Jamie McRobie ENG 215
Prof. Jeffrey Kersh
February 17, 2013
The topic that I selected is, should minors who commit violent crimes be tried as adults? I chose this topic for many reasons but, two main reasons would be one because I feel that this is a big topic that people have issues with. The second reason is it is very personal to me as my brother started getting into trouble as a teenager. My thesis statement for the first paragraph would be, Sentencing a teenager as an adult is an issue that is in the forefront of the US Supreme Court. Should a teen be sentenced to life in prison without parole? I think that my 3 major audiences would be parents of minor’s that have been in trouble or someone who has had a family member hurt by a minor. Sentencing a teenager as an adult is an issue that is in the forefront of the US Supreme Court. Should a teen be sentenced to life in prison without parole? One ethical issue is a teenager, say 13 years old, sentenced to life without parole typically would serve in the realm of 57 years [using a 70 year life expectancy], whereas an adult, age 18, given the same sentence would serve 52 years; and an adult, age 35, would only serve 35 years. Some of the problems associated with this sentence are 1) was this the offenders first offense and if yes, should they have been first given an opportunity to be rehabilitated through a less institutionalized program, such as a group home; 2) was the offenders social environment void of any structure, discipline and/or nurturing; 3) is the offender mentally prepared and capable of interacting with older inmates; and 4) the cost to sustain a prisoner from the age of 13 is going to be much greater than that of a prisoner incarcerated at age 35.
In my opinion, the judicial system has a lot of work to do regarding equality of punishments as well. As stated earlier, there is a racial difference being made when sentences are