SWLAW Blog | Faculty Features
September 9, 2017
Prof. Beth Caldwell Quoted as Oregonians Debate Over Trying Juveniles as Adults
PACIFIC STANDARD - September 8, 2017
Eagle Creek Fire likely started by boy's misuse of fireworks. Nearly 31,000 acres decimated and some are calling for the teens allegedly responsible be charged and tried as adults.
While the public sentiment may demand "that the severity of the damage from a crime should determine the severity of the punishment no matter the age of the perpetrator . . . science suggests kids should not be held as culpable for their crimes."
"In particular, the part of the brain responsible for impulse control, and for weighing the long-term consequences of one's actions, is not yet fully formed in one's teenage years," Beth Caldwell, a professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, [said] last year. "Thus, no matter how horrible one's actions are during adolescence, it is not fair to hold juveniles to the same standards as adults because, as the Supreme Court has said in opinions limiting Life Without Parole for Juvenile offenders, they are not as 'blameworthy' as adults."
Read the full article here.