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No community or society can exist and thrive without laws, which in turn means if there are no rules or laws established then the community itself with not flourish and eventually fail because there is no standard to which everyone is expected to live up to. So when someone disobeys those governing laws they should then lose their given right to be a part of that community or society.
So what if when a child offender has then gone against the norms of social order, they must then be punished.
With the scenario of a minor child committing some of what is deemed to be the worst crimes, you would think the rules will tend to change. When it comes to minors committing the worst crimes, it is defined that any offence committed against anyone, person or community is still considered a crime; no matter the degree, gender or age. When we murder people especially children by way of the death penalty in the attempt to show people that murder is wrong we are voicing that we ourselves are hypocrites too.
When I think of children being sentenced to the death penalty I automatically think of 14 year old George Stinney Jr. of Sumpter, South Carolina who was tried by a jury, found guilty within ten minutes of deliberation, and ultimately sentenced to die by the electric chair; in which he was too small for that he had to sit on a stack of books. George Stinney Jr. was later exonerated on the charge of murder clearing his name some 70 years too late.
It is believed that the law will provide for punishing offenders, and that if an offense or crime goes unpunished then that essentially tells society that the laws are fragile and unsteady.
For a society to admit that their legal system is weak is a sign of its future demise and peril. So take young Mr. Stinney Jr. for example, for the city of Sumpter to use that young man as a scapegoat in the murder of two young girls; it was their way of saying to others that no bad deed goes unpunished.
In theory in order for punishment to occur a crime had to have happened, but if nothing defined as a crime happened then there can be no punishment. Also in the instance of punishing innocent people, when a community does this their legal system as a whole is pretty much degenerate, they are unable to determine guilt and differentiate between the innocent and the guilty. Even though actions are not able to be considered criminal until a jury agrees as a whole, what about when in Mr. Stinney’s case where the jury was not a jury of his peers, but a jury that set out to seek punishment for the benefit and sake of the community. That in turn means that he was not treated as a human being or fellow citizen. Punishment then loses its purpose and becomes a denial of justice.
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