The One Law That I Would Change(Curfews)

Topics: United States Constitution, Law, Crime Pages: 1 (410 words) Published: November 2, 2008
The one law that I would change is the law of curfews for minors. The 14th amendment of the United States Constitution states that any state shall not “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." However, many cities and states in the U.S. currently enforce curfew laws that deny young teens under the age of 18 their right to be in public places or to drive after certain hours. These laws are punishing minors for exercising their constitutional rights in the same way that adults do without such punishment; these minors are mostly causing no harm, and do not deserve to be discriminated against by the government in the way they are.

Many believe that teens are responsible for a large percentage of crimes, particularly violent ones, and that having a curfew in effect helps lower crime rates. This is simply not true. All minors shouldn’t be punished for something that only a few do. As a matter of fact, in some cases, applying curfew laws have actually increased juvenile crime rates. Teens begin to associate police officers with the curfew, and police officers begin to see any minor that is in violation of curfew as a criminal. This tension may lead to crimes being committed by those who may not normally break laws. What if the government decided that in order to reduce crime rates, no U.S. citizen will be allowed to be in public after 11:00 p.m.? Most people would probably say that the government would never get away with such a ridiculous scheme. But in the case of curfew laws for minors, that is exactly what the government is doing – denying United States citizens the right to live their lives freely, regardless of age. Curfews unfairly confine all young teens based on the actions of a small percentage of their population. Not only are mandatory curfews unfair to law-abiding minors in attempting to reduce crime, but they have actually led to...
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