I affirm and value morality as ought implies a moral obligation.
Morality and ethics can never be achieved via reasoning or logical deduction from truth claims as such constructions lack any ability to compel or incentivize action. David Hume1 explains,
There is an inconvenience which attends all abstruse reasoning. that imay silence, without convincing an antagonist, and requires the same intense study to make us sensible of its force, that was at first requisite for its invention. When we leave our closet, and engage in the common affairs of life, its conclusions seem to vanish, like the phantoms of the night on the appearance of the morning; and it is difficult for us to retain even that conviction, which we had attained with difficulty. This is still more conspicuous in a long chain of reasoning, where we must preserve to the end the evidence of the first propositions, and where we often lose sight of ail the most received maxims,either of philosophy or common life. I am not, however, without hopes, that the present system of philosophy will acquire new force as it advances; and that our reasonings concerning morals will corroborate whatever has been said concerning the UNDERSTANDING and the PASSIONS. Morality is a subject that interests us above all others: We fancy the peace of society to be at stake in every decision concerning it; and it is evident, that this concern must make our speculations appear more real and solid, than where the subject is, in a great measure, indifferent to us. What affects us, we conclude can never be a chimera; and as our passion is engaged on the one side or the other, we naturally think that the question lies within human comprehension; which, in other cases of this nature, we are apt to entertain some doubt of. Without this advantage I never should have ventured upon a third volume of such abstruse philosophy, in an age, wherein the greatest part of men seem agreed to convert reading into an amusement, and to reject every thing that requires any considerable degree of attention to be comprehended.[PB]It has been observed, that nothing is ever present to the mind but its perceptions; and that all the actions of seeing, hearing, judging, loving, hating, and thinking, fall under this denomination. The mind can never exert itself in any action, which we may not comprehend under the term of perception; and consequently that term is no less applicable to those judgments, by which we distinguish moral good and evil, than to every other operation of the mind. To approve of one character, to condemn another, are only so many different perceptions.[PB]Now as perceptions resolve themselves into two kinds, viz. impressions and ideas, this distinction gives rise to a question, with which we shall open up our present enquiry concerning morals. WHETHER IT IS BY MEANS OF OUR IDEAS OR IMPRESSIONS WE DISTINGUISH BETWIXT VICE AND VIRTUE, AND PRONOUNCE AN ACTION BLAMEABLE OR PRAISEWORTHY? This will immediately cut off all loose discourses and declamations, and reduce us to something precise and exact on the present subject.[PB]Those who affirm that virtue is nothing but a conformity to reason; that there are eternal fitnesses and unfitnesses of things, which are the same to every rational being that considers them; that the immutable measures of right and wrong impose an obligation, not only on human creatures, but also on the Deity himself: All these systems concur in the opinion, that morality, like truth, is discerned merely by ideas,and by their juxta-position and comparison. In order, therefore, to judge of these systems, we need only consider, whether it be possible, from reason alone, to distinguish betwixt moral good and evil, or whether there must concur some other principles to enable us to make that distinction,[PB]If morality had naturally no influence on human passions and actions, it were in vain to take such pains to inculcate it; and nothing would be more fruitless than that multitude of rules and precepts, with which all moralists abound. Philosophy is commonly divided into speculative and practical; and as morality is always comprehended under the latter division, it is supposed to influence our passions and actions, and to go beyond the calm and indolent judgments of the understanding. Andthis is confirmed by common experience, which informs us, that men are often governed by their duties, and are detered from some actions by the opinion of injustice, and impelled to others by that of obligation.[PB]Since morals, therefore, have an influence on the actions and affections, it follows, that they cannot be derived from reason; and that because reason alone, as we have already proved, can never have any such influence. Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality. therefore, are not conclusions of our reason.[PB]No one, I believe, will deny the justness of this inference; nor is there any other means of evading it, than by denying that principle, on which it is founded. As long as it is allowed, that reason has no influence on our passions and action, it is in vain to pretend, that morality is discovered only by a deduction of reason. An active principle can never be founded on an inactive; and if reason be inactive in itself, it must remain so in all its shapes and appearances,whether it exerts itself in natural or moral subjects, whether it considers the powers of external bodies, or the actions of rational beings.