Capital Punishment Essay - We Should Not Exclude Juveniles

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Capital Punishment Should Not Exclude Juveniles

In August of 2000, three year old Damion was suffocated after several attempts by his five-year-old sister and her six-year-old friend to kill him. When the police talked to the two girls, they concluded that it was an intentional murder, but under California state law, "children under the age of 14 can be charged only if there is 'clear proof that at the time of committing the act... they [knew] its wrongfulness." With no witness to the crime, the police only had the girls' word and consequently, there wasn't enough evidence to charge the two girls with murder (Murr 32).

By law a juvenile is anyone under the age of eighteen. Juvenile justice is the part of the criminal law that
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A lot of people say that if you are old enough to kill, then you are old enough to "pay the price". A recent informal survey that was taken of twenty-five Hotchkiss High School students and faculty members, showed the overwhelming majority favored the death penalty in deserving cases of juvenile crimes.

Opponents of the death penalty advocate rehabilitation of the juveniles by sending them to a home with free food, clothes and education. Is this really how we should punish our juveniles?

Adult prisons tend to brutalize teens, according to Amanda Wilson from Time magazine. Teens are eight times more likely to commit suicide and five times more likely to be sexually abused in prison than offenders held in juvenile detention facilities. In other words, taxpayers foot the bill to protect young criminals.

Juveniles in prison, jail, or rehabilitation facilities cost more to take care of than an adult in prison. In 1990 it took an average of $33,000 a year to take care of a teen, while in 1992 it took an average o $23,000 a year to keep an adult incarcerated. If we put these delinquents to death, we could use the money to hire more teachers (Schonwald). Teachers do more than just teach. They help with after school activities, mentor, and even parent their students. This would help kid off the street, and decrease the juvenile crime rate.

The United States is the only nation in the world since 1997 to execute any juveniles. Earlier this decade,

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