I believe that adolescents should definitely be held to the adult standard for criminal behavior. Because if we don’t hold them to the same standard then adolescents will start to think that they can do whatever they want without the punishment being severe. It’s also not fair to adults that commit the same crime as an adolescent. I believe that all adolescents are capable of mature thought they Just choose to or not to do the things that they do despite understanding the consequences. Just like adults. There should be an age cut off for kids.
The cut off should be 12, because before that most kids listen to whatever their parents or biggest influences say, without being properly able to think for themselves. We should also take the situation into consideration. A 18 year old that killed someone because they were being physically attacked should obviously have a much less severe punishment (l know that self defense is legal but Just for the sake of an example) compared too 12 year old that killed someone because they stole their friend from them and made them jealous. Excuse is making up reasons as to why you did something.
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Mitigation is reducing the punishment after the behavior. Culpability is whether someone is responsible for something they did or not. The author’s opinion on the Juvenile death penalty is that Juveniles should not be punished as harshly as adults because their brains are still going through change and maturity and therefore they should not be culpable for their crimes, since it’s their influences that influenced them. They also believe that since they are young this excuses their behavior and therefore their punishment should be dedicated.
The three psychosocial arguments that I might present in order to defend the 14 year old adolescent would be that 1) their peers influenced them to do it 2) their brain is changing and they don’t know what they’re doing and could be different in the future if given a chance 3) they’re young and if put in Jail now they might be scarred forever even though they’re a good person and this would ruin their future. The authors mean by unformed character that the adolescent is still evolving and their personality is still changing.
Therefore the punishment should not be as severe because they could be much different in the future if given a chance because this was Just a teenage phase. I disagree with the authors comments because I believe that everyone knows what they’re doing at all times, they Just choose to make the wrong decisions. Some concerns might be that even a 70 year old could be immature. A 10 year old could be mature. It is not fair to treat people differently based on a personality characteristic. Adolescents And The Criminal Justice System By Abbeys