[PB]It would be tedious to repeat all the arguments, by which I have proved [Book II. Part III. Sect 3.], that reason is perfectly inert, and can never either prevent or produce any action or affection. it will be easy to recollect what has been said upon that subject. I shall only recall on this occasion one of these arguments, which I shall endeavour to render still more conclusive, and more applicable to the present subject.[PB]Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood.Truth or falshood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. Now it is evident our passions, volitions, and actions, are not susceptible of any such agreement or disagreement; being original facts and realities, compleat in themselves,and implying no reference to other passions,volitions, and actions. It is impossible, therefore, they can be pronounced either true or false, and be either contrary or conformable to reason.[PB]This argument is of double advantage to our present purpose. For it proves DIRECTLY, that actions do not derive their merit from a conformity to reason, nor their blame from a contrariety to it; and it proves the same truthmore INDIRECTLY, by shewing us, that as reason can never immediately prevent or produce any action by contradicting or approving of it, it cannot be the source of moral good and evil, which are found to have that influence. Actionsmay be laudable or blameable; but theycannot be reasonable: Laudable or blameable, therefore, are not the same with reasonable or unreasonable. The merit and demerit of actions frequently contradict, and sometimes controul our natural propensities. But reason has no such influence. Moral distinctions, therefore, are not the offspring of reason. Reason is wholly inactive, and can never be the source of so active a principle as conscience, or a sense of morals. Further, reasoning or evaluation between reactions of states or relations can never explain our perception via ethical reasoning. Hume 2 continues,
But to chuse an instance, still more resembling; I would fain ask any one, why incest in the human species is criminal, and whytheverysame action,and the same relations in animals have not the smallest moral turpitude and deformity? If it be answered, thatthis action is innocent in animals, because they have not reason sufficient to discover its turpitude; but that man, being endowed with that faculty which ought to restrain him to his duty, the same action instantly becomes criminal to him; should this be said,I would reply, that this is evidently arguing in a circle. For before reason can perceive this turpitude, the turpitude must exist; and consequently is independent of the decisions of our reason, and is their object more properly than their effect. According to this system, then, every animal, that has sense, and appetite, and will; that is, every animal must be susceptible of all the same virtues and vices, for which we ascribe praise and blame to human creatures. All the difference is, that our superior reason may serve to discover the vice or virtue, and by that means may augment the blame or praise: But still this discovery supposes a separate being in these moral distinctions, and a being, which depends only on the will and appetite, and which, both in thought and reality, may be distinguished from the reason. Animals are susceptible of the same relations, with respect to each other, as the human species, and therefore would also be susceptible of the same morality, if the essence of morality consisted in these relations. Their want of a sufficient degree of reason may hinder them from perceiving the duties and obligations of morality, but can never hinder these duties from existing; since they must antecedently exist, in order to their being perceived. Reason must find them, and can never produce them. This argument deserves to be weighed, as being, in my opinion, entirely decisive. This leaves us with the conclusion that morality is based in our emotional response. Hume 3 argues,
Thus the course ofthe argument leads us to conclude, that since vice and virtue are not discoverablemerely by reason, orthe comparison of ideas, it must be by means of some impression or sentiment they occasion, that we are able to mark the difference betwixt them. Our decisions concerning moral rectitude and depravity are evidently perceptions; and as all perceptions are either impressions or ideas, the exclusion of the one is a convincing argument for the other. Morality, therefore, is more properly felt than judged of; though this feeling or sentiment is commonly so soft and gentle, that we are apt to confound it with an idea, according to our common custom of taking all things for the same, which have any near resemblance to each other. Thus, the affirmative burden is the prove that the emotional respond corresponding to juvenile crime is to treat them harshly as adults.
