Wednesday, October 17, 2007

185 to 1

Here's the issue: Should young adolescents who are convicted of crimes as adults be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole? The vote on a United Nations resolution calling for the abolition of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for children and young teenagers was nearly unanimously approved. In fact the vote was 185 to 1 with the United States the lone dissenter.

According to the New York Times article (H/T Talkleft):

...the United States stands alone in the world in convicting young adolescents as adults and sentencing them to live out their lives in prison. According to a new report, there are 73 Americans serving such sentences for crimes they committed at 13 or 14.

What do you think? Do we spoil the child if we spare life without any chance of parole if you were a child when you first arrived there? Remember, we're not asking whether we let them out, only if a judge or parole board should be able to let them out in the future if they're sufficiently rehabilitated?

Along those same lines, should we hold boys as young as 13 at Gitmo?

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