Criminal Punishment Essay
Given the different speeds at which people may develop both physically and intellectually, any form of explicit age limit may be arbitrary and irrational. Children do not deserve to be exposed to criminal punishment in the same way as adults. Children have not had experience of life, nor do they have the same mental and intellectual capacities as adults. Persons aged 15 to 19 years are more likely to be processed by police for the commission of a crime than are members of any other population group. In reference to the case with the 6 yr. old shooting his classmate, I believe he should have some sort of punishment. The young boy had a scuffle the day before and went home and because of his environment and upbringing he knew that a gun was dangerous and can cause harm to another person. The young boy at some point had to think about his actions and decided to take the weapon to school and later, shooting the young classmate which means the young 6 yr. old practiced on pulling the trigger. Sure, you have an innocence factor here and each state sets the age limit on what age to charge a child with a criminal act.
Age and criminal responsibility is a really touchy topic for many any children under the age of 7 and in the United States the criminal justice system can charge a youth with a criminal crime at the age of 6 years of age. I know of two cases where six year old boys were convicted on criminal charges in the state of California. I believe that the 6 yr. old in the course readings should’ve been court ordered to undergo professional counseling or treatment. If a punishment was not something the state wanted to issue, I definitely would argue that the youth was exposed to a household where guns and drugs were prevalent and the youth himself in my opinion may have suffered from some sort of PTSD. The classmate that was shot has a family and that family needs justice. Justice would not be served if the six year old walks away free. Charging the 19 yr. old in the house with guns and drugs does not solve the crime that took place at the school. There is an age limit for holing a child accountable for criminal responsibility and in this case, the youth should’ve been charged. The youth should’ve undergone a session to determine if he was mentally aware and then the state should’ve charged the young boy.