"The sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders should be eliminated. ...even those teens who commit horrific crimes (and chances are that immaturity and substance abuse are factors) will be far different people after 25 years in prison."

Yes, they will be different, I thought, when I read this editorial in The North County Times this morning. But psychologists say that people rarely change. My ex began a life of crime when he was 17 and became a gang member; and, died in April from liver failure due to drug and alcohol abuse. He was 63 and had tried to get clean several times. He often went to prison and whether he was in or out, no one tried to change him. He often said that he preferred prison because it was easier to get drugs in there than on the outside.

Once you prove yourself to be a violent offender, why should the safety of the public be risked to give you a second chance? Victims don't get a second chance and neither should you. We're not talking about stealing candy here. People who murder and rape have sociopathic and pathologic personalities and can't be trusted to change.

Comments

a2zresource Dec. 24, 2009 @ 11:49 a.m.

It would be wonderful if kids were just kids and let us adults do the stupidly adult things we often do to each other.

When I was a kid, all we wanted to do together was earn our way into marching in the Rose Parade in '74 & '76. Go, Mt. Miguel Marching Matadors!

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thestoryteller Dec. 24, 2009 @ 4:45 p.m.

Yes, times have changed and it seems somebody at the NCT thinks all kids do is shoplift or vandalize these days.

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shizzyfinn Jan. 5, 2010 @ 9:49 a.m.

Could you share more details or evidence about your statement "psychologists say that people rarely change"? Seems to me that psychologists are in the business of helping people change, no?

And are you seriously arguing that kids don't change significantly as they grow into adults? I think most adults would report that they think and act a lot differently than they did before age 18, and that their personal moral code evolved considerably as they've gotten older. Is that not the case for you?

As for sentencing kids as adults, that's always struck me as institutionalized child abuse, and arguably even more disgusting than the death penalty. When child criminals are treated like adults, justice takes a back seat to vengeance.

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