Facts of the Case
The Petitioner in this case who is Graham committed two offenses of robbery before he was 18 years of age. He was then given a sentence of life without Parole. Graham later pronounced a challenge to his conviction to be violating the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition as being of cruel and also unusual punishment. The court of Florida declined the relief of Graham. The court of the United States reversed the case, however. This court upheld the sentence to life without parole for a non – homicide juvenile offender who is considered as a cruel and unusual violation of the eighth amendment.
The constitution does not give a provision for life – without Parole sentence to a crime entailing homicide. The judgment from the Florida court of appeal was reversed, and the matter was left for further proceedings that would be consistent with the opinions of the court. Pronouncing a sentence on a Juvenile offender to a life in prison without parole for a non – homicide offense is a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition, and such a punishment is considered as being cruel while at the same time very unusual.
A decision of the U.S Supreme court
In the Supreme Court, there were concurring and dissenting opinions. Stevens and Roberts had a concurring opinion while Thomas and Alito had dissenting opinions. The case of Graham V. Florida is at the midpoint of the evolution that took place at the court in the Eighth Amendment between the decisions to ban the punishment of the Juveniles capitally. This decision was declined two years later.
The rationale behind the Supreme Court Decision
Proportionality is the basis of Eighth amendment which validates the inquiry into the case of a criminal. The instances which address proportionality are grouped into two, there are those who are checking into the circumstances that are surrounding the case, and these determine whether the sentences are excessive unconstitutionally or not — the Second category rules that define the Amendment parameters. Using these approaches, the court reached its decision accordingly.
I agree with the decision of the court in the sense that they had no legitimate reasons for which they could punish Graham. Separating Graham from the Society was also not a very good option because this effort will escalate the criminal conduct of Graham. The sentence of Graham was therefore unusual.
Why is it often difficult to state with a high degree of certainty that a program is generally effective at reducing delinquency?
When a Juvenile commits a crime, such a juvenile is deemed to be a delinquent. Efforts of delinquency prevention continually seek to redirect the youth who are considered to be at risk for delinquency or who happen to have committed delinquent offense from engaging in a more profound crime in the justice system for the juvenile. The most successful programs have always been those which involve the delinquent behaviors from the onset or for the first time they ever occurred. However, in most cases, the programs which are usually conducted are those who do not engage the juvenile for the first time, and so it is quite technical to tell the effectiveness of such programs.
Chapter 23 Discussion – Explain the central idea behind deterrence. Distinguish between specific deterrence from general deterrence.
Deterrence is an old practice which is widely employed in as much as it is unevenly effective and of reliability that is questionable. It is defined as the inhibition of criminal behavior by fear and more especially by an act of punishment. It was widely used after World War I to combat the access and distribution of weapons by unauthorized persons.
General deterrence can be defined as the impact of the threat of legal punishment on the public at large. Specific deterrence, on the other hand, can be seen as the impact of the actual experiences with detection, prosecution, and punishment of the offenders.
Chapter 24 Discussion – Describe ways that changing the school environment can positively affect school factors associated with delinquency.
The environment of the School gauge the students’, teachers’ and the parents’ satisfaction with the particular school. More importantly, the context of the School has been continuously linked to the performance of the student and the rate of discipline amongst the students. The environment also plays a huge role in preventing delinquency, dropout as well as drug abuse amongst the students. The primary purpose of the context of the school is the first prevention of violence from getting more severe and worse than it could be at a particular time. When the students feel that they are cared for, then they are less likely to engage in fights and conflicts. At the same time, there is a low level of delinquency among the students who have a sense of security with them. When the students have a good relationship with each other, there is a significant reduction in the level of delinquency. Healthier environments also lower the rates of delinquency cases in schools.
Chapter 25 Discussion – How should we treat juvenile offenders? Do you think that there is hope for such offenders?
Juvenile Delinquency is among the most significant social problems that have adverse severe emotional, physical and economic effects that is felt throughout society. Putting into consideration the prevalence, stability, and detrimental impact of the offense of the juvenile is the most important. It is required that you investigate the matter accordingly as find out exactly what transpired before pointing fingers at the youth. These people need emotional support through strategies that are well thought of through the family systems and social skills such as training programs that will thoroughly engage them even if they end up in prison. There is hope for Juvenile offenders due to the changes that are taking place in the laws that give provision for future adjustments.