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The Death Penalty And Juveniles. Essay

796 words - 3 pages

The Death Penalty and JuvenilesThe death penalty is an extremely heated debate, and many people are very emotional when taking about the issue. Organizations have been formed that support both sides of the argument and have tried over the years, through lobbyists, to sway the opinions of congressional leaders to take their side on the issue. Even more heated than the debate of the conventional use of the death penalty is the use of the death penalty on juveniles. Many think that juveniles possess the mental capacity to knowingly commit a crime and know the possible consequences of the crime. Then there are the few that think that the legal system needs to take pity on juveniles because they are too young to understand the consequences. Juveniles should not be spared the death penalty because they possess the mental capacity to commit the odious crimes that adults also commit and should be treated with the same consequences.Some people think the death penalty is too high a price to pay for a juvenile who is just going through adolescence and who does not have the full mental capacity required to understand the punishment associated with committing a crime. Anti-death penalty types think that the death penalty is too cruel and inhumane a punishment for a juvenile that has committed a very cruel and inhumane crime, like murder, to get on death row in the first place. They do not think that these "children" should be held accountable for acts they apparently do not fully understand they are committing. These people think that if a judge sentences a juvenile to the death penalty then the judge is essentially killing the future of America, but if the future of America is committing crimes heinous enough to warrant the death penalty, then the future does not look very bright.On the contrary, juveniles are and should be sentenced the death penalty. The execution of juveniles is legal and practiced in the majority of states that administer the death penalty, the 38 of them. The minimum age for the death penalty in the United States is 16, set by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Thompson v Oklahoma. Currently 24 states allow the death penalty to be given to juveniles (Execution of Child Offenders). So of the 38 states that administer the death penalty, 24 allow juveniles to be executed, or about 63%. That...

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