March 6, 2007
Juveniles and the Death Penalty
Today, minors are using their age as a shield against capital punishment. Adolescents believe that since they are not eighteen they will not be punished for the crimes they commit. The death penalty is appropriate for juveniles in certain circumstances, such as murder and brutal crimes that are considered capital offenses. The rate at which the death penalty is carried out, as well as inconstancies in sentencing does not make it a deterrent. There should not be an age limit in all capital offenses for those who could face the death penalty. Adolescents should know what he or she are doing is wrong, and is a crime. An age limits does not predict when one is able to handle responsibilities. What they do is assume is that one should be able to take on new responsibilities, laws, and issues. One is not suddenly capable of driving at sixteen, and not immediately given the knowledge of the voting system at eighteen. How does a specific age predict when a person knows right from wrong? Though many people have different view points on capital punishment, present the background, arguments, and information on juveniles and the death penalty need to be analyzed.
Capital punishment is the lawful infliction of death as a punishment. Since ancient times, it has been used for a wide variety of offenses. "The Bible prescribes death for murder and many other crimes including kidnapping and witchcraft. By 1500 in England, only major felonies carried the death penalty- treason, murder, larceny, burglary, rape, and arson. By 1700, however, Parliament had enacted many new capital offences and hundreds of persons were being put to death each year" (Palmer, Louis J.). The reformation of the death penalty began in Europe in the 1750's. The jurists Ceseare Beccaria, Voltaire, Jeremy Bentham, and Samuel Romilly argued that the death penalty was cruel, overrated as a... [continues]
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