The sort of punishment that is carried out to the juvenile offenders has always been a matter of dispute as well as intrigue among the law enforcement agencies. Especially if one talks about the cases that are pertaining to the capital punishments are the ones that are specifically looked after due to the increased media interest of all the stakeholders in such cases (Monahan et al. 2015). For instance, one of the cases that was witnessed in 2005 Roper v. Simmons, the ruling that was made by the United States was that the execution of the people who were aged 18 at the time of the crimes is violating the constitutional guarantee that exist against the cruel and the unusual punishment (Monahan et al. 2015). It was in continuation with the opinion that was voiced by the Rupert during the course of 2002 that how the decision pertaining to the execution of in such instance goes against the constitution (Monahan et al. 2015). The general trend though has been that the situation has varied from one case to the another and with the passage of time it has become one (Cox et al. 2017).
Culpability of the Juvenile in the Capital Cases
One of the key things that are needed to be understood when one talk about the cases that are related to the juveniles is the fact that how the execution was carried out when they were of the age 18 (Cox et al. 2017). The issue has been evaluated in many cases since the restoration of the death penalty was carried out during the course of 1970’s. Especially the case of Thompson vs Oklahoma was the one where the determination has to be carried out regarding the way individual is supposed to be punished (Cox et al. 2017). The endorsement the preposition that the culpability of the crime should be less if the juvenile has performed it is a matter of great debate. The problem is that the United States legal system has showed ambiguity in this regard as their stance has changed on many cases (Cox et al. 2017).
Law Enforcement and Juvenile Crime
If one talks about the juvenile justice, the key thing is that how the law enforcement agencies play their part during the course of the whole process (Mears et al. 2015). What must be noted that once there is a case that the juvenile has been apprehended for the violation of the law, it is the police officer that is going to be determining the fact that whether the person would be indulging deeper into the life of crime or whether they have a chance at redeeming themselves? The law enforcement agencies are supposed to track the overall volume and the characteristics of the crime that are reported (Mears et al. 2015). When they have complete information at their disposal, they are in the position to monitor the changing level of crimes (Cox et al. 2017). The problem is that there is lack of efficient reporting mechanism as far as the way reporting is carried out. The lack of consistency in terms of the treatment and how there is lack of consistency in this regard (Cox et al. 2017) Thus the data control and data recording mechanism is needed to be developed by the law enforcement so at least they can set a precedent in terms of the way crime reporting is carried out (Cox et al. 2017).
Correction in the Juvenile Capital Punishment System
The other thing that is very important is that how the correction in the existing juvenile capital punishment system is supposed to be carried out (Liles & Moak, 2015). At times, rather than opting for the capital punishment for the juvenile criminals, the precedent that is set these days is about making sure that some sort of correctional treatment is being provided to these offenders (Liles & Moak, 2015). The idea is to make sure that when they have committed the crime, due to the fact that they were juvenile and their decision making capabilities were not developed (Mears et al. 2015). They had made a mistake but bringing on capital punishment when they were not really in control of themselves is something that is not advised. Again, the lack of consistency that one gets to see in this regard makes it a very hard prospect (Liles & Moak, 2015). The other key aspect that has to be taken into the consideration is that how in the long run it would be made sure that the consistency across the board has to be accounted for the broader interpretation of the legal system (Liles & Moak, 2015). If the consistency is not achieved, then the likelihood that one would be seeing different interpretations of the cases related to the juvenile capital punishment cases that would further create confusion regarding the way forward and how it supposed to be proceeded with (Liles & Moak, 2015).
Court System and Legal Implications for the Capital Punishment
The last thing that is needed to be taken into the consideration is the fact that what sort of role the court system can play as far as setting up the implications that are related to the capital punishment of the juveniles (Liles & Moak, 2015). Now, the interesting dilemma that the courts are witnessing is that how the reasoning is going to be applied for the defendant’s youth in each of the cases (Mears et al. 2015). Then the way defendants are facing the future dangers is another area that is needed to be taken into consideration (Liles & Moak, 2015). For instance, taking the example of the Thompson v Oklahoma, the overall age of the offender of the important consideration when determination of the punishment must be carried out to the individual who is a juvenile (Reiman & Leighton, 2015). On the contrary, looking at the case of the Stanford and Kentucky, the same rational was not being followed as it was implied that the eight amendments does not prohibit the death penalty for the crimes that are committed between the age of 16 and 17 (Liles & Moak, 2015).
At the moment, the way courting system is working in the United States, they have wide range of sentencing options at their disposal. These options are being termed as the disposition orders (Liles & Moak, 2015). They can impose these orders in the juvenile offenders as well as the youth offenders who are finding to be delinquent in all of the cases (Liles & Moak, 2015). The key aspect that is needed to be taken into the consideration is the fact that if there is a case that the minor has violated the criminal law, then the disposition of the option is going to be falling in two camps (Reiman & Leighton, 2015). These two camps are incineration and the non-incarceration. The problem is that the law at times dictate the fact that how these people should be punished regardless of their age but in similar cases, leeway has been provided to people (Liles & Moak, 2015). Then comes the way constituentuality of the crimes that are carried out by these people and whether they warranted any sort of execution depending on the nature and the extent of the crime (Liles & Moak, 2015).
Cox, S. M., Allen, J. M., & Hanser, R. D. (2017). Juvenile justice: A guide to theory, policy, and practice. Sage Publications.
Liles, A., & Moak, S. C. (2015). Changing juvenile justice policy in response to the US Supreme Court: Implementing Miller v. Alabama. Youth Justice, 15(1), 76-92.
Mears, D. P., Pickett, J. T., & Mancini, C. (2015). Support for balanced juvenile justice: Assessing views about youth, rehabilitation, and punishment. Journal of quantitative criminology, 31(3), 459-479.
Monahan, K., Steinberg, L., & Piquero, A. R. (2015). Juvenile justice policy and practice: A developmental perspective. Crime and justice, 44(1), 577-619.
Reiman, J., & Leighton, P. (2015). The rich get richer and the poor get prison: Ideology, class, and criminal justice. Routledge.