Thiel College-Comment Project No. 5
The neuropsychology issue raised in juvenile death penalty cases before the U.S. Supreme Court has jumped to non-death penalty cases like juvenile life without parole. Do you think brain development cases will further seep into juvenile criminal jurisprudence? Explain your position in detail.
I believe the research of brain development in juveniles will absolutely play a role in the court room. It is already fact that the brain is not fully developed until approx. the age of 25. It is easy to use this brain development issue as justification for the defendant because of exactly that, there brain is not fully developed which means they are not fully aware. However, on the other side, it is very difficult to prove to others that the reason a 17 year old committed murder because their brain wasn't fully developed is a stretch. I am sure there will need to be other aspects to help this case but it can still be done. The entire point of defense attorneys is to defend the "criminal" using the "their brain isn't fully developed" reason is one I am sure we will continue to see.
Of course, I believe the brain development cases will further seep into juvenile criminal jurisprudence. We have seen it before, and I'm sure, we will see it again. Many defense attorneys use this "defense" towards their younger clients. As found online, our brains don't fully develop until the age 25. So, that is an "excuse" in some cases. On-the-other-hand, what do we do with suspects that are 25 and under, should they get the same treatment like those under 18 if our brains are not fully developed then? That can be a huge twist in the court system.
I believe brain development cases within the juvenile justice system will continue to be brought up in court. Studies show that the human brain does not fully develop fully until early-mid 20's. Therefore, being able to argue that a child or teen was not aware of the crime they committed can always be argued in there case. Studies also show that younger brains are more prone to metal illnesses including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and more. These are many things attorneys can bring up into court when defending a juvenile. Although, people can argue against the juvenile that they know the consequence of murder and rape at the age of 16 and 17 years old. Therefore, I do not see the argument of "brain development" leaving juvenile cases anytime soon because they are still everyday going to be committing crimes during the course of the brain developing. But it will be up to the court to decide whether or not the juvenile knew his wrong doing.
Yes I believe that, that defenses, prosecutions and cases centered around juveniles will invariably change. to what extent I am not entirely sure, however juveniles must be held accountable to there actions. If someone who is 17 kills several people in a way so unimaginable is it not far to say they should pay the price for their actions? likewise could their actions be defended merely because of their inability to mentally process (due to their age) the determined action as wrong be a factor in their innocence. its hard to accurately predict this because each case is unique, we all develop differently however its also safe to assume that the way we treat people below the age of 18 like children also has something to do when considering punishment when these individuals are conditioned to act like below their age. juveniles may have a false belief they are "untouchable" due to the liberties afforded to processing them and the lenient policies towards them, truly we need to examine all aspects of a juveniles life, not just a neurological standpoint of them being "young". our early years and experiences shape who we are and eliminating the problems with at risk youth or juvenile sentencing process, only stems from the need to articulate for stricter investigation of what is actually best for those effected, not the offender, and holding those responsible accountable for the degree of the crime, liable for their actions. Juvenile or not justice must be served.
Student No. 9.
I believe that the brain development studies will seep into the sentencing of juveniles even further. I believe that as society is evolving to a softer approach on crime and we are seeing less and less death penalties, people are obviously changing their views on crime and punishment. While i do not believe it will fade away and get too soft, I believe that intricate studies such as the function of a juvenile brain will factor into sentencing of a juvenile. I feel that life without parole for a juvenile might eventually fade away as studies show that brain development plays a role in the decision making processes of juveniles. I feel that with adequate research, this issue should be considered for juveniles. I believe that these studies will become more and more developed as technology increases, and that this technology will be used to keep juveniles from receiving punishments such as life without parole. I don't believe that we should forget the crimes that these juveniles have committed to receive this sentence, and I don't think they should be let off the hook, but life without parole might become far fetched as studies show brain function in juveniles. I think as decency standards of juveniles evolve, this is the best support that proponents will have to keep juveniles out of jail for life. Rather than saying it isn't fair to the juvenile, proponents will be able to use this information, which I think will stand its ground and gain traction in society.
