Justice for Juveniles
Capital punishment is the ultimate punishment that can be received by a convicted criminal in a capital offence. Capital punishment ultimately means the convicted criminal will be executed upon their execution date given to them by a court of law. Today, only 33 states allow the death penalty and after the Supreme Court case of Roper v. Simmons (2005), no states allow the death penalty for children under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. Juvenile offenders typically have some sort of obstacles that keep them from acting maturely or as a law-abiding citizen. These obstacles could be mental issues, lack of education, or financial pressures to help their family. These are things that can be fixed and thus, save a child’s life when they have acted out illegally, which is why this is a sanctity of life issue. A child’s life is very delicate and sacred. It is important that we continue to make capital punishment for juveniles under 18 illegal because it has been proven to be inhumane due to a juvenile’s incomplete biological structures and ultimately these juveniles should be held liable to the Juvenile Justice System and should be offered pro-social opportunities to get away from and learn from these poor decisions. The main argument held against juveniles sentenced to capital punishment, or execution is the March 2005 Supreme Court case Roper v. Simmons. The Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment was not to be given to any person who had committed a capital offence under the age of 18. The Supreme Court felt that this punishment for juveniles would fall under cruel and unusual punishments and was then eliminated from the Constitution. The Supreme Court felt that the juvenile’s Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment would be jeopardized if given execution. The fact that the Supreme Court has made it clear it is inhumane to execute a juvenile, this ruling should be upheld. The Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the death penalty for those...
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