Destined for Failure

The topic of juvenile justice first came into my mind when my middle and high school friend was arrested for the murder of his parents. I could not believe that this sweet innocent person whom I had recently loss contact with was the same person in the news being charged for the murder of his adopted parents. Coming from Oakland, “he hood”, there’s always this stigma of you have to act tough and you cant let nobody punk you around. At only 15, I was surprised he was charged as an adult, but most people would think otherwise. Yes, he killed both his parents with his bare hands, but you didn’t know him like I did. He was that sweet boy who got involved with the wrong people. His life before being adoptive was horrific; his mom had financial issues, had a substance abuse issue and was a victim of domestic violence. After being adopted, his environment didn’t change much. Although his new parents were caring, they were often surrounded by drug addicts since their job involved helping them. This topic needs further exploration because I am against sending a child to an adult prison just because they commit a crime, I think that their background should have a say as well. Despite Kamin’s horrific background, he was still charged as an adult.

Growing up in Oakland, it was always tough seeing what classmates ended up on the wrong path. Having attended a school which offers both middle school and high school, I though of most of my classmates more like a family. Seeing some classmates being charged of murdered or even killed is what inspired me to chose Criminal Justice as my career path. This topic will give me the opportunity to read through articles that may have the same perspective as I do or might have a completely different perspective that I never thought about.

This topic has gotten a lot of attention lately according to the article, “Justice Expand Parole Rights for Juveniles Sentenced to Life for Murder” by Adam Liptak. He talks about a 2012 decision to ban mandatory life-without-parole. A judge ruled that life-without-parole should be applied retroactively; this gives prisoners who are serving life-without-parole to make their sentence less severe. Although this is good news for the many people that committed displaceable acts without thinking in their youth there are teens who make people reconsider this decision.

Ethan Couch (photo courtesy: Attorney General State of Jalisco)

In the article, “Judge Moves ‘ Affluenza Teen’ Case To Adult Court” by Merrit Kennedy she talks about Ethan Couch, a teen that killed four people and seriously wounded two while driving drunk when he was only 16. He argued that his actions were due to a condition called ‘affluenza’. According to the article, “ the defense infamously argued that Couch’s wealthy parents had never held him accountable for his actions — a conditions they dubbed ‘affluenza’.” Not only did he deliver this ridiculous excuse to the court, but he then failed to appeared at a mandatory appointment which resulted in a international manhunt.

In conclusion, I look forward to reading, writing, and exploring the different sides of juvenile convictions when it comes to serious crimes. I hope that with this information my reader will more informed if at anytime they might be in need of this information.

Work Cited

Kennedy, Merrit. “Judge Moves ‘Affluenza Teen’ Case To Adult Court. “NPR. NPR, 19 Feb. 2016. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Liptak, Adam. “Justices Expand Parole Rights for Juveniles Sentenced to Life for Murder.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

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