The brain development case in juveniles will definitely play a role as our legal system evolves in its rules and law regarding juveniles. The issue is that the human brain really isn't really fully developed until the age of 25 which in comparison to juveniles is way underdeveloped. With this in mind the its more difficult to justify punishments for juveniles due to the cruel and unusual. If a adolescence commits a crime the factor comes into that they don't fully understand the reality of what they are doing until they are caught and taught otherwise and are harshly punished instead of helped. The neuropsychology issue is a big one and does and will effect our legal system.
Student No. 4
I believe that this plays a major role. Brain development continues to when you are in the late twenties. Brain development is going to influence our legal system because the suspect who is a teen might say his brain is developing and his brain cannot make sound decisions as an adult. The juvenile might not understand the reality of what they are doing at the time. The courts already have a hard time figuring out if the juvenile had the reality of committing that crime or not. I believe yes brain development will impact our legal system very much. We also got to believe in our legal system in rehabilitating our youth and making sure they are productive citizens in our society.
The argument put forth by experts in the field of neuropsychology is that the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. These experts have taken this revelation to the Courts when they have taken on juvenile death penalty cases. Their argument is that because the juvenile’s brain is not fully developed, this makes them less culpable when it comes to the murder that they committed. The United States Supreme court has begun to apply this idea that juveniles are less culpable to other circumstances like juvenile life without parole. I believe that these brain development cases will begin to seep further into juvenile criminal jurisprudence, however to what extent I am not sure. If a teenager commits a horrible malicious act there needs to be a better reason for them to have a lesser punishment than just that their brain wasn’t fully developed. This is however a strong mitigating factor that needs to be focused on. Juveniles may not realize the serious consequences of their actions and take advantage of a system that ultimately panders towards them. Despite the use of the development argument their still needs to be strong enforcement to show juveniles that can’t do whatever they want and not face the consequences.
Student No. 13:
I do believe brain development research will continue to play a role in juvenile cases. A brain that is not fully developed might not have the same awareness as a fully developed one. Juveniles may not fully understand the consequences of their actions. That being said, some kids do know exactly what they are doing so with the continued development of this research they need to find ways of effectively measuring brain maturity. In my opinion, an underdeveloped brain is a valid argument to, at the very least, negate the death penalty for juvenile offenders.
Student No. 16:
Due to the recent reforms in many cities that focus on lighter sentencing and other changes, there is a high probability that brain development in juveniles will continue to be studied in order to change the sentences a juvenile can receive. I believe such studies will become popular among defense attorneys--especially those who represent especially heinous juveniles. As shown in our book for the class, the mitigating factor of childhood trauma, abuse, and other factors that hinder one's brain development is often brought up in cases where adults are the offenders, so why wouldn't it be used more often in juvenile justice as well? Although I believe many will attempt to use brain development more often to receive a lesser sentence, I do not know how often the attempt will succeed. The political spectrum obviously influences the justice system--even though many argue that it shouldn't, it still happens. Therefore, a judge or jury's political views can influence the outcome of a sentencing, whether the crime is heinous or not, and whether the offender is mentally limited or not.
Student No. 17
I do not see a logical outcome of childhood abuse possibly hindering mental development as becoming a defense against crime, that slope is to slippery. By that I mean that it is not feasible, in my opinion, to set a precedent of giving a free pass to those with traumatic experiences. Scientifically speaking, the nerological studied show that all children have still developing brains, and teenage brains actual give off different brain waves associated with rash decision making. It does make sense to leave out the harshest of punishments for children becauase of their universal liklihood to not be making solid honest decisions. However, I believe the line must be drawn with adults who may not have developed to their full potential because of childhood trauma because there is no change to their psyche after that. the idea is that the full developed child would not have made that bad decision. A adult at full development can not make that argument.
