Critical Thinking

The after being released from prison, about 60%

The Justice Department estimates that about 10 percent of all homicides are committed by juveniles under the age of 18. The debate on whether juveniles should be sentenced to life in prison has become more important recently. A crime is a crime; if you do something you’re not supposed to do, there should be consequences- whether you’re an adult or kid.  Juveniles are too young to learn from their mistakes, therefore, once they’re released they’ll most likely go back to their past behavior. Also, kids have the same potential to commit crimes as an adult does, so they should be punished as an adult. Juveniles should be eligible for a life sentence in prison depending on the intensity of the crime they committed.Juveniles who commit serious enough crimes that would cause an adult to be sentenced to life in prison should have the same punishment. Otherwise, when the juvenile is released, they very well may go back to doing what they’ve done before. Research shows that serial killers start killing at young ages; some as young as 14 years old. Graham Young, 14, began testing out poisons on his family resulting the death of his stepmother. “Graham was put into a criminal mental hospital after confessing to the poisonings of his family, but was released after nine years. Once he got out, he poisoned 12 more before being caught and sentenced to life in prison” (ABC News). That supports the claim that one who commits a crime at a young age can easily revert back to the criminal activity that got him or her arrested in the first place. It also shows that the punishment for serious offenses committed by adolescents needs to be severe enough to deter them from repeating these activities upon their release back into mainstream society.  This chart provided by Rainn.org refers to inmates arrested as juveniles, and the statistics show the percentage of them who commit a crime after they are released.After just five years after being released from prison, about 60% of juveniles go back to jail. The common pattern seems to be that almost all juveniles who get arrested in their younger years aren’t learning the skills necessary to be successful after their release from prison and to keep them from reentering a criminal life.Juveniles are equally capable of committing serious crimes as adults and, therefore, should be held to the same punishment standards as an adult. History has shown us that people under the age of 18 do commit serious and violent crimes and that their age isn’t a factor in the intensity of the crime,. A good example of this is a 12 year old boy, Shimeek Gridine, who attempted to rob a bystander. “During the robbery, Shimeek shot the man with a shotgun point blank range which resulted to 70 years without parole for attempted murder and robbery” (NY Times). There’s been numerous reports of minors committing crimes such as theft, assault, and  murder. Who’s to say just because they’re kids they shouldn’t face the same fate of an adult? Cameron Williams, 16, was sentenced to 110 years in prison for shooting a cop. “Anybody who pulls a gun and aims it at a police officer is a very serious threat and I would consider him a very dangerous individual,” chief deputy Brenda Beadle told ABC News.While one might say that juveniles are too young to be held accountable for their actions so they shouldn’t be sentenced to life in prison, history has proven otherwise.  Just because they’re kids doesn’t mean they get a get out of jail free card. Age doesn’t matter,if a juvenile committed a crime that would mandate a life sentence for an adult offender, the juvenile should also receive that same fate.  Juveniles should be able to be sentenced to life in prison depending on the seriousness of the crime.