Pros And Cons Of Criminal Punishment

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In 1993, Christopher Simmons, age 17, and an accomplice plotted, and went through with, the murder of Shirley Crook. He was put on death row for this crime, but he made his way through the courts and eventually won his case (Roper v Simmons, 2005). Simmons argued that offenders under the age of eighteen should not be sentenced to death (Casebriefs). While the crime that he committed was definitely reprehensible, the death penalty for criminals under the age of eighteen are immoral and should not be used. Individuals under the age of eighteen do not have fully developed brains. They think with a different part of the brain than adults, and their judgement is often not as clear. (University of Rochester). The eighth amendment guarantees that the law will not enforce ‘cruel and unusual punishment,’ and the fourteenth amendment states that there shall not be any laws infringing upon the life, liberty, and rights of U.S. citizens. Killing minors violates both of these amendments. Research and studies have proven that younger people respond much better to therapy and rehabilitation than adults, thus making the possibility reformation a better option than death (Lipsey). No matter the crime, death sentences for minors are wrong.
Adolescents do not have fully matured brains, so they have a much harder time than adults to use proper judgement. As researched by Jeffrey Arnett, Ph.D., who specializes in studies on the phase of life between the ages of eighteen and 25, younger people
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