Description For this discussion, we will consider the program of juvenile justi …

Description For this discussion, we will consider the program of juvenile justice. There was a case in Carrollton, Ga where an 8-year-old girl, Amy Yates, was found strangled near her home. A 12-year-old boy was arrested and charged with her murder. He was found guilty, but he only would have to serve two years in juvenile detention because he aged out. Since this 2004 case, there was a law passed, Amy’s Law, that now allows juvenile offenders to be held in dentition until the age 21. Is this a good thing or no?   Post 1 On the outside of this case and the law, it seems like a great idea but when you really look into what happened with Amy Yates and the first convicted killer at the time, questions pop up. Two years after the conviction of Adams, another boy named Chris Gossett confessed to the murder of Amy those few years ago. He described in detail about what happened to Amy, details that had not been disclosed to others outside of the Yates family such as Amy’s pants being unbuttoned and unzipped. Police dismissed Gossett’s confession due to his mental development but even police officers that worked on the original case admitted to Adam’s vague statement compared to Gossett’s heavily detailed statement was concerning. Years later and both Adam’s and Gossett’s charges were dropped which has led to this case being considered unsolved as of now. Because of this, it is incredibly difficult in good conscience to agree that a juvenile should serve 9 years in a detention center, in this case, where they wrongfully convicted a child from a vague coerced confession. I do believe 2 years is not justice being served for a heinous crime though in a general sense, I think that stipulations should be considered for the law if the age of 21 is required. Such as treatment options and mandatory psychological tests to see if the individual is improving in that regard, it is well known that children’s prefrontal cortex is nowhere near the fully developed stage, so it is important to have treatment options to assess potential risk factors. Obviously innocent people of all ages get wrongfully convicted throughout the system, but this law could be seen as very similar to mandatory minimums which I personally disagree with considering circumstances for all crimes can differ. Overall, on the surface it sounds like a great idea, but the system is incredibly flawed, and it seems like it could do a lot of harm in some cases. Post 2 The issue we are faced with is how should we punish juveniles. How much time should someone younger have to face as opposed to their adult counterparts. We must have a clearly defined system of law in regard to these crimes. In this case we are dealing with the most heinous form of crime, murder. These crimes tend to have longer sentence times due to the nature of the crime, killing another human, but how do we punish juveniles for these crimes? A law was introduced called Amy’s law that states a juvenile must serve time until they reach the age of 21. I agree with this law because it allows for the teen to learn and understand the consequence of committing these acts and will hopefully mold them to becoming well rounded citizens. When it comes to murder which is the most heinous crime the punishment must be severe. Knowing that this was a case involving juveniles I do agree that the punishment should not be as severe as it is with adults however only serving two years is not enough time for anyone to fully understand the consequences of murder under any circumstance.  With most murder cases the time severed is meant for a person to rehabilitate and re-enter back into society a more well-rounded person. These realizations take time and only two years does not allow the brain to be molded. Being that the person who committed these acts is also a juvenile the punishment should allow the person enough time to reflect and understand why these acts are not worth the punishment. Juveniles are easily manipulated meaning that the reason that this person committed these acts must be due to an outside force such as home life, school peers, or entertainment such as TV or video games. We must remove these distractions from that person’s life and introduce an understanding of the law, what is morally right and wrong. By the time that the juvenile is released they will be an adult and able to move freely around the world. This will effectively have removed them from negative influences and rehabilitated them to enter back into society without those impulses or improper views on how the world works. However, it is imperative that we make sure that their time served is constructive instead of destructive to the person. We see that most offenders that are released from prison end up back in prison for a number of other crimes, so how do we prevent that from happening to juveniles? Making sure that while they serve their time, they have the opportunity to learn and have all the tools they need to re-enter into society has to have the highest priority. Offering courses so that their can either receive their high school diploma or GED should be required for release.

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