Grand Canyon University JUS 250- Critical Issues
April 20, 2012
Aging Out of Crime and the Unexpected Consequences of Tougher Punishments
Did you ever wonder if our youth will ever outgrow the need to commit the crimes that they do? There have been numerous studies that most of our youth do outgrow the need to commit crimes. Usually by the age of 20 years old most juveniles age out of crime (Robert J. Sampson, 2005). For those who do not age out of crime by the second offense there are severe consequences that our society with higher moral standards, more severe punishments, and the placement of the three strikes laws place on these individuals.
The three strikes law was installed to stop violent offenders from the continuation of their violent behaviors. In most cases the three strikes law works in keeping repeat offenders off the streets and keeps the victims of these crimes safe from further persecution. Although the three strikes law works it also increases the homicide rates. In many cases the repeat offenders who realize that they will receive the same punishment no matter what the crime decide to increase the crime to suite the punishment that they are inevitable to receive.
More than half of the third strike offenders that are in prison today involve neither violent nor serious felonies. Even shoplifting can be escalated to a third strike felony bringing a sentence of life in prison for those with prior convictions of petty theft (Diaz, 2011). Many felons that realize that they will receive the same punishment for murder as petty theft end up killing their victims and police officers to avoid detection and apprehension (Marano, 2002). In California the three strikes laws have been approved to involve youth offenders as well as adults (Egelko, 2010). If two crimes are committed when the offender is a youth those two...