Juvenile Justice and Punishment Specifics

Why is parricide the perfect crime?

In his interview, Defense Attorney, Paul Mones states that parricide is a unique offense. This is because children who are abused by their parents will not often rebel against their abuser. After all, that abuser is still a caregiver and provider. Children are often afraid to report that they are abused by parents because they might lose that family member and be left with nothing.

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Should young offenders get life without parole?

I feel that in certain cases life without parole is warranted for the offense committed. For example, if a juvenile takes life without reason or for selfish gains, then he/she should be given life without parole. However, the juvenile offenders depicted in the film seemed to all have committed their crimes in strenuous circumstances. For example, Trevor Jones accidentally fired the gun that killed the young man. There was no real intent to commit the murder. The boy that killed his mother and stepfather did so after years of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. I feel that juveniles should not be excused for committing murder, but should not be sentenced for the rest of their lives to prison.

Should children be allowed to make mistakes or tried as adults?

In the film, a man that worked with the department of corrections in the juvenile division remembers a time when children were allowed to make mistakes and they were rehabilitated. The public sought to help the children and make sure that they understand their actions and why those actions were wrong. I believe that if you commit a crime, you should be punished for committing that crime. If a child or teen has the mental capacity to understand that the action they are performing is wrong or could cause physical harm to another person, they should be punished.

If a five-year-old accidentally kills their younger sibling by smothering them with a pillow, for example, that child does not understand about oxygen and that we need air to survive. It would be classed as a horrible accident. It would not be the same for a sixteen-year-old that committed the same action. I believe that if a child is of the age where they can understand their actions, and that should be evaluated by a trained professional, they should be tried as adults.

Does the brain development of juvenile offenders put them at risk for making errors in judgment?

According to the Colorado State Legislature, a teenager is unable to plan, focus, and deliberate on a task. This is shown by state statutes that outline teenagers cannot drive in a car with other teens. However, this does not make sense because if a teenager cannot plan, focus, and deliberate on a task, how can they commit murder? I believe that your brain is not developed enough, especially in males, to understand what the consequences of their actions are. As one expert stated in the film, the defendant saw things in terms of that he would never be able to eat McDonald’s again.

Can juveniles can be rehabilitated in the adult prison system?

Yes, juveniles can be rehabilitated if they have the desire to be rehabilitated. Sometimes, some juveniles cannot be rehabilitated due to mental conditions. I do not feel that juveniles can be rehabilitated in the adult prison system. There are too many offenders currently in custody to be able to focus on the few young offenders. It is a very sad situation for some young offenders as they do not deserve to be imprisoned for life.

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