We have a deep and recent history in this country of punishing children and teens in violent and tragic ways despite their age.
The youngest documented juvenile death penalty was the execution of a 12-year-old girl in Connecticut in 1786.
Why are we so slow to change our ways and reform, once and for all, our juvenile justice system? As a pediatrician, I turn to science. And it makes a compelling case.
For example, we know from scientific research that the frontal lobe of the human brain — the hub of decision-making, impulse control and attention — does not reach full maturity until a person reaches their mid-20s.
And yet, so often, we continue to punish children, teens and young adults as if they were fully mature adults.
To read the full article, click here.