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Word On the Street Should a minor ever receive a life sentence?

Interviews by Mia Hernandez / Photographs by Andrew Huang

Buster Paris-Kaufman, a sophomore in Academic Choice, said, “Minors should be rehabilitated and any mental health issues should be addressed if they have any. We should be paying more attention to that, not punishing, but trying to make them better and more able to be apart of society.”

Maia DiPrima is a sophomore in Academic Choice, who believes that “there’s no point keeping them locked up when there is still time to change … They can’t grow and progress if they are locked up their whole life.”

Ashé Smith is a freshman in Universal 9th Grade. “It depends on what they did, if they did some big thing to deserve it then they are dangerous to the people around them,” said Smith, “But if it is something little then it’s fine. But you can’t just base it on their race and put them in jail, no, that’s trash,” he continued.

Naomi Monahann-Miller, a sophomore in Communication, Arts, and Sciences, said, “Logically you would not punish an adult and a teenager in the same way for the same crime. Biologically, their brains aren’t fully developed, so we cannot expect them to make as rational choices as adults. No good comes out of a life sentence for a kid.”

Gigi Monahann-Miller, a junior in Communication, Arts, and Sciences, said, “The human brain isn’t developed until you are 24 years old, so a lot of decisions teenagers make are irrational. That doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they’re doing is wrong, but they still have less control making … decisions.”

Lily Voinar-Fowler, a freshman in Universal 9th Grade, said, “No, because their lives haven’t even started yet. I think there is a better punishment for a teenager because they can’t get a better education if they’re just sent to prison and they’re not actually growing as a person.”

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Andrew Huang

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