Juvenile Sentencing, a serious issue to be debated certainly! People under 18 years who are believed to be committed crime are usually sentenced to life without parole. According to a study is US conducted by the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the report says that almost 2000 US citizens are living without parole. The fact is that they all have proved to be committed crime activities when they were minor, and they had also been in juvenile homes. Frontline Producer Ofra Bikel has made a documentary film “When Kids Get Life”, where he had discussed about six different profiles who had been sentenced to live without parole.
He clearly visualizes the situation of all these people and the cause behind their activity to be sentenced. Juvenile is a more serious concept than expected, especially for girls. Girls in juvenile home faced higher risk than boys, both mentally and physically. Juvenile justice needs to be more concentrated and concerning when it comes to girls as criminals, debated Stephen Gavazzi, Prof. of Human Development and Family Science in College of Human Ecology, Ohio University. Girls also faced troubles in parenting and family issues, where boys prevailed more of prior offences.
For crimes committed at a minor age, where one might or might not be matured enough to understand the fact and the seriousness involved in their criminal activity. Juvenile Justice System has been designed in such a way that those criminals are being punished as a life without parole status, where till whatsoever age they grow up and howsoever they change themselves to a better way, they will not be let out even in a parole. Most of the criminals who have been sentenced without parole under the juvenile system seem to regret their mistake and spoil their entire life worrying about the same.
At least things can be justified that they had committed a sin and hence is the punishment being enforced on them, but more pathetic is the family of the sentenced person. Common juvenile cases include a son killing his father due to whatsoever the argument may be. However, here the mother becomes the sufferer, as she has lost her husband on one hand, and on the other she has to eat and sleep at home, when he poor little son suffering in a juvenile home. Will she be at any situation able to come out of this sorrow feeling and take life on the path it travels along.
In 2005, the Supreme Court of United States put forth a judgment stating that the initial punishment for the juveniles has been abolished. They justified their judgment stating that they youngsters are too immature, hence had to be handled in a different way than being treated and punished like this. It was also expected that the way kids are being treated and punished will also be more likely changed. A number of community discussions and forums have to be begun to discuss among the pros and cons of the juvenile sentencing without parole system.
The morality of sentencing kids and youths to a lifetime punishment has to be debated, and such discussion forums could help the justice in taking decisions before any session related to this trouble. Child and Declaration of Children’s Rights reviles against such lifetime imprisonment punishments being rewarded to children. Activists claim that it is a national shame of being 2574 number of youths being ill treated and punished as lifetime imprisonment without parole.
They also seem to claim that rather than punishing the children and youth, they have to probe deeper to find the root cause of the issue and it needs to be completely ripped off, than just arresting and punishing the one or two who are committing the crime. US activists fight against the Juvenile Justice System of sentencing people to lifetime imprisonment without parole and they want to find justice for the children of America. They claim that the kids and youths who have reportedly committed crimes must be given an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
They are also strictly against the rule of treating one person as a juvenile and the other fellow person as a criminal with parole facilities. They claim this kind of judgment as a twisted justice, being partial towards both the ends of a justice. On the other side, there are people who seriously express that no criminal is different from the other and they all must be treated equally. Giving groom taking age factor and situation into consideration, develops the crime activities, reports these people. There are Juvenile Probation Officers who are individually assigned to each kid who have been reportedly committed the crime activity.
These officers also watch the children for their behavior and they more or less act as a guide for this crime committed kids, whereas the parole officers are the ones who watch dog the kids after imprisonment. In some of the states in US, according to the Crime and Justice News report stated that the judges could transfer the juvenile cases to the adult court, considering factors such as the crime committed and the proposed reason behind the same. This rule was made applicable only on certain states and moreover only for certain kind of criminal activities. This rule may not be applicable for all the criminal situations.
However, from the detailed study I made for making this report gave me an insight towards the pathetic state of crime committed people being faced in the juvenile home. After reading so many case studies, my heart weighed really heavy listening to the so many pathetic stories. For any crime or any mistake, one should be given enough space to regret their activity and correct themselves. And, when it is found that they have realized their mistakes, they have to be set free of mind for not to commit mistakes again. However, the Juvenile Justice System, without realizing this fact, dictates punishment such as lifetime sentence without parole.
As the activists fight against, this rule has to be abandoned in all states of America and individuals should be given space to correct their mistakes. A sin committed when being a kid may be due to various family and societal situations and just blindly punishing them throughout their life seems no way truthful, to my knowledge. Hence, Juveniles who commit murder should be given a reason to justify themselves or to prove themselves regretted for the mistake committed. If a kid is committing a suicide, then society also plays a major role in it and in that the entire society has to be punished and not just the person.
Courtney from Study Moose
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