Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Victory for justice

Ok, I know I'm suppose to be working on my dissertation, but this is too good to pass up. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, has abolished the death penalty for juveniles. Being an anti-capital punishment guy myself, I am pleased with decision. However, more importantly, juveniles are having some of their childhood returned to them. Don't misunderstand me, children who murder other children deserve stiff penalties that extend beyond their 18th birthday. However, as a teacher of adolescents, I know that many act rashly without thought or provocation. None of my students have murdered anyone, but I have witnessed normally mild-mannered students lash out in physical violence because of something someone says or does.

This decision recognizes that kids are kids. Children should be held accountable, but if a kid ain't old enough to handle alcohol or cigarettes, I think it is tough to make the argument that the state should be killing them.