Sunday, November 4, 2007

Self-Analysis after Researching Juvenile Justice

Throughout the blog project, my analysis of juvenile education has both changed and remained the same. I have strongly believed throughout the project that juveniles deserve a second chance and a right to be rehabilitated. However, this is not to say I have not been somewhat swayed occasionally by persuasive arguments. For instance, when a child purposely kills someone with a preplanned of course of action, it is hard to say he or she deserves another chance. But, as with all the postings in other blogs, I think an important learned factor in our justice system is that all situations need a line drawn so that individual cases are all uniform and fair. Because a juvenile court system is so different than an adult trial process, the children below a certain age should all benefit from this easier procedure at least once, no matter what the crime. The line must be drawn at a certain age for all states.

My reasoning behind this belief has, however, changed significantly. Before, I simply thought it a waste to throw away such a young life. Now, after extensive research, I realize not only is it a waste, but it is a scientifically proven mistake. Brains at this time in a person’s development are not through growing and maturing. Because of this scientific fact, can we as American citizens really hold the juvenile totally responsible for his or her actions? The reason his or her moral values are confused is probably not the fault of the child, but more the lack of guidance by the parents. Parents that allow such a young person to go down such a horrible path should be the ones to blame. A child must have guidance. The child is not to blame at his or her lack of guidance, but the government should know when to step in with parens patriae. Therefore, throughout my project my beliefs have remained the same, but the information about the developing brain that I gathered has really provided my beliefs with the support it needed.

I think throughout the blog project, the casual form of argumentation has encouraged my individual thinking and growth in beliefs. After reading people's comments, it has forced me to analyze and rethink my original beliefs. While I completely understand how people could believe that the same crime committed by a youth should receive the same punishment as if the youth was an adult, I also think this must be carefully considered. If a 1o-year old child makes a rash judgment and kills someone, should his or her life be over? No- the goal should be to help.

11 comments:

Arty said...

At what point do the brains of adolescents stop developing? I have heard that one's brain continues to develop even after they are twenty. I do believe that those who are young often act foolishly and deserve the a second chance, but I do not think that every young person does. For instance, a young person who has murdered multiple times demonstrates an internalized pattern, not a rash decision, and should be removed from society. To what extent do you think children should be excused? And I do not believe that the parents can be held responsible for the child's actions. Some children, as illustrated in the first episode of "Unconditional Love" on NPR (http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1204), are not under their parents' control and are not easily moved to be.

Kelly said...

I understand your argument, but I'm not sure I completely agree. It is true that a young person's mind may not have fully developed, but does this mean they still can't decide right from wrong? I don't necessarily think that is an excuse to declare them innocent. Whereas some blame could be put on parenting, it is still the person's actions which committed the crime.

d.ashilei said...

I actually think that child punishment is inhumane; however, I completely disagree that a child is not at fault because they do not understand the components of right and wrong. Everything is based on how you're taught and to say that children are incapable of determining their actions brings into question child sociopaths. Should the crimes of adolescent sociopaths be disregarded or lessened in punishment because they are children? I think that's a whole new can of worms. They say that you gain your morality (view of what is right and wrong) from your earliest experiences in most cases, so I do agree that the societal and parental enviornment do play a significant role in the matter. However, parents shouldn't be held responsible for their children at all times. Unless, the parents are involved in the crime, they are in actuality not responsisble. They may have some mental influenece that can be called into question, but they shouldn't bear the full burden. I think that a lot of children are pardoned when parents are thrown into the defense's argument. And I think children are highly sympathozed with as opposed to condemned.

katiegane said...

I agree with your argument to a certain extent. I definitely think that children are a product of their parents and their living environment, but I think that each individual should be responsible for one's own actions. If a juvenile commits a crime, I do not agree that they should be severely punished, but I do agree that some form of rehabilitation is necessary. I think it would be wrong to blame a child's misdeeds completely on the parents.

Allison said...

I am not saying blame the parents' enitrely for the crime, nor am I trying to say the child is not a fault. I was simply saying that the child should be given a chance to experience the correct experiences and knowledge that will hopefully guide him or her in the right direction in the future.

Vahini said...

It is always good to have support to your beliefs. I am glad that you can validate your opinion that juveniles should not be tried in the same manner as adults because they have not finished developing. However, you still need to make a clear connection between the development and knowing right from wrong.
I agree with many points of your argument, but I feel that development is not the sole reason that juveniles should be tried in a different manner. No matter how old we are, we continue to learn, develop and experience life in a new way. Since everyone continues to develop throughout their lifetime does this mean that no one should be tried or held accountable for their actions?
It is also good that you have been able to rethink your opinion based on others comments. This is an important part of a coherent argument because it is just as important to include other opinions on the issue even though you may not agree. Its nice to know that this project has influenced you.

Maxy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maxy said...

If there is such a littany of scientific evidence proving that a young person's mind is not fully developed, then why might I ask were you 'somewhat swayed' by other arguments? If someone has the brain capability to fully plan out a murder, how can you say that they have 'underdeveloped minds'?

Cody Green said...

If there is such a littany of scientific evidence proving that a young person's mind is not fully developed, then why might I ask were you 'somewhat swayed' by other arguments? If someone has the brain capability to fully plan out a murder, how can you say that they have 'underdeveloped minds'?

Messi said...

I'm impressed by your self analysis. I have read your blog postings and have seen your argument get strengthened by extensive research. However I feel as though youth crimes have been getting more prevalent in society today. You might have a point that video games have affected this, but it may be that it has gotten more media attention. But you have a point, we need a uniform system for all states. If I have learned something its that all justice in this country is subjective. Like I have said many times before the only problem we have is the checks and balances that states are supposed to serve.

Haley said...

I have very similar thoughts. I feel like a lot of the juvi crimes are due to poor guidance. Children are always growing and developing, and as they grown and develop they learn new techniques as a "cry for help". If they are not taught the right way, then is it truly their fault for their actions? It has even been scientifically proven that the children's brains are still being "built"...it is the reason why most children live with their guardians until they are around the age of 18...for that guidance. In order to build you need a support system, we as a justice system need to support the youth by being a guide to them, leading them to the right path, and also with a sense of grace because we are aware of their weakness...their lack of knowledge.