Adolescents, Crime and Brain Development

For the people who believe that adolescents should be punished when committed a crime,

  My name is Charlotte and I am a teenager who robbed and brutally beat an old lady with my friend Emily. I know you think that I should go to prison for this crime but I am here to tell you all of the many reasons why I should not go to jail. For one, our brains have weak breaks. If we see something that intrigues us enough than we go after it. Our reward system is very aroused hehe. Very aroused I said. The braking system to make sure we don’t follow the leader with our negative decisions is turned off at that time. Also, we are more likely to take more risks with our friends. There was a study done at Temple Hospital where when people played games without their friends, they don’t play it differently than any other adult. A student mentioned that by even knowing their friend is watching them, it doubles the number of risks we take but if we look at adults, playing with friends has no impact on their behavior. Let’s not forgot that the behavior-governing prefrontal cortex is morphing. This part of my brain isn’t even developed yet. It is still in the stages of developing correctly so that I make the right decisions and not do idiotic things….just like this situation. Another important factor is adults. Adults guidance makes a huge difference so that we don’t follow the wrong crowd. My mother wasn’t active in my life at all. I barely knew her so I didn’t have the skills to think good enough so that I wouldn’t make negative decisions. By having a parent in your life, you are more willing to do positive things instead of doing risky behaviors. In a case called Atkins v. Virginia, it banned the execution of mentally retarded people so if that was an option, that’s now illegal. What about our hormonal changes?? Being an adolescent, we undergo many emotional and hormonal changes. One of the hormones that has the most effect on our body is testosterone. Emotionally, an adolescent is part child and part adult. Not only that but my father was also abusive which is why I committed this crime. All I know is violence. Research studies shows that abusive childhood experiences can cause violent behaviors. Some situations that can trigger it is being a witness to domestic violence or substance abuse with the family, and also being the victim of physical or sexual assault. This is the reason why I committed the crime that I did. Myself was not only physically abused by my father but I was also bullied in school. I would do one thing wrong, like forget to do the dishes one time and the next thing I knew, my face was being slapped or I got pushed down to the floor. When I was at school, people would call me words like ugly, worthless and fat albert. This is my case as to why I should not receive jail time and walk a free woman.