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Juvenile Justice



Question 1

The debate that exists on whether juveniles should be accountable for their crimes or not is subject to analysis and various factors determined. The number of adolescent children getting involved in violent adult crimes is on the increase. It has made the society more concerned about the increasing and rising trend. The majority of the prisons are releasing malicious convicts after a very short time of sentence. These groups of people consist of rapists, murderers, drug dealers and other various types of criminals. There are categories of crimes with regard to specific accusations the minors are charged with that are considered adult in nature (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2013).

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These particular sorts of criminals undergo trials in various juvenile courts for the crimes that they have committed. As a consequence, they become inmates in various juvenile penitentiaries and are released at an early period having new identities, to which they need to adhere while interacting with members of the society. It becomes very difficult for families of those affected or bereaved to cope with the decision the juvenile courts take. In fact, short sentences are not adequate as a form of punishment for the convicts. Hereby, juvenile courts have different beliefs as opposed to adult courts when it comes to giving various forms of punishments to the juvenile criminals. Juvenile courts act according to the Courts and Juvenile Rights, which advocate for giving the teenagers and the juveniles the second chance in the society.

With the various crimes that juveniles commit, it becomes clear that they should face charges, undergo trials in juvenile courts and be tried as adults. It is evident that the juveniles that have committed crimes live in the society and intermingle with the adherents of social norms whom they traumatized. As a result, various human and societal experiences make people hate those who have committed unforgivable crimes. For example, if there was a person who had murdered a close family friend or member, it is natural to feel that the individual should face a similar situation and suffer similar hardship. The reason is in the pain that the friends and the families of the victims underwent (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2013).

The majority of scholars agree with the dogma that various modes of moral behavior are acquired at birth. They also agree with the fact that a teenager is an equivalent to an adult and is responsible for making sound and wise decisions. It, therefore, becomes imperative that the government and the court system exercise their mandate and apply the lawful force on the juvenile individual. There is a belief that the character and behavior that has been adopted by various juveniles is derived from the mistakes that the parents have made throughout their life. Thus, it becomes important for the society to review persons’ family and social backgrounds and the people they associate with on the daily basis. The main reason for this action is for eliminating the root cause of the problem (Bishop & Leiber, 2011).

Various scholars and researchers have different views when it comes to the trials of the juveniles. Some members of the society view it as improper to incarcerate juveniles in adult prisons and cells. They believe in leniency and claim that teenagers should be given lenient sentences that one can easily handle. They also view that the wrong characters that exist in adult prisons can influence the juveniles. Moreover, they state that it is better for the minors to learn new ways of conduct and skills instead of serving punishment. The particular type of group believes in the ability of juveniles to learn proper norms and societal virtues. Hereby, they recommend that one should utilize these teachings as a way of punishment or rehabilitated.

Therefore, it is rightful that juveniles who have done various wrongdoings in the society faced the law. The extent of the punishment should be dependent on the degree of crime that has been committed. Those charged with heinous activities should accept full liability and serve stiff punishment (Bishop & Leiber, 2011).

Question 2

While signing contracts between people, various things are to be considered. In fact, a contract cannot exist between a teenager and a person or legal entity. The main reason is that the juvenile has not developed psychologically to cover the various components that exist in the contract document. Marriage is also a form of contract because it involves signing a binding agreement in front of the congregation. It is, therefore, not prudent to allow juveniles to make various commitments and involve in institutions like marriage. Talking about marriage, it involves the understanding of the institution of family and the various elements that keep a family together.

The reason is that juveniles are still under the support and guidance of their parents. They may not be aware of some of the problems that affect marriages and the different ways in which one can effectively handle challenges. It, therefore, becomes important for a parent to first instill the various values that will help a child handle various life issues before they are left to make decision on their own. Marriage requires individuals who have already passed teenage years, have dated for a while and have identified each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Other than the courtship process, individuals receive guidance from the church and other long-married couples. The incapacity of juveniles to handle all these challenges and problems is caused by their minds’ attributes and brain functions. They are immature to form judgments and think critically about life issues. Therefore, juvenile abstinence from early marriages becomes a prudent decision (Bishop & Leiber, 2011). The involvement of juveniles in war is associated with the cases of child molestation and a warranty charges tried in court.