This is further justified because morality cannot try to evaluate issues of fact but primarily the attitude that compelled. Stevenson 2 explains two reasons
If ethical arguments, as we encounter them in everyday life, involved disagreement in belief exclusively—whether the beliefs were about attitudes or about something else—then I should have no quarrel with the ordinary sort of naturalistic analysis. Normative judgments could betaken as scientific statements and amendable to the usual scientific proof. But a moment’s attention will readily show that disagreement in belief has not the exclusive role that theory has so repeatedly ascribed to it. It must be readily granted that ethical arguments usually involve disagreement in belief; but they also involve disagreement in attitude. And the conspicuous role of disagreement in attitude is what we usually take, whether we realize it or not, as the distinguishing feature of ethical arguments. For example:Suppose that the representative of a union urges that the wage level in a given company ought to be higher—that it is only right that the workers receive more pay. The company representatives urges in reply that he workers ought to receive no more than they get. Such an argument clearly represents a disagreement in attitude. The union is for higher wages; the company is against them, and neither is content to let the other’s attitude remain unchanged. In addition to this disagreement in attitude, of course, the argument may represent no little disagreement in belief. Perhaps the parties disagree about how much the cost of living has risen or how much the workers are suffering under the present wage scale. Or perhaps they disagree about the company’s earnings and the extent to which the company could raise wages and still operate at a profit. Like any typical ethical argument, then, this argument involves both disagreement in attitude and disagreement in belief. It is easy to see, however, that the disagreement in attitude plays a unifying and predominating role in the argument. This is so in two ways: In the first place, disagreement in attitude determines what beliefs are relevant to the argument. Suppose that the company affirms that the wage scale of fifty years ago was far lower than it is now. The union will immediately urge that this contention, even though true, is irrelevant. And it is irrelevant simply because information about the wage level of fifty years ago, maintained under totally different circumstances, is not likely to affect the present attitudes of either party. To be relevant, any belief that is introduced into the argument must be one that is likely to lead one side or the other to have a different attitude, and so reconcile disagreement in attitude. Attitudes are often functions of beliefs. We often change our attitudes to something when we change our beliefs about it; just as a child ceases to want to tough a live coal when he comes to believe that it will burn him. Thus in the present argument any beliefs that are not at all likely to alter attitudes, such as those about the increasing cost of living or the financial state of the company, will be considered by both sides to be relevant to the argument. Agreement in belief on these matters may lead to agreement in attitude toward the wage scale. But beliefs that are likely to alter the attitudes of neither side will be declared irrelevant. They will have no bearing on the disagreement in attitude, with which both parties are primarily concerned. In the second place, ethical argument usually terminates when disagreement in attitude terminates, even though a certain amount of disagreement in belief remains. Suppose, for instance, that the company and the union continue to disagree in belief about the increasing cost of living, but that the company, even so, ends by favoring the higher wage scale. The union will then be content to end the argument and will cease to press its point about living costs. It may bring up that point again, in some future argument of the same sort, or in urging the righteousness of its victory to the newspaper columnist; but for the moment the fact that the company ahs agreed in attitude is sufficient to terminate the argument. On the other hand; suppose that both parties agreed on all beliefs that were introduced into the argument, but even so continued to disagree in attitude. In that case neither party would feel that their dispute had been successfully terminated. They might look for other beliefs that could be introduced into the argument. They might use words to play on each other’s emotions. They might agree (in attitude) to submit the case to arbitration, both feeling that a decision, even if strongly adverse to one party or the other, would be preferable to a continued impasse. Or, perhaps, they might abandon hope of settling their dispute by any peaceable means.
The response of treating juveniles less harshly breaks down when they begin committing violent crimes. Arthur Blum3 explains.
