Juvenile Death Penalty.

Essay by scubasteveA+, April 2003

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Psychology 101

Should Juveniles Receive The Death Penalty?

I feel the death penalty is appropriate for juveniles in certain circumstances, such as murder and brutal crimes that are considered capital offenses. There have been several laws made for juveniles regarding the age they could be tried as adults in capital cases. These laws were made because a juvenile who was not yet considered an adult committed a horrific crime and knew what he or she was doing when the crime took place. These juveniles perform the same cruel acts as adult capital offenders. They need to be punished for their actions just as the adults are.

Thirty-eight states and the federal government created statutes authorizing the death penalty for certain forms of murder and other capital offenses. Presently, fifteen states have chosen the minimum age of eighteen for a youth to be considered for the death penalty. Four states have chosen the age of seventeen, and twenty states have chosen sixteen as a minimum age. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say juveniles can't receive the death penalty.

I believe with strict penalties the numbers of future generations who commit crimes will decrease. I also feel that age is not a determining factor in deciding whether or not a juvenile should be punished for their actions. Setting a minimum age for prosecuting juveniles for capital crimes may have been a good way of punishing offenders in the past, but in today's society it is not. Children are killing other children at younger ages every day. One way to look at it is, how many juveniles would commit murder if they knew they would be killed also for their crime? If this were the case not many kids would murder unless they also wanted to die.

Kids today are...