Child Abuse - The death penalty issue has always been one...

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The death penalty issue has always been one of the most important issues of the contemporary system of justice. Years ago, majority of the criminals were male over 20, but nowadays the situation has quite changed. Not only grown-ups but also children who are under 18 years old nowadays commit murders and other terrible crimes. Ordinarily, a young criminal is not applied the same restrictions for his crime as a grown criminal is, never the less if it especially goes about capital crimes people start talking about the death penalty for such juveniles. A child always remains a child and if he commits a crime it is not because he has had a good life. It is not the guilt of the children, but their big misfortune. It is a misfortune of not having anybody to love and truly support them and lead them in the correct direction. Along with that it is common knowledge that the period of 11 through 17 is a period of an especially intensive change both in the organism and the mind of a child. That is why it is not fair to put a child in the same line with a grown up that can be completely responsible for his actions. A child is not mentally capable of comprehending the crime he or she commits. The system of values in the age under 18 is not built yet, other people can easily influence children and the psychic process are not stable yet. Under these conditions a child should never be sentences to death or a life sentence for they still have a chance to change and re-evaluate their life. If the aim of the prison is to change criminals for better then children under 18 should become the “material for changes” of the highest priority. The year of 1988 was an extremely important year of the United States of America in terms of the death penalty for adolescent criminals. Before that time even a fifteen year old could be a subject to a death penalty for capital crimes. The Supreme Court in 1988 refused to use death penalty over those criminals that were under the age of sixteen. Nevertheless the 1988 decision did not influence many states and for instance, the state of Texas 1 conducted its last death penalty over a juvenile in 2002. The U.S. Supreme Court has always called the execution of children a violation of the Constitution, where a child is every person under the age of eighteen
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years old. Nowadays 19 out of 51 state allow the conduction of the death penalty over children who are sixteen and seventeen years old. The death penalty of children fewer than eighteen years old is immoral, for killing a child implies killing a weaker human being that simply required supervision and attention from the side of his parents. As each society tends to be more humanistic, the probability of the fact that an eighteen-year-old is as guilty as a grown-up criminal starts being completely neglected. One of the main cases of the modernity was the case of 2004 of Roper v. Simmons. This was a fight between two completely opposite opinions – one was that death penalty for juveniles is completely normal, as the capital crimes they commit are
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2010 for the course CMPSC 121 taught by Professor Crawford,georgew during the Spring '07 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Child Abuse - The death penalty issue has always been one...

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