10/10/2011

Juveniles In Prison For Life Isn’t Necessary

 In the United States, over one hundred juveniles are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for non-murder crimes. Life imprisonment of juveniles without the possibility of parole is wrong. I personally think that sentencing a juvenile to life without parole is a crime itself. Some people don’t feel this way though. Those people think that it is necessary to do this. I feel that it is wrong to put them in jail for their whole life without parole, it is wrong.
Life imprisonment of juveniles is wrong because they shouldn’t have to spend their entire life in jail for something they did as a child. There are juveniles that commit non-murder crimes and they still got sentenced to life in prison without parole. In a New York Times article it says “There are just over 100 people in the United States serving sentences of life without the possibility of parole for crimes they committed as juveniles in which no one was killed.” This shows that there are juveniles that did not commit murder and still have to spend their whole lives in prison, they don’t even get the chance to go on parole. I think that the law should be like Germany’s. In a New York Times article it states the law. It says “The maximum sentence in Germany, for instance, for any crime committed by a juvenile is 10 years.” I think the United State’s law should be more like this. Juveniles shouldn’t have to spend their whole lives in jail for something they did as a child. It is a cruel and unusual punishment. But some people don’t feel this way. They feel it is needed to sentence them to life in prison without parole.
Is it necessary to put juveniles in prison for life without parole? Some people think it is. They think that they need to protect society by keeping them locked up in prison. In a New York Times article it says “But we have to create an environment where our children are safe and our elderly are safe.” They want to lock these children up so the community will be safe. Some people feel that depending on the juvenile’s crime they should be tried as adults. Is that really right? Trying a child as an adult? In a New York Times article it says “At a certain point, juveniles cross the line, and they have to be treated as adults and punished as adults.” Some people feel that juveniles should be tried as adults and therefore be able to receive the same sentences as adults. But they aren’t adults, they are children.
I believe that juveniles should never be able to receive life in prison without the possibility of parole. Some people think that it is necessary. I think that they should at the least get the possibility of parole. Children do things that they wouldn’t do as adults, but some of them are spending their whole lives in jail because of something that they know is wrong and that they wouldn’t do as adults. In an article it says “Sometimes a 15-year-old has a tremendous appreciation for right and wrong.” That is in some cases, not all cases. Not all juveniles know right from wrong. But some do, and they should be punished for their crimes, but not as severely as an adult. The people that put these juveniles in prison for life believe that they are protecting the community, but Mr. Bilchik a former state prosecutor said otherwise. “During the time I was in the prosecutor's office, we were under the false impression that we were insuring greater public safety when we were not.” He doesn’t think that they were protecting the greater public. They just thought they were protecting the public when they actually were not. One statistic shows that juvenile crime has gone down. “Violent juvenile crime has gone down even as the juvenile population has grown.” Juveniles should never have to spend their entire lives in prison for something they did as a child.
I believe that juveniles should never be able to receive the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, no matter what crime they committed. At the least, they should be able to go on parole. You should leave them some hope for the future. I still think juveniles should be punished for the crimes that they commit. They just shouldn’t be tried as an adult and punished as an adult. They aren’t adults, they are juveniles, children. Some of them don’t know right from wrong and they still get punished for something that they didn’t know was wrong. They are just children, they should never have to spend their whole lives in prison. No matter what.

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