The Legal System Of The English Common Law Emerged Essay

1246 Words Apr 25th, 2016 null Page
When the legal system of the English common law emerged, it declared that the King had the ultimate authority over children; thus, children were assets. Throughout centuries, children were considered “little adults,” and “property,” consequently, exploitation of children as laborers was a customary occurrence. Child labor, unfortunately, was a necessity for families who suffered from severe poverty (Davin, 2008).
During colonial times, children were perceived as “property of the parents,” (Hinton, Sims, Adams, & West, 2007, p. 471) hence, parents were allowed to “classify their child as stubborn and seek state sanction, including capital punishment” (Barrow, Rufo, & Arambula, 2013, p. 51). The critical and significant social issue that arose from this belief was that children were no longer viewed as small and innocent, but instead children were judged as adults. When punishment was administered, children, juveniles, and adults were handled in the same way—there was not an age distinction in the punishment received.
The imperative problem at hand are the consequences of being sentenced to life without parole. Although over the recent years theories and laws have continued to evolve, there is one aspect that remains the same: some, not all, children, juveniles, and adult offenders are given the opportunity to bypass certain sanctions of their punishment. Thus, the question remains, why must juveniles be sentenced to life without parole, instead of having the opportunity to…

Related Documents