Response Paper. Overview of the article

The article which is discussed in this response paper touches upon the theme of juvenile delinquency and the right of different countries to sentence children who committed grave crimes to permanent imprisonment. Although the United States and Somalia are absolutely different countries in their development, they have one common feature ”“ both of these two countries consider that those children who committed grave crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The United States and Somalia refused to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which prohibits to sentence children who committed severe crimes to die in prison. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child argues that such actions are “inhuman and inconsistent with civilized society”¯. It is known that a great deal of the countries rejected to sentence children to die in prison.
According to the statistical data represented by Amnesty International and Human Right Watch, the United States has the largest number of children who were sentenced to permanent imprisonment (about 2,270).
The author of the article gives a detailed description of the situation in the United States which concerns the treatment of children in the country. He pays attention to the recent changes which took place in political and legal culture of the United States. It is known that harsh sentencing policies were put in place by the growth of the conservative movement in politics of the country.
The author of the article also adduces several examples which prove the fact that the present day practices concerning the sentencing of offenders are the harshest in the history of the United States.
My relation to the article
I think that this article touches upon one of the most important themes in the US jurisdiction because sentencing children to die in prison is an issue which requires investigation of each case apart. It is impossible to sentence children to permanent imprisonment without taking into consideration all the circumstances of the crime.
I can agree with the author of the article that imposing sentence on children to die in prison is connected with “the political culture”¯ of the country. The Case of Sara Kruzan is a good example of such an unjust sentence of California court when a girl of 16 years old killed the man who forced her to be engaged in prostitution. I also agree with the fact that if the above mentioned case occurred in another county Sara Krusan would have less severe punishment.
Unfortunately, I cannot agree with the fact that it is necessary to abolish the practice of passing a lifetime sentence for children who committed severe crimes. I think it is necessary to take into consideration the conduct of the prisoner and his penitential. I also cannot agree with the fact that the child who committed a severe crime but who behaved well in prison and repented of his crime should serve a minimum of 25 years. I support the ideas of the Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria who wrote that laws which have the main task to regulate human actions “should not embrace savage measures”¯. Our jurisdiction should pay more attention to human factor of each case when a child is sentenced for committing a crime. It is necessary to give a chance to the child who realizes his errors and repented of them to start a new life and to be a true citizen of his country.


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