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The death penalty is utilized as an optimistic view to alleviate much of what is morally andcriminally wrong with our society Yet in reality capital punishment does nothing to improveAmericas justice system by allegedly acting as a deterrent to the criminals NeverthelessAmericans continue to execute adults and children on dubious principles The execution ofchildren is particularly outrageous International and Federal standards sanction that children areexempt from the death penalty not in order to grant absolution for their crimes or to disparagethe suffering of the victims family but in recognition of their immaturity and potential forrehabilitation The cases of juvenile offenders on Americas death row continue to reflect morethan just the specific concerns raised by their immaturity at the time of the offense but representthe more important justification for a punishment that is antiquated A closer look at capitalpunishment reveals problems that consist of a lack of ethics regarding a childs life a possibleenormous risk of wrongful conviction and a staggering amount of money spent that does notaccomplish any means of deterring others from committing murderForemost in considering the appropriateness of capital punishment is the importance ofunderstanding the federal laws state laws and an importance of international standards Maryland law and federal law deliberated that those under 18 are not adequately mature enoughto make adult decisions Hence those under 18 are not able to vote they cannot legally drinknor are they able to join the armed forces By this reasoning a juvenile whom the nation does nottrust to make adult decisions should not be executed for choosing to perform the immoral act ofThe Supreme Court arrived at its 1988 decision that in effect acknowledged the rationaleof cases involving minors that there is an assumption that adolescents are too young tounderstand the consequences of their actions and set the minimum age at 16 in the landmark caseThompson vs Oklahoma Nevertheless Melissa Sickmund a senior research associate at theNational Center for Juvenile Justice believes that the minimum age
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