Rights As An American Essay

1109 words - 5 pages

Every American has three rights that cannot be taken away from them. The three rights include: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. This is stated in the Declaration of Independence but, a person's "life" right is becoming jeopardized among teens who are committing crimes. The Eight Amendment banned cruel and unusual punishment, but people have tried to get teens sentenced to life in prison without any chance of some type of parole. A child will be treated like one until they do something bad. Of course, when they commit a crime, they have to pay the consequences. On the other hand, giving them a life sentence is unconstitutional thanks to the Eight Amendment. Before giving them their ...view middle of the document...

In "Juveniles Don't Deserve Life Sentences", the author states that the judges need to make sure that the child is not acting on behalf of another person. For example, "the Supreme Court recognized that... Juvenile offenders cannot with reliability be classified among the worst offenders: they are less mature, more vulnerable to peer pressure..."(93). Teens and children, even in school face peer pressure with their friends to do things they do not wanna do, and that are not crime related but still influence their decisions. Kids, in general do not have the self confidence to stand up and say no, they just go with the flow and do what others are doing. Judges should not be giving a life sentence without parole at a young age. Another supporting fact, is how can someone who is very young get a hold of a weapon? On their own they cannot, so how can they take all the blame for the entire crime. Another person either, left it out, did not securely store it or someone gave it to them directly. Teens do not have a say until they are eighteen, but are expected to be treated as an adult and spend the rest of their life in prison without hope of getting out some day, which is not right. They should be given the opportunity to prove to the world they have matured and learned their lesson.
Back in kindergarten when a child did something wrong, they got put on on time out and learned their lesson to not do it again, but what do you do when the child never faced any consequences? "On Punishment and Teen Killers", in one of the cases they talk about how every time the child got in trouble, his parents fixed it (91). Even though he committed a crime and should be punished, his parents are guilty as well for not teaching him right from wrong. The courts, as well as society have to realize this, and the child should be given the opportunity to some day show them that he learned his lesson. Common sense is something people learn on their own, but teachers and parents enforce it with small yet, significant punishments so you know what to do and what not to do.
There are many contradictions when to treat teens...

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