Sunday, June 24, 2012

No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin

"I'm fighting, man, 'cause I'm trying to stay as close to human as I can. I don't want to become a monster." - Roy, p. 33. 

This book compiles interviews with men who were sentenced to Death Row as young at fourteen. Most of the inmates accept responsibility for their actions, but they want people to know that they aren't the same people they were when they committed the murders. 

Research has shown that teens do not develop the right temporal lobe (the part of the brain that recognizes consequences to certain actions) until their twenties; therefore, to sentence a teen to Death Row with no hope of rehabilitation is called into question. Should a person be defined by one act? 

For those who think that prison is a resort where prisoners get to eat and sleep on the taxpayer's dime, they need to read these interviews because the picture is grim, at best. These inmates fight for their lives everyday. Everyday they face violence, murder, gang rapes, and humiliation. The sad part? No one cares. 

If we continue to practice "an eye for an eye," don't we just end up with a lot of blind people?

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