Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Throw away the Key

I was reading this article this afternoon. Through the first half, my thoughts were that the criminal justice system is TOO lenient on teens who commit crimes such as murder. In my opinion, they should be tried as adults, regardless. Anyone over the age of 7 knows that killing is wrong (or they should, anyway). But, as I was reading, I came across some very disturbing statements. Statements such as:

Most young offenders serving life without parole were exposed to poverty, violence or drugs during childhood, the Equal Justice Initiative reported.
Some victims' families say that's exactly why the juveniles should stay locked up.
Salerno, of Crime Victims United of California, said that some juveniles can be rehabilitated but that some committed crimes so severe, resources shouldn't be wasted on them.

Seriously? Resources shouldn't be WASTED? That's what you call it? So, let's get this straight. A child is brought into the world, into bad circumstances such as poverty, abuse, gangs, drugs, and violence...that they had no control over because a child can't choose their home situation, so they need to be punished when they start leading the only life they know? When all a child sees growing up is hate, greed, selfishness, and lack of respect for the human life, that is what they are going to migrate to. It's natural for them. For many of these teens, a gang is the only sense of family they have ever had. So instead of "wasting resources" to help put them in a better situation and rehabilitate them, giving them a shot at life, we would rather spend millions of dollars to keep them locked up for life, taking away any hope for a future?? Is this really the way Christ would want us to treat our children?

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