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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Why does America sentence teenagers to life without parole?

The USA is the only country on earth that sentences juveniles to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Why?

Isn’t it better for a society that these people come out after serving a sentence of, say, no more than 20 years at the maximum?

They will at least have had time to reflect on their misdemeanors and, with the proper education and mentoring, would be good citizens in whatever is their niche in life.

Society will be better off with many of these inmates contributing to their communities.

In June 2012, the U.S Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole are against the constitution, and judges must be allowed to take a juvenile’s age into account (and other relevant circumstances) when sentencing.

What circumstances are there to consider?

Here is a couple for a start.

1. Were their adults involved in the crime, and what influence did they have over the youngest one in the crime?

2. Were they taken advantage of by others?

Is it right for America to sentence teenagers to life without the possibility of parole?

If it is right to sentence teenagers to life without the possibility of parole, then countries that have a release date for teenagers must be in the wrong. (and America is right)

History has taught us that governments do have poor laws that disadvantage their citizens. Issues such as slavery and racial segregation were considered normal and right by governments until a long campaign by those who fought to change these injustices finally succeeded.

Just because it is legal does not make it right.

History has told us this.

Putting things right seems to involve years of struggle and campaigning, as the likes of Nelson Mandela, David Livingstone have discovered and as Greta Thunberg will find out.

There is a line between justice for the victims and taking revenge against the offenders. In many cases, I believe the prosecutors have taken the latter stance; sadly, it represents how the community feels at the time.

Emotions run high during high-profile murder cases, but the courts must rise above all of that.

It all boils down to doing the right thing. It is hate that causes people to commit horrendous crimes against other human beings, and it is that very same spirit that demands that they be locked up for life.

Source by Robert Alan Stewart

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