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Jovana
The documentaryWhen Kids Get Lifeis a film that talks of how juvenile criminals are sentenced to adult sentences; this is because the justice system believes that the crimes they have committed deserve adult punishments. In the film, the cases of Jacob and Nathan, it is evident that the children had been abused by their parents; thus, for them, they were tired because they felt nobody cared about them, thus for them killing their parents could solve their problems. According to the narrators in the documentary, they admit that after the children murdered their parents, they were shivering with fear because they did not understand what they had done; similarly, it is also evidence to show that the children did not intend to commit these crimes, but it just happened because they felt mistreated by their parents. However, according to the justice officers, the decision to sentence juveniles to life without parole was because there had been several cases of the juvenile involved in the murder; thus, this was a way to help reduce these cases, and it was achieved because teenage crime rate went down due to fear imposed by the harsh sentences granted to juvenile offenders.
What is shocking from the documentary is that according to the participating justice system, official parents who murder their children receive a lighter sentence compared to children who murder their parents. This is confusing because in both cases, there is murder, and for a parent killing their child, they have a better reasoning mind than their children do, thus, it is expected that the parents should be sentenced to strict and severe punishments. Among the strategies that can help solve the problem of juveniles being charged as criminal is that the court system should have a clear history of what led the child to commit the homicide. For instance, in this case, Jacob, the court should have understood that the child had undergone abuse and violence, which could have affected him mentally. Therefore, before issuing adult sentencing and harsh punishments, the court should know that the children’s reasoning was sabotaged and needed help that they could not get from their parents. Additionally, sentencing these juveniles to adult sentences means that they will be jailed in adult prisons, where they are likely to face more problems and abuse from the adult prisoners, thus worsening their mental wellness because they are still suffering from the abuse they faced from their parents.

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