Representative Currie’s remarks reflect a rapidly spreading belief that the philosophy of the juvenile court system is too solicitous to deal with today’s hardened and more violent juveniles. G. Stanley Hall and other child psychologists in the nineteenth century argued that children are not masters of their thoughts, nor are they responsible or their behavior until they pass through their teenage years. The early reformers used this doctrine of adolescence to absolve juveniles from moral and criminal culpability Today, several states are finding increasing support for the proposition that delinquents are responsible for their crimes and should, therefore, be held accountable to the community. Although there is little evidence to suggest that the experiment the early reformers conducted based on that philosophy was ever successful in its attempts to rehabilitate delinquents, society countenanced the experiment’s failure for decades because delinquents did not pose much of a threat. The alarming rise in the severity and frequency of juvenile crime today, however, makes tolerating the juvenile court system’s failures much more difficult. Aside from becoming increasingly severe and frequent, today’s juvenile crime has become gratuitous, and today’s delinquents often show no remorse. The acknowledged failure of the juvenile courts to rehabilitated, and the increasing frequency, violence and gratuity of today’s juvenile violence, makes the cost of subscribing to the doctrine of adolescence, which absolves juvenile from moral accountability, too much for society to bear. He continues
The aim of the juvenile courts inpreserving the confidentiality of juvenile records is“to hide youthful errors from the full gaze of the public and bury them in the graveyard do the forgotten past.” But the phrase “youthful errors” should never describe the murders, rapes, and other serious offense that juveniles are now committing. Society will no longer tolerate protecting today’s juveniles when society itself feels threatened by these very same juveniles. The alarming violence that juveniles are committing today has forced communities to demands that the state be more concerned with protecting the lives and safety of the public than it is with the protecting the identities of juvenile felons. This is empirically verified. The social response to the act of violent crime transforms our views of children. Titus4 explains
Modern commentators argue that children are increasingly “without childhood” (Winn, 1983) and suggest the passing of childhood’s innocence (Elkind, 1981; Postman, 1982; Suransky, 1982). Although juveniles are primarily victims, not perpetrators of vio- lence (Snyder & Sickmund, 1999), intense media scrutiny has skewed the public perception of delinquency and youth violence (Acland, 1995; Baer & Chambliss, 1997; Glassner, 1999; Parker, Miller, Donegan, & Gilliam, 2001; Schissel, 1997; Shepherd, 1998). Despite a proliferation of official statistical reports showing that juvenile crime is at its lowest level in 25 years (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2003), the vast majority of the public believes that violent juvenile crime is on the rise (Dorfman & Schiraldi, 2001; Guzman, Lippman, Moore, & O’Hare, 2003). Researchers have linked such misperceptions to the news media’s distorted coverage of youth and its skewed reports on juvenile justice policy debates (Alequin, Florence, Medoza, Ware, & Vazquez, 2001; Dorfman & Schiraldi, 2001; Males, 1999; O’Hare, 2003; Parker et al., 2001; Soler, 2001; We Interrupt This Message, 2001). By the early 1990s, there was a fermenting body of opinion that juvenile justice(and penal liberalism)had gone too far (Soler, 2001).A “moral panic” (Cohen, 1972, pp. 1-15)was constructed through a public “discourse of fear” (Altheide, 1997, p. 648) that portrayed atypical and extraordinary cases as expressions of the dangerous lawlessness of children. Although only a small number of crimes committed by juveniles are classified as violent(Snyder, 2003, p. 4),such crimes tend to emerge sensationalized. The media described a “mounting terror of the anarchy and uncontrollability of unfettered youth” (Pilkington, 1994, ¶ 6),and experts predicted that because these young offenders were “distinctively malevolent”(Zimring, 1998, p. 7),we are “facing a potential bloodbath of teenage violence in the years ahead” (Ellis, 1996, p. 97). Conceptions of youth became equated with notions of criminality, and a dangerous and threatening character was taken to be their inherent ano- mie (Males, 1999).Young people were more than just dangerous, they were “full of mur- derous rage” and “brutality” (Philips, 1993, ¶ 7, 8) and were described as “turning feral” (Jeffs & Smith, 1996, p. 1). The panic that ensued from this “dramatization of evil” (Tannenbaum, 1938, p. 19) was a moral one, in that there was a perceived threat to values held sacred by society, a destabilizing “threat to the social order itself” (Thompson, 1998, p. 8).The public responses of fear, hostility, and condemnation became heightened when the perpetrating “folk devils” (Cohen, 1972)were identified as young, morally weak, and dabbling in evil. Rhetorical framing of juvenile offenders as “super-predators”(DiIulio, 1995, p. 23) characterized their actions as intentional, sinister, and lacking (childish) innocence, and attributed their crimes to primal dark forces intrinsic to them. “[T]he Child has never been seen as such a menacing enemy as today. Never before have children been so saturated with all the power of pro- jected monstrousness to excite repulsion—and even terror” (Warner, 1994, p. 56). When confronted with (innocent) children and (evil) horrific crimes defying conventional categorization, society repositions the accused as an outsider, an “Other,” “distanced, yet inseparable, from the social order” (Acland, 1995, p. 19).In the essentializing news media reports of child murderers, a particularly demonic image of childhood was constructed. Statistically, child murderers are rare, with juveniles involved in 10% of murder arrests (Snyder, 2003, p. 1), and of those juveniles arrested for murder, only 12% are under