Life Without Parole

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Juveniles should not be imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole!

In the Frontline documentary “When Kids Get Life” we are introduced to 5 cases in Colorado where teenage boys had been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Over 2,200 juveniles have been convicted of crimes and sentenced to life without parole in the 46 states of which have judicial waiver laws. Nathan Ybanez, Trevor Jones, Jacob Ind, Erik Jensen and Andrew Medina are the teenagers profiled in the documentary.

The documentary shows five cases that dealt with felony murder. “The rule of felony murder is legal doctrine in some common law jurisdictions that broadens the crime of murder in two ways. First, when an offender kills accidentally
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“Two of the other suspects made deals with the prosecutor, pleading guilty to second-degree murder and naming Andy as the triggerman,” but that was not the reason why he was convicted, but for being part of a carjacking at the time of Lohrmeyer’s murder. He got sentenced to life without parole.

The decision of whether young criminals should be tried in juvenile courts or adult courts has created a lot of controversy throughout the years. Juveniles should be tried as juveniles. Being tried according to their age is fairer. A lot of people believe that age should not be considered at all when the felony is extremely severe. Justice needs to be served and they need to pay for the crime they have committed, juvenile or not.

According to the Time magazine article ‘What Makes Teens Tick’ Dr. Jay Giedd states that “The very last part of the brain to be pruned or shaped to its adult dimensions is the prefrontal cortex, home of the executive functions.” An adult brain is different than teens, because an adult brain is more developed. Adolescents lack the ability to make good decisions, be more organized, and the ability for good planning. Juveniles should therefor not be treated as adults when sentenced to life without the possibility of
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