Life Without Parole for Juveniles

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this essay when I was in ninth grade. Tell me what you think!

Submitted: July 29, 2012

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Submitted: July 29, 2012

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Life Without Parole for Juveniles has always been a touchy subject. Some people wonder why it is allowed, after all they’re only children, right? Wrong. Juveniles relinquish the right of being a child when they take another’s life, they decided to play God, decided who got to live and who didn’t. That isn’t the act of an innocent child and should not be treated as such. When you take another human beings life, if you’re 14 or 40, it does not matter. Nobody has the right to kill someone unless it’s self defense. What are the defenses of such juveniles? That they’re too young to understand the consequences, that their brains aren’t fully formed, that by locking them up robs them of the chance to change, but let me ask you this, did the victims get a second chance? No, so why should the murderer?

The reason behind the controversy of life without parole for juveniles is simply because of their age, you don’t see people petitioning the Supreme Court to rethink life without parole for adults, and yet, they receive the same treatment. When a juvenile takes the life of another it’s not a simple B&E, it’s not petty theft from a thrift shop, this is a person’s life we’re talking about, not a candy bar or a piece of jewelry, those things can be replaced, a person cannot be replaced. A murder victim isn’t just a meaningless pawn, they’re a mother, sister or daughter, a father, brother or son. They had a home, a family, a job and that was stolen from them, their futures destroyed in an instant, and a suffering caused that went beyond the victim it’s self.

People against life without parole for juvenile’s say that it’s not fair to ruin a person’s life for an ill thought out act from childhood, they say that they deserve a second chance to change and learn from their mistakes, that their brains aren’t fully formed so they don’t understand what they’re doing. Allow me to ask, if it’s because of unformed brains then why are there millions of kids that don’t murder? At the age of 15 I’m allowed to drive, the law see’s me adult enough to do that, I’m allowed to work, the government says I’m mature enough for that, both things that adults do. So if I’m mature enough to drive and work like an adult, why aren’t I old enough to make the decision to kill while still knowing it’s wrong, like an adult? I know that if I kill someone they will die, that I won’t be able to take it back and that I will go to jail for the rest of my life for it. Why should we make an exception for the kid’s messed up enough to murder in the first place?

Some people tell me that locking juveniles up for life is just as bad as the murder it’s self, you’re taking the life of a child, taking away their innocence by locking them up. I’m told that this is a classic example of “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” I have to disagree. First and for most to the atrocious claim that by locking up the juvenile we’re robbing them of their innocence, they had already lost that by committing murder. Second, that “child” still get’s to live, their parents can visit them, talk to them, they can still get married and they can still have kids, victims don’t get this option.

As citizens of the United States of America we are obligated to protect our people, therefore protecting the welfare of the country it’s self. To do this we need to lock up the people that threaten our communities, we need to see that justice is served and the perpetrator pays their debt to society, even if that takes the rest of their life. The world needs to stop looking at underage killers as victims and see them as the murderers they are, stop looking at them as innocent children, for they are not. To take another’s life is not a decision a child would make, if you commit an adult offense you chose to suffer the adult consequences, if you’re adult enough to kill, you’re adult enough to go to jail. 



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