Capital Punishment Vs. Juveniles

Many people around the world believe a prison is a safe place for criminals or felons that have committed a crime. Those criminals could have been in jail for many reasons. It could be for murder, kidnapping, burglary, status offenses, or even possession of drugs.

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Sometimes criminals tend to break out of prison for a sentence of life, because of the attempt. One of the most hated consequences for crimes during trials is the Death Penalty/Capital Punishment. Capital Punishment is very harsh to people in many ways. Not only are they in prison, but they will eventually be executed on a particular date. The execution can be done in different ways. The most popular ways for execution methods are the electric chair, the lethal injections, and the gas chamber (Description of Execution methods). Furthermore, capital punishment is a problem because it is inhumane, it does not fix the person, and it costs an enormous amount of money. For Juveniles, I think capital punishment should be off limits because they are so young. That is why the law takes special steps to protect children from the consequences of their actions and often seek to stop the harm caused when children make wrong choices by giving them a second chance. But the state, the constitutionality of the executing persons for crimes committed when they were under the age of 18 is an issue that the Supreme Court has evaluated in several cases since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. In Thompson v. Oklahoma 1988, the court recognized that the age of the offender was an important consideration when trying to determine how the individual should be punished. The court had endorsed the proposition they should be attached to a crime committed by a juvenile than to a comparable crime committed by an adult.

What’s right?

Killing another human is not the solution. We should not be killing another human being. Criminals behind bars are people just like us. The Juveniles know they have done something wrong, that is why they are doing their time in jail. And some juveniles may also receive some medical attention or counseling to help them from making the mistakes again. Everyone in the world makes mistakes, and we must learn from them. Even though they have done horrible things, we should not punish them by bringing them to death. Bringing them to death does not solve anything. There are many more criminals out there that can still bring harm to family and friends. These prisoners’ actions should not determine whether they will be executed. We need to treat these criminals in prison like people instead of little bugs outside. Just imagine if I had a family member that is a juvenile, and he has done some wrong things in his or her life. Then he or she has to go on trial and the judge gave them a harsh sentence of life and possibly the death sentence. There will be so many people be effective from this trial. They will feel terrified for their children going on trial. Some families will not accept this and begin to protest against this sentence. This will put the justice system on notice on capital punishment to juveniles.

A certain eyewitness thinks the death penalty should end. Ronald Carlson’s sister was murdered in 1983 in Texas (Death Penalty Information Center). But when Ronald witnessed the execution in 1998 of the person who committed the murder of his sister, he had a change of heart. Carlson had no idea of what to think about Capital Punishment. Ronald Carlson had said he had no opinion on capital punishment before his sister’s death and remembers feeling hatred and “would have killed those responsible with my own hands if given the opportunity.” But he came to realize that watching the execution will just leave him with horrors and emptiness inside when he was experiencing when his sister was murdered. Carlson said he sympathizes with other victims’ families, understanding how they would want to see those who killed their loved ones suffer the same fate. But Ronald said, “Our justice system should not be dictated by vengeance.” Ronald knows it is time to end the death penalty cycle of violence now.

Pros and Cons For Juveniles

Even though I believe capital punishment is not good for juveniles there are some good and bad if it was legal. One of the pros of having capital punishment for juveniles is that It helps prevents crime. The s system can be violated over and over again leading underage teenagers to commit a crime without it reflecting into their adult records. A lot of those who have offended the law in their youth are aware of the law and know what they can get away with. With the introduction of the death penalty in the juvenile justice system, committing punishable crimes may not even enter the minds of a potential offender. The other pro is that it prevents juvenile offenders from turning into adult offenders. When a juvenile commits a serious felony, they go on to become adult offenders. If the death penalty is introduced for certain crimes, it will stop underage individuals from leading the same life when they turn into adults. The con I would say about having capital punishment for juveniles is that juveniles are underdeveloped and immature. From researchers, the areas of the brain responsible for reason, impulse control and decision making are not fully developed in juveniles. As such, they shouldn’t be held responsible for what they do.

Another reason the death penalty is cruel is that it does not treat mental illnesses. The actions of the criminals’ parents actions before they were pregnant could cause their child to have a mental illness. The illness they have grown up with will be there for the rest of their lives. One of the most common mental illnesses is a bipolar disorder (American Civil Liberties Union). The mental illness in people can determine how people act or treat others. Some people could have long-term illnesses, and that could change their traits. Some illnesses prisoners can suffer from may cause them to attempt or harm other individuals (American Civil Liberties Union). A criminal’s illness should determine if they are sentenced to a death penalty. Their illness is something they cannot control. It is not their fault that they have that problem. It could have been the way that they were raised or the people they have been around that influenced them. What we should be doing is giving them therapy or taking them to a rehabilitation center.

The most common reason capital punishment should be abolished is that it costs more money in the United States. All across the nation, we are spending too much money to kill off prisoners. Maryland’s death penalty case average cost is $137 million in the United States (Amnesty International USA). Not to mention that Kansas’s death penalty cases cost $1.27 million (Amnesty International USA). These death penalty cases are also causing us to lose money. Not only is capital punishment expensive, but the trials are expensive as well. The money we are receiving is not only going towards taxes but are also going towards putting criminals to death. Instead of spending money on capital punishment, it should go to treatments and therapy. These people may need treatment but do not have the cash, and instead, it is being spent on death row.

The death penalty is so expensive because the constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for capital cases. This process is for the innocent will not be harmed. The money spent on capital punishment started in 1978, And California is most famous for its death sentence. California could possibly save $1 billion by replacing the death penalty with permanent imprisonment. Then California taxpayers pay $90,000 for death row prisoners every year (Death Penalty Focus).

Conclusion

To conclude, we are hurting each other with the death penalty. We are not gaining anything from execution, but we are losing everything, such as money. Capital Punishment can be a scary thing to face in a trial. Perhaps, if you had a juvenile that has done something to get himself or herself in prison, then he or she was in trial, and the judge sentenced him or her to death row, we would be mad about the decision. Parents would not want their child to be executed from this world. It is the same situation for older criminals in prison. They are all someone’s daughter or son. We would do everything in our power as a mother or father to make sure they keep away from capital punishment. Furthermore, a debate over capital punishment should be abolished because it is inhumane, it does not fix anyone, and it costs a significant amount of money. And it cost a high amount of money.   

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