Should Juveniles Be Given the Death Penalty?
Strayer University, Morrow, GA
Larry P. Harmon
Dr Zachory Kirk
I believe that juveniles should not be given the death penalty because they are too young to understand their actions and the consequences that come with their actions. The Supreme Court has recently decided to reexamine the constitutionality of executing individuals under the age of 18 at the time of an offense. Capital punishment is one of the most controversial issues in the United States today. Public debates center around cost, deterrence, wrongful convictions, and other miscarriages of justice, bias, and arbitrariness in the imposition of death sentences. The importance of public opinion in the debate about juvenile executions merits closer examination, given the division of the court on this matter, changing trends, and the possibility that the issue may resurface at a later date. When it comes to sentencing juveniles for a felony crime, the court system needs to look at every option available prior to sentencing juveniles. Most juveniles are unaware of their actions and don’t think about the end result of their crimes. Most juveniles commit crimes just for attention or to be part of a gang. Juveniles don’t think about the crimes they are committing they are just committing them to be a part of something. Most murders are committed in the heat of passion or while a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Murders do not expect to be caught or to be sentenced to death, so the threat of the death penalty has no deterrent effect on them. Yes, it will deter that person from ever committing another murder, but so would a life sentence. A life sentence is just; capital punishment is revenge. The courts need to take a good look at each individual case and determine the reason why juveniles are committing felony crimes, whether it is gang associated, peer pressure, or a lack of supervision in the...