Arguments Against Juvenile Crimes

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Juvenile justice is a contentious topic in our society. In just twenty-three days, during the month of January, eleven school shootings occured. Although, the media frequently demonizes these juvenile murderers, as a informed citizens we have a moral obligation to examine the premise behind the actions of the accused because our children are our future. While juvenile and adult murderers deserve punishment for serious crimes, juveniles are capable of reform; therefore juveniles should never be sentenced to life without parole. Adolescents are biologically different from the general population which disproportionately increases the rate in which they commit crimes. In the article “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” Paul Thomson shares his…show more content…
In the article “On the Punishment of Teen Killers” Jennifer Jenkins argues on the behalf of victims’ families. She claims that juvenile crime is social issue as American culture promotes violence in youth, “we in America have to own this problem, with weapons so easily available to our youth, and the violence-loving culture in which we bring them in” (par. 5). Although, Jenkins claims that teenagers should be given life without parole, this quote directly challenges her argument. Jenkins explicitly states that “America has to own this problem”. She then lists reasons for juvenile criminals to be a problem particular to America. Readers can easily counter Jenkins original argument by employing logical reasoning: if America is responsible for juvenile criminals, it is immoral to sentence juveniles to life without parole because these “criminals” are only followers of a greater cultural phenomenon. Furthermore, this is evident in the case of Lionel Tate. Tate was only twelve years old when he allegedly murdered six year old Tiffany Eunick while mimicking a wrestling move portrayed in popular media. The American culture puts youth in a position to be criminalized for behaviors they are not entirely responsible for. It is unjust to sentence juveniles to life without parole because unlike adults, adolescents are highly influenced by our defected society. Therefore, instead of prosecuting our…show more content…
Thomson’s article “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” allows readers to understand that unlike adults, juveniles undergo biological changes which increases the likelihood of them committing crimes. Compounding this evidence with society’s infatuation with violence as depicted in Jenkin’s article “On the Punishment of Teen Killers”, readers can begin to acknowledge that contrary to adults, juveniles who commit heinous crimes are not in complete control of their actions. Furthermore, as a society we should no longer stand to sentence juveniles to life without parole because juveniles are still “malleable”, able to be reformed which is made evident in Garinger article “ Juveniles Don’t Deserve Life Sentences”. As informed members of society we have to be bridge builders, who are capable of crossing between the adult and adolescent world. It is only through these bridges that we are able to rescue kids from themselves. By forming deep, authentic connections with teenagers you can potentially save lives because the reality is pulling a trigger is easier than tying a tennis shoe. Build a bridge, save a
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