SOC 331 week 5 DQ 1

  

Ashford 6: – Week 5 – Discussion 1

Retributive Justice and Mandatory Life Imprisonment for Juvenile Offenders

  

In Chapter 5 of the textbook, the author examines retributive justice   from the standpoint of the means of punishment (Section 5.2). He calls   attention to the length of prison sentences and, in particular, the issue of   mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court declared laws that require judges to   impose life-without-parole sentences for juveniles to be in violation of the   Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishments.” The   decision (Miller v. Alabama) was a 5-4 split   in the Court – which is typical of many such decisions that apply the cruel   and unusual punishment provision.

Your initial post must analyze the retributive justice issues of   mandatory, life-without-parole sentences. Consider the facts of Miller v. Alabama: Defendant Miller, a 14-year old   boy, with an accomplice beat the victim with a baseball bat and set his   trailer on fire with the victim inside. Defendant Miller was tried as an   adult for capital murder while committing arson.

Is a mandatory, life-without-parole sentence just in such   circumstances? Remember that “just” may or may not be the same as   “constitutional.” Summarize both the pros and the cons of your answer to   this question, and critically evaluate these pros and cons, applying   principles of retributive justice discussed in the text. Your evaluation must   respond to the pros and cons, giving persuasive reasons why you agree with   some and disagree with some.

Your initial post should be at least 300 words in length. Support   your claims with examples from at least two of the required resources for   this discussion, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of   your classmates’ posts by Day 7 whose viewpoints are different from yours.   Each peer response must be at least 125 words. Stimulate critical thinking by   contrasting your perspective with your classmate’s and explaining yours, or   by asking your classmate a question and explaining why your question is   significant.

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