Student No. 10
I believe that brain development cases will continue to further seep into juvenile criminal jurisprudence. Neuropsychology is the study of the relationship between behavior, emotion, and cognition, as well as, brain function. Therefore, neuropsychology studies will help society better understand brain development. This, in turn will make it easier for courts to draw a better conclusion for juveniles court cases. I believe that having a greater understanding of brain development will help create punishments that will be more beneficial to society and the juvenile at fault. It is important that the juvenile is rehabilitated, but also punished for the crime(s) that they have committed. Understanding brain development will help the juvenile justice system work more efficiently and effectively. This is a topic that will continue to be discussed, especially as technology and science develop.
Brain development is an important factor in all criminal cases, as it has been found the brain is not fully formed until into the 20s.There is an immediate relationship between brain development and psychology, and so neuropsychology would be able to clarify to the courtroom a minor's motives or thought process. When the minor in question grows older, they should be able to distinguish better judgement skills.
Unfortunately, I do think brain development will continue to be a large factor in criminal juvenile jurisprudence. I do not understand why there is a legal distinction between youth and adult if prosecutors can decide to try kids as adults. There is a distinct difference because children do not have the same moral responsibilities as adults. They cannot make decisions and problem-solve in the same way. Their judgement is not on the same level. There was a case in Florida where an 11 year old shot another 11 year old. The shooter was charged as an adult for life in prison. An 11 year old does not have the mental or moral capacity of an adult and won't for several years. The only cognitive assessment being made of an adolescent should be to see how far away from being an adult they are. I think that no matter how heinous the crime, minors should not be tried as adults. I also think that no crime done by minors should be punishable the rest of their lives. It would make no sense to give someone life in prison for killing someone as a child. They are completely different people with different skills by the time they grow up. That is like someone failing one test in middle school and labeling them stupid the rest of their lives. It is reactionary, and there is no place for it.
Student # 14
Brain development for juveniles will always play a big role in criminal jurisprudence. Juveniles tend to commit more crimes because they lack the maturity of a fully developed brain or an adult. The brain for humans does not fully develops in your teen years, it develops around; when you’re in your twenty’s. so that leads to kids do not understand what they’re doing is wrong. That’s why I believe that brain development cases will further seep in these criminal jurisprudences.
Student No. 6
I think that brain development will play a role in juvenille cases. They have already made a difference in whether or not these individuals can recieve capital punishment. We recently discovered the prefrontal cortex doesn't fully develop until one is around 25. This knowledge lead to the decision of them receiving life instead of them receiving the death penalty. This part of the brain is essential whenever it comes to decision making. As we learn more about the brain, I think we will limit the sentencing for the, even more.
Brain development will definitely play a role in later juvenile cases because it is a very important factor to take into consideration. The brain is what we use to think and act, and for juveniles theirs is not fully developed, so it will be hard to not take this into consideration when in the court system. It is usually around the mid-twenties that the brain is done fully developing, but that does not mean that a sixteen or seventeen-year-old do not know not to murder or commit crime. In my opinion, i believe there will always be a dispute about brain development in jurisprudence, but it will always be there.
I believe that brain development will continue to play a role in juvenile cases. As technology continues to improve, we continue to learn more about the brain. For example, science has shown that the brain can continue to develop up until the age of 25. This can be used as a defense in juvenile cases. I also believe that we are at a time in our justice system where we as a collective group are more interested in rehabilitation than punishment. I think that society will look at minors as more capable of being rehabilitated and in exchange, punishment for juveniles will continue to change as we learn more about brain development.
It is stated that our brain isn't fully developed till we are about 25 so that helps with the defense for juveniles in the cases they may be dealing with. Instead of executing the juveniles they have decided to put them in reform schools or rehabilitations centers because society believes that they aren't able to fully think on their own yet and they could pay their debt to society that way by trying to change them so they wouldn't commit those crimes again.
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