June 6, 2012
NY Times debates "When to Punish, and When to Rehabilitate" for juve offenders
The Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on when, if ever, it is appropriate to sentence juvenile offenders to life without parole. The arguments this spring showed the complexity of drawing the lines between child and adult, and between justice and cruelty.
When minors commit violent crimes, should they be treated differently from adults? Is prison effective as a punishment and deterrent for juveniles, or does it harden a young person who might otherwise recover?
Here are the contribututions, with links via the commentary titles:
"Prison Is Too Violent for Young Offenders" by Gary Scott, inmate, San Quentin
"In Sentencing, Remember the Victims" by Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Lifers
"Behind Bars, Teenagers Become Prey" by T.J. Parsell, writer and human rights activist
"Adult Punishments Should Be an Option" by Charles Stimson, Heritage Foundation
"Prison Does Not Make Good Citizens" by R. Daniel Okonkwo, D.C. Lawyers for Youth
"The Race Factor" by Jennifer L. Eberhardt and Aneeta Rattan, Stanford University
"Seeing Juveniles’ Maturity, and Immaturity" by Laurence Steinberg, adolescent brain researcher
"Teenagers Too Often End Up in Solitary" by Amy Fettig, A.C.L.U.
"The Cost of Prison, in Dollars and Lives" by Michael Jacobson, director, Vera Institute of Justice
June 6, 2012 at 12:39 AM | Permalink
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From Prof. Steinberg: "Because juveniles are more impetuous than adults, they are inherently less responsible for their acts, and are therefore less deserving of harsh punishment."
Teen brains are superior to those of adults on any measurement you can think of. If adolescents are so impetuous, why do they commit fewer crimes than adults (because they are morally and physiologically superior, of course)? Adolescents are less experienced, not disabled in their moral judgement. They are less experienced because they are infantalized by the feminist lawyer seeking the destruction of the family, an by the union lawyer seeking to keep what are really adults after age 14, from the job market. Thank the lawyer for the infantile nature of our adolescents.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 6, 2012 5:55:40 AM