Friday, October 23, 2009

Juvenile Law Reform/long overdue/Children under Seige

Our nation's children(under 18) are under seige. They are being held at zero tolerance levels in schools, infractions of the smallest mistakes, sometimes leads them facing officials, many under arrest, waivering their constitutional and miranda rights, many are questioned without an attorney and investigations are NOT videotaped from the very beginning of questioning these children. Many young children have been arrested for an alleged crime, have been tried, convicted and sentenced as an adult, even at the very tender ages of 12, 13 yrs of age. The development of a person's brain has not completely developed, matured, until in their early twenties.

This is not a call of guilt or innocence, but the fact that children of this nation are being tried as an adult, they clearly are not. Children under 18, by law, are not allowed to do many things, IE, get a tattoo, buy a car, cigarettes, watch x rated movies, get a job, sign a contract, etc, ALL of the amenities of an ADULT, yet if one gets into some trouble or commits an alleged crime, the officials seems to automatically waive their case up to adult court immediately. Some state laws dictates the case to go to adult court first, then the defense attorney has to petition the court to have the case remanded back to juvenile courts. Many children have been given long, harsh sentences, many with life and/or life without any possible chance of parole, due to the fact that state laws are written to treat children with adult sanctions, for the same crime, as if an adult committed the crime.

Laws must and need to be changed, reformed, governing "children". State laws statures, exception of about two states, dictate the definition of "child"/"juvenile", which is one who is under 18 yrs of age. Far too many children have met their doom in prison "forever" without any chance of parole, for a mistake allegedly made when ONLY a child. No chances, NO redemptions, NO counseling, NO rehabilitive efforts ever offered these children, leaving them to die off in prison.

This is indeed, a direct violation of their constitutional amendments of "cruel and inhumane" treatment. If, in fact, punishment is due, punishment should be administered in a juvenile detention facility, along with compassion, mercy, and a chance for these children to become productive members of society. So many children never had a chance, and are dead, died behind bars, just awaiting for their trial date.

Has America become so cold, so callous, so unforgiving, so uncaring, so unwilling, as not to, at the very least reinvestigate the existing laws governing these children.


No comments: