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How would allowing Capital Punishment cut down on crime in America - Research Paper Example

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Capital Punishment: Can It Reduce Crime in America? Word Count: 1525 (6 pages) Deserving offenders should receive capital punishment. The death penalty is too harsh for these people, considering that their errant actions may be remedied. In addition, death is a suitable punishment for anyone…
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How would allowing Capital Punishment cut down on crime in America
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Download file to see previous pages It is argued that children, however, should not be subject to the death penalty—the only exception. “‘From a moral standpoint, it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor's character deficiencies will be reformed,’ Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in the opinion for the court.”2 In that sense, juveniles should be spared, but adults should not be. “As a child psychologist, [California State Senator Leland Yee, Ph.D., has] firsthand experience with troubled children and understands that they have an extraordinary capacity for rehabilitation. The neuroscience is clear — brain maturation continues well through adolescence and thus impulse control, planning and critical thinking skills are not yet fully developed until adulthood.”3 Thus, a juvenile stands a greater chance of being offered parole or some other opportunity that is an alternative to the standard in a corrections facility. Perhaps the juvenile might be able to enter a program with job training and a sentence reduction in return for good behavior. The main point here is that the juvenile’s actions can show growth and change if allowed time and space to flourish—while an adult has lived much of his or her life already, having made various life choices along the way, many not so wonderful. Further, the death penalty is fitting punishment for an adult, but not for a child. As Mr. Yee pointed out, the youth’s brain is still in a developing stage at age 18 and below. “Without positive interventions to redirect the youth's development, an absence common to so many of the youth who subsequently become involved in serious delinquent or criminal activity, these youth are inappropriately subjected to the ultimate sanction without adequate regard for these mitigating circumstances.”4 Not given the appropriate chance to demonstrate his or her capability to rise above and beyond the limitations placed upon him or her due to the circumstances of a bad upbringing or abuse, a youth is faced with the serious task of having to change behavior or be disciplined for it. The death penalty, therefore, seems like a good answer to deter crime in America. “In Gregg v. Georgia (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court mandated that courts must examine mitigating circumstances when issuing the death penalty. However, most juvenile capital offenders are represented by appointed counsel without the time or resources to sufficiently investigate such mitigating factors as psychiatric history, abuse, or mental capacity.”5 With so many youth having mitigating circumstances, the death penalty is not a viable option. Now, by law, it is definitely not an option to hand down a sentence of capital punishment to juvenile offenders. However, for mentally capable adults, the death penalty is simply a permanent solution that yields results: lower crime rates. Now, while the death penalty for youth would definitely not solve underlying issues that youth may have, this neglects the fact that youth deserve a second chance to prove their worth. Capital punishment would be fundamentally flawed as a punishment for a juvenile offender as it would be a final judgment, and there would be no retracting the punishment once it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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