War is a scenario that exposes an individual to various tough challenges that require different qualities to be able to tackle them. War is about intelligence, swiftness, dedication, concentration, care and hard work. It requires enough physical strength to utilize weapon and be able to make swift movements. However, juveniles do not have the ability to carry heavy weapons and regroup whenever the army is combating. War does not only include the fight between two rivalry groups but also the ability to take care of soldiers that they go with in combat and various missions. The problem is that teenagers lack the skills to protect their colleagues due to their body physic and capabilities. Therefore, juveniles should also not be involved in war-related issues due to the various challenges faced above. They are also inexperienced and it would jeopardize army operations (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2013).

Consensual relationships that exist between teenagers and adults depict high social imbalance in the society. The modern society may perceive it as a way of exploitation. Juveniles ought to socialize with people in their own age group because through communication they develop traits and skills that help them handle various life issues. Psychologically, when there is high engagement between a teenager and an adult, there exists a shift in maturity, and such relationships are categorized as forms of slavery. It becomes important that the society prevent such engagements and allow children to undergo a complete developmental process. However, the juveniles should not escape any engagement when they have committed any crime. Trials conducted for any form of crime that they have committed insure justice and equity in the society (Bishop & Leiber, 2011). A particular individual has the ability to differentiate between what is correct and what is incorrect. Therefore, trials for any forms of crimes and activities committed become an important step in the maintenance of discipline among individuals. A juvenile usually surrender their juvenile rights when they are involved in a certain form of crime; nevertheless, they have various rights that govern their existence.

Question 3

The Eighth Amendment in the constitution of the United States of America constitutes a section of the United States Bill of Rights. It prohibits the federal government from imposing unusual and cruel punishments, heavy fines or excessive bail. Execution is a form of punishment viewed from different perspectives by different persons. Some of people perceive it as an excessive way to impose punishment on a person who has flouted the law. The constitution of the United States remained the supreme holder of different types of laws that were governing the land, and according to it, criminals who committed any crimes in line with murder or rape always receive the death penalty. Juvenile execution is a breach in the Eighth Amendment since it is a very harsh sentence. Moreover, in line with the first question in the particular context, the case assumes the fact that upon committing a crime in their teenage years, arrests should be made until they attain the required age.

The source of all convictions of the crimes committed takes various forms. When the case is properly analyzed, the crime committed by a juvenile that warrants death should be addressed from a more humanistic perspective. One of the key factors considered is the impact of the sentence on the teenager who had committed the crime. Thus, sentencing someone to execution or death is a harsh punishment imposed on juveniles. Consequently, it may spark various reactions and effects that would traumatize the individual in the end (Bishop & Leiber, 2011).

In my own view, a life sentence without the possibility to become eligible to parole for a crime a person had committed during their teenage years does not breach the Eighth Amendment prohibition of unpleasant and uncommon punishments. There are some individuals who after release from prison my spark numerous fights. It may be because the society has not forgotten what the individual has done. Hereby, criminals need to receive aid recover from the past experience while being permanently locked in jail. The application of some of these rules is aimed at bringing the benefit to the individual and the society (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2013).

Talking about a life sentence, it is inflicted for an action of bigger magnitude. In most cases, such punishment is imposed for murder. Rape can be another type of crime that can be an exception and warrant the particular type of penalty. Therefore, the application of a particular type of sentence to non-murder cases, for instance rape, becomes appropriate because rape often leads to death. It may also be a source of high traumatization and stigmatization with regard to the affected victim and the family. It is also a way in which various diseases such as HIV/AIDS are transmitted. Being a key link to various causes of maladies, it, therefore, becomes significant for the individual to be placed away from the society. In addition, it acts as a just form of punishment that various people receive after being accused of the particular crime.

There exist various mixed reactions when it comes to the question of whether to leave the particular case for trial by the trial court at the lower level when weighing evidence and specific circumstances or handled at a higher level. In most cases, the particular court sentence is normally determined at a higher level. After the determination of the ruling, there are always various stages and persons involved that form and enforce the judgment. The trial courts fall under a lower level jurisdiction, which means the functions and roles are limited. They handle a particular type of cases, which have a direct ruling and do not involve petitions.

Question 4

When deciding or restricting various types of punishments that are to be implemented, the Supreme Court of the United States of America should consider all the facts that are said before it before making a final ruling. Thus, the law of the United States of America, the citizens of the country, the standards and sentiments that are recognized internationally should all be considered with the aim of finding the best alternative with regard to the particular case. The international criminal court imposes particular types of punishments on adults who have committed crimes against humanity (Bishop & Leiber, 2011). However, when dealing with juveniles, it becomes very important to consider the views of various individuals and the universal stand on whether it is acceptable or not. The reason is that the life of juveniles is precious because they can rectify and change their specific behavior if taken to the proper rehabilitation facilities. The situation when one deprives an adult of their life may seem natural, but when one envisions the picture of depriving a child of their life, it looks like murder.

