How would you feel if you were 14 years old and considered the youngest child sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole? Well, Lionel Tate is living that reality because in 1999 while wrestling he killed a 6 year old girl by putting her in a head lock and slamming her head into a table. He was convicted of first degree murder, even though the jury did not believe his actions of killing or injuring her where intentional. Considering this can happen to your family, do you think juveniles should be charged as adults?
I believe juveniles should not be tried as an adult. My primary reason is because they have the ability to be rehabilitated. Second, there are many dangers associated with juveniles in prison. Lastly, the harsh sentencing laws make it easier to try juveniles as adults.
The Juvenile Justice System was founded on principal that children are different from adults, and therefore should focus on rehabilitation, not punishment. In Pennsylvania, the juvenile justice system provides for the supervision, care and rehabilitation of juveniles by ensuring community protect accountability, and competency. Due to the fact that children are uniquely positioned for reform and redemption there is great potential for rehabilitation of juveniles. .According to Terence T. Gorski, who is an internationally recognized expert on substance abuse, mental health, violence, & crime and others qualified professionals; scientific studies have determined that the human brain undergoes continuous development up to the age of twenty-one. Adam Ortiz who is with the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center also states, "Because the brains of juveniles, particularly the frontal lobes, are not fully developed, youths lack the ability to perform critical adult functions, such as plan, anticipate consequences, and control impulses “Although juveniles should be punished for their crimes, they are not as responsible as adults. Therefore,...
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"LBJ School Releases First-Ever Comprehensive Policy Study on Trying and Sentencing Children as Adults, "From Time-Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System"" Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. .
"Lionel Tate." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 June 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. .
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