juveniles face a lot of internal and external pressure. They do not have control over these externals, including family environment and peer pressure that influence them to act stupid and do the thing that they do not think can have negative impact on their life. Smith argues that the death penalty states have not uniformly accepted any particular age minimum for capital punishment. No limitation is placed that may be imposed toward emotional immaturity and psychological immaturity. In this case too both have well developed their argument and this leaves the reader with no position toward this issues regarding their emotional immaturity if the can be treated like the adults while they do not exercise the same ability of judgement like the adults. In addition Heft says that the capital punishment have to be federal law and Smith argues that it has to be state law. It does not have to be either State law or federal law, but both federal and state law have to be together in this situation and choose one law that would be applied in all the states toward the juvenile who commit a crime. The law that they will come up with will help to see whether

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