age 15 (Snyder, 2003, p. 3). Such rarity itself declares the aberrant status of a child mur- derer, and the effect is magnified through their distorted presence in the media discourse (Kunkel, 1994) and reports of an “unprecedented epidemic” of killer children (Cook & Laub, 1998, p. 27).The rhetorical framing of juveniles as evil delineates them as distinctly sacrificable, through a conversion of their status as “Other.”This creation of the “Other” is integral to a notion of “little monsters” (Warner, 1994, p. 43) and the “politics of spectacle” (Acland, 1995, p. 20) within which their monstrousness emerges. Media dwell on the bru- tality of the crimes, and the public views the child’s presumed monstrosity to be confirmed by the character and rarity of the very offences they are accused of having committed.The increasing public disquiet over violent children contributed to the institutionalization in law and policy of offending children’s symbolic expurgation as folk devils. Aspects of this process were displayed when a murder in the United Kingdom of a 2- year-old boy by two 10-year-oldboys unleashed a moral outrage. Young (1996) has shown how the media set the concept of good, innocent childhood against the aberration of the kill- ing. The victim, James Bulger, represented the quintessential child, exemplifying child- hood ideals (e.g., small, trusting, affectionate, vulnerable), an allegory for the innocence of childhood. Juxtaposed, his killers personified the oppositional categories of evil and dan- gerousness. Hay (1995) explains that we were “confronted by the implications of the real- ization that those formerly conceived of as innocent victims might pose a profound threat in and of themselves” (p. 201).They confirmed a belief that “children may look like angels but still be devils underneath”(Warner, 1994, p. 57). Having betrayed an abstract myth about proper childlikeness, the murderers’ trial and media coverage “revealed a brutal absence of pity for them as children” (Warner, 1994, p. 45). Headlines announced the “death of innocence” (Bedell, 1993, p. 23), and reporters accused the boys of having “killed not just a child but the idea of childhood”(Morrison, 1997, ¶ 1). The conjoined descriptions of the “embryo-angel” and “infant fiend” that expressed parents’ feelings about their children in the 17th century (Greven, 1977, p. 28) are reflected in our contemporary dual imagery of the angel-monster child. According to the “myth of pure evil,” people identify with the good of innocent victims against the evil of perpetrating others (Baumeister, 1996, p. 60). Baumeister (1996) argues thatthis way of constructing evilis persuasive because itprovides us with some certainty about our own goodness, as well as a scapegoat on which to blame perceived disruptions in the social fabric.Such a good-evil dualism allows groups to vent their moral panic by providing the ability to categorize, judge, and express the revulsion that proves their social power to control the threat.
The way we define children incorporates assumptions about how we ought to treat them. A discourse that romanticizes childhood assumes not only that children are inherently good, but also that their malleability makes them susceptible to influence and vulnerable to corruption, necessitating their protection. Alternatively, adopting a view of the child as wicked and sinful suggests that children should be carefully controlled, disciplined, and restrained to train them. Researchers have begun to detail how the variable social construct of childhood both helps constitute the legal order and is a social product of that social insti- tution (Ainsworth, 1991; Empey, 1979; Feld, 1999). Throughout the course of the last cen- tury, the legal boundary of childhood has shifted between these two dichotomous images as “youthful offenders have been transformed from innocent children to hardened adult criminals” (Scott, 2002, pp. 114-115). The juvenile justice system, likewise, has shifted from “child saving” to “public accountability” (Sealander, 2003, p. 19) while attempting to reconcile the dissonance created by the “competing images of when a child is a criminal and the criminal is a child” (Feld, 1999, p. 6).Juvenile transfer provisions reflect this “cultural and legal reformation of the social construction of ‘youth’ from innocent, immature, and dependent children to responsible, autonomous, and mature offenders” (Feld, 2000, p. 129). A sacrificial crisis arises when the presumed innocent and vulnerable nature of the juvenile offender is “iconologically irreconcilable” with that of the seriousness of violent criminality(Jenks, 1996, p. 125). For Girard (1972/1977), the sacrificial crisis is defined as “a crisis affecting the cultural order. This cultural order is nothing more than a regulated system of distinctions in which the differences among individuals are used to establish their ‘identity’ and their mutual relationships”(p. 49).The crisis is resolved when the offender is expelled from the juvenile justice system for being insufficiently child-like (James & Jenks, 1996; Jenks, 1996),declared to be not a child and denied the social protections associated with the juvenile court. An intercourt transfer permits the minor to be “charged, held, released on bail, prosecuted, sentenced, and incarcerated in the same manner as an adult” (Alaska Statute, 2004a). As demonstrated below, such transfer also serves as an institution- alized means of constructing the juvenile as scapegoat. Indeed the construction of childhood innocence and our viewing of childhood innocence breaks down at violent felonies. Titus 3 argues,
