Imagine being fifteen, living in a cage for the rest of your life and dying in the hands of your cellmates. This has been is the case for more than two thousand American teenagers who are sentenced to die in prison, many of which did not even commit the crime. One person in particular was a boy named Ray; he agreed to go with his friend to rob a bank, but did not know his friend had intentions of killing someone. Ray did not even have a weapon, but his soul swooned slowly as he heard the verdict and can recall clearly the tears that dripped down his face when the judge sentenced him to life. “Tick, tick, tick,” is the sound of the metaphoric clock that ticks away slowly as juvenile youth continue to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Teenagers who are convicted of serious crimes should not be tried as adults and sentenced to life in prison without any possibility of parole because they lack the maturity and brainpower to make responsible decisions with the knowledge of their consequences, teenagers ignore the process of rehabilitation to gain the possibility of a second chance, and many teens are sentenced unfairly due to the aspects of one’s life.
One important difference between a teenager and an adult is the development of the brain. There have been studies through MRI machines that concluded that the part of the brain that involves critical thinking thins between ages twelve and fifteen. The grey part of the brain involves the section that contains the human’s ability to function in planning, impulse control, and reasoning. This part of the brain spurts in growth during the end of puberty, which is around the late teen years and after the time when any crime was committed. A study done at UCLA showed that a growth in the temporal and parietal lobes spurts from the age of six to thirteen, then quickly dies out during puberty. With these studies, researchers were able to compare the brains of twenty year olds...
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