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Juvenile Sentience to Life in Prison

In: People

Submitted By topresentment
Words 526
Pages 3
Xavier English
PSC 105 5:00PM
Daniel Underwood
Juvenile sentience to life in prison
Juvenile sentience to life in prison without parole is a very “cruel and unusual" punishment. The reading piece of text talked about how the state of California is giving juveniles a second chance at life. The question is should they be given freedom even though they have committed murder?
In Laurence Steinberg’s article Risk taking in Adolescence: What Changes, and Why? he states "It is argued that adolescence is a period of heightened vulnerability to risk taking because of a disjunction between novelty and sensation seeking (both of which increase dramatically at puberty) and the development of self-regulatory competence (which does not fully mature until early adulthood).” From age of 11 until 22 kids are still developing the judgment making and in this quote it says that most of the reason why division making is off is due to puberty, something that everyone has to go through during that time in their lives (Steinberg, 2006) .The brain in an adolescence has it moments of being impaired and confused when it comes time for decision for instants the article writers son "[Snuck] out of the house where they were spending the night [to] visit one of their girlfriends at around two in the morning" once at the house the threw rocks at the window, setting of the alarm which also meant some involvement of police. When the writer asked his son what was going through his head he said nothing. This is a good example of how teens sometimes do things out of pure knowledge to why they're doing it (Steinberg, 2006).
On top of that, a lot of the kids could have come from an urbanely poor area where crime happens all of the time. Studies have shown that when you hang around a certain type of people that do bad things or good things, you tend to be influenced and do the same thing you friends do. In the article, Sara Kruzan was 13 years old when a pimp who used her as if she was a sex doll to collect money took her. Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I wouldn't want to be forced to walk the streets and have sex with random people for money. If I were Sara at a young age I would want to get out, but she most likely will get killed if she escapes. Scared, she could have reacted without thinking causing her to kill her pimp out of pure confusion. People during this age range always make mistakes because of puberty, and the lack of knowledge older people have. That’s the main reason why drinking is illegal until the age of 21, we are not trusted with decision making, so why should we be punished for something we obviously couldn't help because of not having that logical ability.

Citation
Steinberg, L. (2006, January 12). Online library. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1196/annals.1308.005/full
Elias, P. (2012, August 18). huffingtonpost. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/19/life-sentences-for-juveni_n_1806259.html

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