Imagine you are a Supreme Court Justice. The case before you deals with at what age criminals should be subject to the death penalty. As a Supreme Court Justice you are asked to issue a clear-cut verdict supporting or against the issue. Write an essay persuading your fellow Justices to side with your verdict.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the American Convention on Human Rights oppose executing a juvenile. There has been thirteen juvenile offenders executed in the past five years. The United States is one of five countries in the world to ever execute a juvenile and one of two that continue to do so. So why do the United States continue to send sixteen and seventeen-year-old minors to death row? The age of criminals that would be subjected to the death penalty should be eighteen because it is otherwise considered cruel and unusual punishment as well as unconstitutional.
According to the Constitution, a child is defined as under the age of eighteen. The Constitution also states that children are guaranteed the right to have basic nutrition and social services. Children are also guaranteed protection from maltreatment, neglect and other abuse. Having a minor executed would defiantly be in the category of maltreatment and abuse.
Aside from the fact that it is unconstitutional to give a minor the death penalty, psychiatric, David Fassier, M.D, also opposes it. He argues that because the brain of a teenager functions differently from an adult it does not have the same ability to reason, think, and control impulses. "For example, they tend to rely more on these instinctual structures, like the amygdala, and less on more advanced areas, like the frontal lobes, which are associated with more goal oriented and rational thinking.
People supporting the execution of children may...