Various countries have various policies with regard to incarceration of wrongdoers. According to the United States of America, cases that impose the death penalty include murder, rape, terrorism and various violent crimes. The whole world is dependent on the United States of America in relation to a variety of aspects, including policies. In fact, there are various humanitarian organizations that have always led a campaign toward the preservation of the human life. Children charged with wrongdoings receive a sentence in a penitentiary or a rehabilitation center where they can recover and forget about their various unlawful deeds (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2013).

In fact, it is better to handle problems via communication than deeds as the majority of the local authorities think. In the past, the majority of societies have practiced capital punishment as a mode of punishing religious and political dissidents and various types of criminals. In the past, a death sentence was traditionally executed in a public scene as a warning to any of the members in the society who might attempt to do a similar type of crime. In fact, fifty-eight (58) nations in the world are currently practice capital punishment. Consequently, 98 of the countries have removed capital punishment from the constitution. There are some other countries that have abolished with regard to the ordinary crimes but restricted it mainly to being a war crime punishment. Moreover, there are other 35 nations which heave not used the law in the last ten years. In the world, multinational firms such as Amnesty International consider 140 countries in the world abolitionists in practice and in law.

In the world, all the countries have prohibited the juvenile execution when they are found guilty of crimes. Only Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Iran have conducted the particular form of punishment. The issue of capital punishment has been the root source of major controversies in the world. For instance, the European Union prohibits and condemns the adaptation and use of capital punishment. Moreover, the council of Europe prevents the use of the death penalty, while 47 member states are also against this punishment. However, sixty percent of the population of the world resides in areas that still practice execution. Thus, Indonesia, the United States of America, India and China fall in the category of those known to practice the death penalty.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also abolished and buck strongly against the use of death penalty as a form of punishment. Therefore, before a nation decides to adopt capital punishment, it is important to take into consideration various views of the citizens for the greater good of the country and the victims of the incidence (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2013). The stand of the various human rights groups and the international agencies play a major role in the determination of the rulings made by the Supreme Court.

Question 5

In order for a child to face trials in an adult court, the person needs to be below the age of 18 years and not below 14 years. The majority of cases handled in the United States of America commence in the form of felony charges, conducted in juvenile courts. The trial of a juvenile in the adult court becomes mandatory when the accused has committed various serious crimes. The first instance that would warrant a trial in the adult court would be when the aggravated crimes led to murder and the child is between the age of 16 and 17 (Bishop & Leiber, 2011). The second instance would be when the wrongdoing confirmed to be a crucial and serious felony. Apparently, it is vital to check records to affirm whether the individual previously committed any form of crime. If the individual pleads guilty and they have a past criminal record, then the individual guaranteed a trial in the adult court.

There are several instances when the court can also decide to try a juvenile as an adult. Hereby, when the law does not require transfer, the court is left with the choice of trying the juvenile as the adult. However, it only applies to children who are 14 years of age and have committed a specific felony. The first procedure that the court does is hear the case to help the jury determine the probable reason that led to the commission of the crime. The second step involves investigation, namely inclusion of a mental exam (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2013).

The main reason for the conduct of the particular step is to determine whether rehabilitation of the child should take place in a rehabilitation system or the child would be subject to adult penalties. There are also other factors that the court takes into consideration when ruling various juvenile cases in the quest to determine whether they warrant adult punishment or not. The factors include public safety, firearm use, victim harm and suffering caused. It also looks at the past records of the teenager and determines the nature and character of the individual. When it comes to trying juveniles in the adult court, there are various processes followed during the trial preliminaries (Bishop & Leiber, 2011).

Upon issuing the order of transfer, terms of the bail are set. If the specific child is in detention, there will be transfers made to a facility that comprise adults with certain conditions after undergoing observations. There is the termination of the juvenile courts authority that had rested on the case. After trials have been done, sentences of incarceration that may follow will lead to the movement of the juvenile to an adult facility. The juvenile’s number of trials should be fewer than that of the adults. Owing to the fact that their fines and mistakes are simple, they should be handled with a little less vigor than the other cases. The juveniles are able to adjust to various conditions as long as the treatment is fare (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2013).

Conclusion

The paper has discussed various plights during sentencing juveniles to adult facilities. It has also talked about the applicability of capital punishment to the juveniles. There is a rift since these juveniles serve very little time in jail before they reunite with their families.

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