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Capital Punishment For Juveniles I Believe This To Be A Well Written Arguementive Paper Stating Juveniles Should Not Recieve Death Penalty

1189 words - 5 pages

Debate about the use of the death penalty for juveniles has grown more intense because of the demand for harsher punishment for serious and violent juvenile offenders and numerous contentions to the death penalty's legality. A recent poll of Oklahoma residents revealed that 62.8% of those surveyed would support a legislative ban on the execution of juvenile offenders if the alternative sentencing option of life without the possibility of parole were offered (The Oklahoman). As the poll shows, many believe that the justice system should not identify people under the age of 18 in the same category as grown men and women, and replacements to capital punishment need to be in place. Juvenile courts have recognized that there are developmental differences between adults and juveniles and advocated appropriate rehabilitative systems. Still, with the passage of revised death penalty statutes and the increase in violent crimes, the juvenile justice system has seen a shift toward stronger policies and punishments. Supporters see the use of the death penalty as a deterrent against similar crimes or the most appropriate method for punishing certain severe crimes. Opponents, however, believe that there is no deterrent factor, it is inherently cruel, and children should not receive this punishment. Are children as mature as adults? Does trying a child as an adult constitute them as equal? Juveniles should not receive capital punishment when adolescents are impulsive and lack experiences that give their adult counterparts superior judgment skills; they cannot and should not be held to same level of accountability as adults, and better alternatives are available.Of course, those who advocate the death penalty for juveniles believe executions are the appropriate punishment for certain criminals committing specific crimes suchlike murder. Advocates assure that by executing murderers it prevents them from murdering again and, thereby, do save innocent life. Supporters say this is proven when it is "[estimated] that convicted criminals free on parole and probation [. . .] commit 'at least' 84,800 violent crimes every year, including 13,200 murders [...]" (Sharp). They also argue that murderers have so violated the human rights of their victims and society that it should be a moral imperative that they never again have that opportunity. One brought up the point, "Should we err on the side of caution and protect the innocent and honor the memories of those murdered, or should we give murderers the opportunity to harm again?" (Sharp). Obviously, those executed cannot murder again. In addition, many capital punishment partisans dispute that, "opponents equate execution and murder" when it is simply a valid punishment. Supporters disagree with their opponents and say that anti-death penalty factions' belief is "that if two acts have the same ending or result, then those two acts are morally equivalent" (Sharp). Well, guess again, no sensible person would see kidnapping...

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