Monday, November 09, 2009

Life Prison Terms for Children? What are we thinking!?

What we are thinking is that county prosecutors get elected in the counties they serve in and "being tough" is generally the only qualification people run on.

Often the same distinction is used by state legislators to get elected and re-elected.

News media outlets all compete for attention, to sell advertising and make a profit. "DA seeks life to teen rapist!" "DA may seek life for young sex criminal!" "Jury may sentence serial hoodlum to life in prison!"

Here's the real question - is a particular case about the victim and perpetrator, or is it about someone seeking power and/or money at the expense of someone who may then spend life in prison whether it is really justified or equal justice.
clipped from www.nytimes.com

Imprisoning a Child for Life
The United States could be the only nation in the world where a 13-year-old child can be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, even for crimes that do not include murder.

The court came down on the right side of this issue in 2005 when it ruled that children who commit crimes before the age of 18 should not be subject to the death penalty. The decision correctly pointed out that juveniles were less culpable because they lacked maturity, were vulnerable to peer pressure and had personalities that were still being formed.

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