Thursday, May 20, 2010

Should juveniles ever be given 'life without parole'?

In a recent decision, the U.S. Supreme Court said that juveniles, convicted of committing heinous crimes, cannot be given 'life without the possibility of parole'. Everyone knows that youths are less likely to make 'adult decisions' because they lack the experience and ability to assess risk, among other factors. While adults are also likely to make 'bone-headed mistakes', youths are more likely, but not because they 'know better'.

The Supreme Court says that youths must be given a 'meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.' But serving their time behind bars, will they be able to mature in anything that resembles 'normal'? And how will 'maturity' and 'rehabilitation' be measured?

Here's a full article on the decision. Supreme Court moves in right direction (The Christian Science Monitor)

And an article on why 'kids' should not be 'thrown away'. Kids Incarcerated -- Forever? (Huffington Post)

What do you think? Should youths be put behind bars forever for being a lookout during a murder? What about if they did the premeditated murder? Is there a chance they could mature and be rehabilitated? Or are they 'just as lost' as adults who do the same crime?

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