An Argument For The Juvenile Death Penalty

1355 words - 5 pages

When I told my friend the topic for this essay she simply assumed I was against the juvenile death penalty. When I told her I supported the juvenile death penalty she was extremely shocked. She commented, “So you think a nine year old who accidently kills their mom should get the death penalty?” This seems to be many people’s idea of the juvenile death penalty, an overgeneralization and misunderstanding of the types of crimes and situations that would warrant the death penalty. This is not what the juvenile death penalty is. In reality the juvenile death penalty is reserved for the absolute worst juvenile offenders whose crimes are so terrible and gruesome that there is no other option to punish them. Unfortunately, most people think of the juvenile death penalty as “killing kids” as my professor did. In reality, this is a far too broad of a statement. It is like saying that everyone, everything they go outside will get struck by lightning. It is just simply not true. Only .05% of juvenile population are arrested for violent crimes (Juvenile Arrest Rate Trends). Of that .05% only .001% are murders which puts the chances of a juvenile being executed for this crime at .0000003%. This means that if all 7 billion people on this planet were juveniles who have been arrested for a violent crime, only 210 of them would actually be executed for their crimes.
The reality is the juvenile death penalty does not ”kill kids” because the juveniles who commit crimes that are severe enough for the death penalty are far different than ordinary kids. Kids are tiny humans. They like to play with Barbie’s and Hot Wheels. They love to learn and grow. They love the people around them. “These are the tiny humans. These are children. They believe in magic. They play pretend. There is fairy dust in their IV bags. They hope, and they cross their fingers, and they make wishes” (Rhimes). The “kids” who have the possibility of the death penalty are juvenile offenders. Juvenile offenders don’t play with Barbie’s or Hot Wheels. They don’t believe in magic or play pretend. They don’t think there is fairy dust in IV bags and they don’t hope. They don’t cross their fingers and they don’t make wishes. True juvenile offenders find joy and pleasure in causing others pain and often times killing. The juvenile death penalty does not “kill kids” it executes the absolute worst juvenile offenders.
James Bulger was born in 1990. He was a very happy child. He was very loved by his mother and father. He was their first born and they would have done anything for him. At only two years old James was extremely intelligent and had great potential. One day little James went to New Strand Shopping Centre with his mom (Scott). James and his mother went into Tym's butcher's shop on the lower level of the centre. James was wandering by the door while his mom placed an order for some lamb chops. James’ mother was momentarily distracted with paying for the meat. In this moment James was grabbed...

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