The Importance Of Heinous Crimes

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The 2012 ruling in Miller v. Alabama required the court to consider the circumstances of each juvenile charged with heinous crimes before sentencing life in prison without parole. The Supreme Court considered mandatory juvenile life without parole sentencing as unconstitutional because it violates the Eighth Amendment. However, with the 2012 ruling in place, many proponents such as victims of juvenile crimes believe that juveniles should be sentenced to life in prison. While juveniles who commit heinous crimes should not go unpunished, they do not deserve life sentences like an adult. First of all, juveniles should not be sentenced with life in prison like adults because scientific studies confirm a strong difference between an adolescent…show more content…
In “On Punishment and Teen Killers”, by Jennifer Jenkins, she reveals how she was a victim of a teen murderer and believes that actual science supporting teenage brains does not negate criminal culpability. She argues, “If brain development were the reason, then teens would kill at roughly the same rates all over the world”, (Par 6). Jenkins believes that supporting evidence on teenage brains does not serve as an excuse to not sentence juveniles to life without parole. She also believes that some teens will never change and find redemption for their actions. Her point is valid in that juveniles cannot be excused for their crimes, however Jenkins lacks the insight that much like how the brain changes through age, a teenager can transition from immaturity to maturity. Furthermore, if sentencing most juvenile to life sentences, it prevents them from learning their mistakes. For example, Greg Ousley during his adult years expressed his regret in killing his parents, and hopes to reconcile with his family members. Ousley comes to a realization, “ what he interpreted in his father as disinterest, even disgust, more likely stemmed from a paralyzing self-consciousness” (Par. 86). Ousley’s realization that his parent’s issues contributed to their lack of understanding to him is a comparable difference in his understanding of his parents when he was a teenager. It provides how even a juvenile who committed murder is able to mature and finding redemption by gain, thus proving that Jenkin’s belief in some teenage murders will never change. Even though teenage murder cannot go unpunished, it does not mean they should be sentenced to life in
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