In criminal law, “when a child is not a child depends upon what it is doing” (James, 1986, p. 157).The legal status of the juvenile who is criminally prosecuted is not changed by the state law; they are tried as if they were adults, not as adults (Griffin et al., 1998).5Children’s treatment within criminal law is complex because “notions of guilt and seriousness are both dependent on the attributes of capacity and responsibility projected by the law” (King & Piper, 1995, p. 107).At the heart of the debate over the age of criminal responsibility is its relationship to moral judgment, competence, and participation. The law conceives of the adult person as a practical reasoning and rule-following being whose legally relevant actions are understood in terms of beliefs, desires, and intentions. The legally responsible agent is a person who is capable of properly using the rules (the laws) as premised in practical reasoning (Morse, 1997). Juxtaposed to the legally responsible agent is our cultural construction of the child based on premises about their irrationality and naturalness (Prout & James, 1990). The United States Supreme Court has said that adolescents “are less mature and responsible than adults” and therefore less culpable (Thompson v. Oklahoma, 1988).Although impaired or immature cognitive functioning (including insanity) are recognized legal defenses, the developmental immaturity of an adolescent who lacks adjudicative competency (Grisso & Schwartz, 2000; Steinberg & Cauffman, 2000)is not taken into account in the case of automatic waivers. Instead, there is an imposition of the highest rationality and responsibility on children who seriously offend. The public views such offenders as “criminals who happen to be young, not children who happen to be criminal”(Regnery, 1985, p. 65). CONTENTIOJN TWO
Only by affirming is society able to be consistent with its emotional demand to express disapproval to violent crime. Blum two concludes,
The second benefit communities derive from disclosing the identity of juvenile felons is the opportunity to assert the need for morality by placing punishing stigmas on those who commit immoral acts.The determinism that permeates the juvenile justice system forbids people from attaching moral culpability to the juvenile who are committing serious crimes. Morally healthy human beings experience a natural and ineluctable sense of anger at the sight of crime. The anger fuels that desire to see justice done. One of the primary functions of the criminal justice system is to alleviate public anger by bringing about justice. Public support for the criminal justice system, therefore, is dependent on the belief that the courts are more effective at brining about justice than mob rule or vigilante justice, both of which are examples of the dangers involved in excessive public anger. The early reformers convinced society to exempt juveniles from moral judgment, asking the public to replace its anger over juvenile crime with compassion. This was not very difficult when juvenile crime was rarely more serious than youthful pranks. It has become much harder, however, because juveniles are now committing murder, rape, armed robbery, and other serious crimes. When someone intentionally commits one of these crimes, angry calls for justice are not only inevitable, they are appropriate.Disclosing the identities of delinquents who have committed serious offense gives society the opportunity to express its moral outrage by placing stigmas on those who commit such acts. The early reformers were mistaken in believing that the stigmas society attaches are always unjust. Stigmas can be a sign of a morally healthy society because they are expressions of what society values. If we value equality we place stigmas on racists. If we value freedom, we will place stigmas on tyrants. If we value the dignity of human life, we will place stigmas on murderers, rapists and other serious criminals. A society without stigmas, therefore, would value nothing at all. Stigmas also enable society to perpetuate its values by discouraging others from engaging in a disapproved activity. A common complaint again the juvenile court system is that the delinquents know that their acts are not accompanied by serious consequences. Social stigmas will not dissuade many current delinquents from breaking the law, but they are important for forming the moral codes of law-abiding youngsters. Stigmas dissuade crime by showing law-abiding citizens that one of the unpleasant consequence of crime is incurring the opprobrium of their community. The young need to see that engaging in serious crime is more than a “youthful error” that is buried in “the graveyard of the forgotten past.” It is, rather, a serious mistake with long-lasting consequences. Thus, only by affirming are we consistent with the moral rejection of crime.
1 A treatise of Human Nature. A Treatise of Human Nature. 1739.
2 The Nature of Ethical Disagreement. Chapter III of Ethical Theory. Publihsed in 1963.
3 Arthur Blum “Disclosing the Identities of Juvenile Felons: Introducing Accountability to Juvenile Justice” 27 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 349. Winter 1996.
4Jordan J. Titus [Jordan J. Titus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Alaska Fair- banks. Her research focuses on legal constructions of childhood and children’s rights.] “Juvenile Transfers as Ritual Sacrifice: Legally Constructing the Child Scapegoat” Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, Vol. 3 No. 2, April 2005