A Second Chance

Persuasive Essay Imagine being fifteen, living in a cage for the rest of your life and dying in the hands of your cellmates. This has been is the case for more than two thousand American teenagers who are sentenced to die in prison, many of which did not even commit the crime. One person in particular was a boy named Ray; he agreed to go with his friend to rob a bank, but did not know his friend had intentions of killing someone. Ray did not even have a weapon, but his soul swooned slowly as he heard the verdict and can recall clearly the tears that dripped down his face when the Judge sentenced IM to life. Tick, tick, tick,” is the sound of the metaphoric clock that ticks away slowly as Juvenile youth continue to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Teenagers who are convicted of serious crimes should not be tried as adults and sentenced to life in prison without any possibility of parole because they lack the maturity and brainpower to make responsible decisions with the knowledge of their consequences, teenagers ignore the process of rehabilitation to gain the possibility of a second chance, and many teens are sentenced unfairly due to the aspects of one’s fife.

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One important difference between a teenager and an adult is the development of the brain. There have been studies through MR… Machines that concluded that the part of the brain that involves critical thinking thins between ages twelve and fifteen. The grey part of the brain involves the section that contains the humans ability to function in planning, impulse control, and reasoning. This part of the brain spurts in growth during the end of puberty, which is around the late teen years and after the time when any crime was committed.

A study done at UCLA showed that a growth in he temporal and parietal lobes spurts from the age of six to thirteen, then quickly dies out during puberty. With these studies, researchers were able to compare the brains of twenty year olds with the brains of twelve to sixteen year olds. The researchers were looking for the production of myelin, which indicates the maturity of the brain. There was a great difference of myelin in the adult brain and the teenager’s brain.

They concluded that the adult has more executive functions, so they classified the ten’s brain activity as having impaired executive functioning. Teenagers have different emotions than adults because as the youth grow older, the activity that triggers emotions moves towards the frontal lobe where performance improves. Scientists and doctors understand that the brain of teenagers is a complicated, dynamic area that is not easily understood.

Teenagers being tried as adults isn’t right because, rather than changing their lives and going to make the community a better place, they sit in their cell with no hope of getting out with no motivation for change. Teenagers in prison deserve a second chance and they are denied the opportunity to rehabilitate or prove their innocence. After many interviews, researchers noticed that the teens regret their past, regret their crime, regret any harm they caused and wish to one day, get out and make the world a better place.

Without an opportunity of going on parole to prove their innocence and to show how they have changed, Juveniles are forced to Human Rights Watch completed many studies and they gathered enough information to conclude that forty five percent of youth in prison are being held legally responsible for a crime they did not commit. This situation happened to a 19-year-old boy named Mike Hint. Hint was sentenced for the murder of a young man, as ell as three other people that were involved with the crime.

During the court case, Antonio Hint, Mike’s father, knew his son was innocent and he mentioned this when he said, “Mike wasn’t there, I don’t know why nobody won’t stand up and say he didn’t do it. ” He was put into prison without any chance of parole and the absence of a normal life. Life in prison without the chance of parole should not be the sentence of teenagers because many of the cases are treated unfairly and without Just. Our court is sentencing kids who are not able to vote, buy a lottery ticket, or buy cigarettes to life in prison.

Even though a terrible crime may be committed, the youth should be punished for the crime in a way that reflects their age and immaturity, not by the color of their skin. Many of the Juveniles are sentenced to die in prison because of their color and ethnicity. Just as Martin Luther King Jar. Said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. ” After completing many studies, Human Rights Watch determined that eighty five percent of the youth that are sentenced to life without parole are people of color. Racial sentencing is especially bad in California where seventy five percent of the youth in prison are African

American or Hispanic. The Human Rights Watch also noticed that the sentencing of African Americans is eighteen point three times the rate for whites; likewise, Hispanics are sentenced to life at a rate that is five times white youth. All of these examples and reasons should be enough to convince our leaders in this country to take another look at the unfair sentencing that is occurring in this “land of the free. ” Something needs to be done about this tragedy that continues to affect the lives of many individuals as well as the families of teenagers whose lives are have been thrown away due to this devastating policy. 2

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