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When Kids Get Life Graded Discussion Questions

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Presentation on theme: "When Kids Get Life Graded Discussion Questions"— Presentation transcript:

1 When Kids Get Life Graded Discussion Questions

2 Objective… Investigate the criminal judicial systems’ practice of sentencing juveniles to life in prison. Evaluate the social, moral, biological, legal and political implications of sentencing a juvenile to life in prison.

3 1) Is the purpose of criminal justice retribution or rehabilitation of criminals?
Retribution - Offenders should be punished for committing crimes when they freely violate existing social rules. …An “eye for an eye” Rehabilitation – To restore to good health or useful life through therapy and education.

4 Retribution or Rehabilitation
2) Which one of these is more valuable to society? Explain why.

5 Retribution or Rehabilitation
3) How would our prison system be different depending on which of these goals we decide is most important?

6 Retribution or Rehabilitation
4) How can this question be applied to these cases?

7 5) Are there circumstances that mitigate the seriousness of a murder?
Mitigating circumstance - A circumstance that does not exonerate a person, but due to extenuating circumstances reduces the penalty associated with the offense .

8 6) Are there circumstances where a murder can be justified?

9 7) Is it possible (or even necessary) to forgive or excuse any of these boys because of what had happened to them?

10 8) Is it possible (or necessary) to give them a lesser sentence because of the circumstances of the crime? …Or the evidence against them?

11 9) Do juveniles deserve special consideration under the law, or should they be treated like adults?
Why? …What is it that makes juveniles different? At what age should they be considered adults? Are there times when we should make exceptions?

12 The following questions are based on the Upfront article Crime & Punishment…

13 10) Do you think that life without parole sentences for teens violate the 18th Amendment's ban on “cruel and unusual” punishments? Why or Why not?

14 11) Do you believe that kids under 18 who commit serious crimes are less responsible for their actions than adults?

15 12) Do you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision (Roper v. Simmons) to ban the death penalty for juveniles? Why or Why not?

16 13) According to recent studies, in what ways are teen brains different from adult brains?

17 14) Do you agree with Justice Elena Kagan that young people have a “heightened capacity” for change?

18 4) How might the judicial system help young offenders change their behaviors?

19 5) Why did the courts get tough on juvenile defenders in the 80s and 90s?

20 The Columbine High School Massacre - April 20, Harris & Klebold murdered 12 students & 1 teacher - Wounded 21 6) If Dylan Klebold & Eric Harris had lived to stand trial and sentencing would you feel the same way?

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