The Supreme Court has ruled minors convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison is cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court ruling says, teens must be given a new hearing to determine if their brains were mature enough at the time the crime was committed to understand the consequences of their actions.
Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan says:
Graham [v. Florida], Roper [v. Simmons], and our individualized sentencing decisions make clear that a judge or jury must have the opportunity to consider mitigating circumstances before imposing the harshest possible penalty for juveniles. By requiring that all children convicted of homicide receive lifetime incarceration without possibility of parole, regardless of their age and age-related characteristics and the nature of their crimes, the mandatory sentencing schemes before us violate this principle of proportionality, and so the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
This is what I call an over compassionate society enabling teens to commit crimes and giving them excuses for their poor choices. Yes, our brains mature and change as we grow, but by the time a child reaches his/ hers teenage years their brains have matured enough to know the difference between right and wrong.
The Supreme Court has now ordered the re-sentencing of two teens sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole while minors began today with the re-sentencing of Ihab Maslamani and Robert Taylor who were convicted of kidnapping and the brutal murder of Mathew Landry. Maslamani's attorney is blaming the situation he was growing up in for his actions, deeming him incapable of understand his effect of his actions at the time the crime was committed.
Schools, children services and the court systems love to blame parents and other adults involved in the child's life for a child's poor decision making skills. Where the actual problem lies is a lack of accountability and over compassionate society who make excuses for the poor choices of today's youth.
A lot of murderers do in fact come from fractured difficult backgrounds. Does that mean we should appeal their decisions also? A teenager is not the same as a five year old committing murder. Most children begin to understand cause and effect by the age of two years old. By the time a child reaches his or her teenage years they are capable of having a clear understanding of the rules of society and begin to develop their thoughts and value system. Therefore, holding them capable of understanding their actions and being held accountable for the crimes they commit.