Exploring Key Definitions Definitions of some legal terms for killing someone are provided below. Study them, and explain the differences in your own words. Definitions of Legal Terms Homicide is the killing of one person by another, either intentionally or unintentionally. Homicide includes accidents and murder. Murder is killing someone with malice of forethought. It could be done while committing another crime. Murder is always illegal. First-degree murder is killing a person with malice of forethought; the killing was planned.
It was done deliberately. Second-degree murder is a killing done during a crime deemed dangerous to a human life. The crime was most likely not committed with the intention of killing. Voluntary manslaughter is killing someone intentionally but without malice of forethought. For example, if the killing was a crime of passion (killing a spouse or lover because of Jealousy), the intention was to kill. However, there was no malice of forethought because it was not planned. Involuntary manslaughter is killing someone unlawfully but without malice of forethought.
It was committed without intent to kill and without a conscious Gerard for human life. Matching Activity Now read the following scenarios and fill in the boxes. Crime or conviction Punishment or sentencing A troubled 17-year-old girl has First-degree slowly poisoned her parents murder each night at dinner. After three months, she came home to find them dead on the kitchen floor. The coroner’s report indicated that cyanide poisoning caused their deaths. Sentenced to life in prison without parole Actual situation Three 16-year-olds were hanging out at the park drinking whiskey. One boy started shoving his friend.
The second shot hit the 13-year-old and killed him on the pot. Texts? “Kids are Kids?Until They Commit Crimes” “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” Activity 4 Surveying the Text Discuss the following questions as a class: Activity 5 What do the titles “Kids Are Kids?Until They Commit Crimes” and “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” tell you about the topics of these articles? “Kids Are Kids” was published in the Sacramento Bee in 2001. “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” was published in the same paper also in 2001. What can you predict about the articles? How do you think the articles will be the same?
How do you think they will be different? Making Predictions and Asking Questions Listen as your teacher reads the first three paragraphs of “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains,” and then discuss the following questions: Now that you’ve listened to the first three paragraphs of “Startling Finds,” what do you think it is going to be about? What do you think is the purpose of this text? Who do you think is the intended audience for this piece? How do you know this? Turn the title into a question to answer as you read the essay. JUVENILE JUSTICE | 71 Now read the first six paragraphs of “Kids Are Kids” silently. Activity 6 What is Lunchroom’s opinion on the topic of Juvenile crime? Turn the title into a question to answer as you read the essay. Understanding Key Vocabulary Create semantic maps for the words “Juvenile crime” and “Justice system. ” Begin by brainstorming a list of words that relate to “Juvenile crime”; sort these words into categories, and label each one using the graphic below. Do the same for “legal system. ” Juvenile Crime Activity 7 Vocabulary Self-Assessment Chart The words in the self-assessment chart are from the texts you will read. Indicate how well you know the word, and define it if you can.
Fill in missing definitions when you discuss the words with your class. 72 Word Definition Know Have Don’t It Heard Know well of It Vocabulary from Thompson, “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” verdicts (2) decisions in a trial cognitive development (3) impulsive (4) erratic (4) purged (7) inhibit (7) diminished (9) accountability (11) homicidal (11) Vocabulary from Lunchroom’s “Kids Are Kids” inconsistency (6) heinous (14) coddling (14) perpetuated (20) Quicker (5 minutes): Now that you have discussed these words, what do you predict the articles you are going to read will be about?
Use some of the words on your chart in your prediction. JUVENILE JUSTICE | 73 quandary (7) Reading Activity 8 Reading for Understanding The first reading of an essay is intended to help you understand the text and confirm your predictions. This step is sometimes called reading “with the grain” or “playing the believing game. ” As you read, think about the following questions: Which of your predictions turned out to be true? What surprised you? If your predictions turned out to be wrong, what in the text misled you? Can you answer the question you created from the title?
What, if anything, is still confusing to you? As you read “Startling Findings on Teenage Brains” and “Kids Are Kids,” you will find that the two articles discuss four recent cases in which teenagers were tried for murder. Fill out the following graphic organizer based on those cases: Recent Cases of Juvenile Crime Defendant Activity 9 Age Crime Sentence Considering the Structure of the Text Create a descriptive outline of “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” by describing the content and purpose of each section. The first section has been done as an example.
Startling Finds on Teenage Brains y Paul Thompson The Sacramento Bee, Friday, May 25, 2001 1 Emotions ran high at the trial of Nathaniel Brazil in West Palm Beach, Flag. , two weeks ago. Friends of slain teacher Barry Grunion called for the death penalty, while a growing crowd of demonstrators outside the courthouse wielded hastily written 74 placards reading, “A child is not a man. ” Jurors returned with their verdict May 16: Fourteen-year-old Brazil, charged in last Mays shooting of middle- school teacher Grunion, was found guilty of second-degree murder. A Florida grand Jury had previously ruled that Brazil, who frequently looked gazed during the trial, would be tried as an adult, and if he had been convicted of first-degree murder he would have faced life in prison without parole. But Brazier’s immaturity was evident throughout this incident?from the act itself of Brazier’s shooting a teacher he considered one of his favorites, to his subsequent inability to give a reason for doing so, to the various quizzical looks that came across his face as the verdicts were read. In terms of cognitive development, as research on the human brain has shown, Brazil?and any other young teen?is far from adulthood. Content and Purpose: Nathaniel Brazil, a fourteen-year-old, was tried as an adult and found guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of his teacher. But research on the brain has shown that young teens are not adults in terms of development. The purpose is to raise the question of whether teenagers should be tried as adults. 4 Over the last several years, as school shootings have seemed to occur with disturbing frequency, startling discoveries have emerged about the teenage brain.
The White House held a televised conference on adolescent development in May of last year, and a flurry of paper on the teen brain has appeared in top science Journals. Reporters and teen advocates ask: Do the studies help explain the impulsive, erratic behavior of teens? The biggest surprise in recent teen-brain research is the finding that a massive loss of brain tissue occurs in the teen years. 5 Specifically, my own research group at the University of California, Los Angels, and our colleagues at the National Institutes of Health have developed technology to map the patterns of brain growth in individual children and teenagers.
Basically, the brain is like a puzzle, and growth is fastest in the exact parts the kids need to learn skills at different times. So far, all well ND good. 7 But what really caught our eye was a massive loss of brain tissue that occurs in the teenage years. The loss was like a wildfire, and you could see it in every teenager. Gray matter, which brain researchers believe supports all our thinking and emotions, is purged at a rate of 1 percent to 2 percent a year during this period.
Stranger still, brain cells and connections are only being lost in the areas controlling impulses, risk- taking, and cholesterol. These frontal lobes, which inhibit our violent passions, rash actions, and regulate our emotions, are vastly immature throughout the teenage ears. 8 The implications are tantalizing. Brazil was only thirteen when he committed his crime. He said he made a “stupid mistake,” but prosecutors argued that by bringing a gun to school he planned the crime. Does “planning” mean the same thing for a thirteen-year-old, with his diminished capacity for controlling erratic behavior, as it means for an adult? The verdict, in this case, seems to line up with the research. The Jurors, by returning a verdict of secondary murder instead of first, indicated that they believe Brazier’s actions, while not accidental, were not fully thought-out, either. 0 Linking this maelstrom of normal brain change with legal or moral accountability is tough: Even though normal teens are experiencing a wildfire of tissue loss in their brains, that does not remove their accountability.
What is clear from the research is that the parts of the frontal lobes that inhibit reckless actions restructure themselves with startling speed in the teen years. Given this delicate?and drastic?reshaping of the brain, teens 76 need all the help they can get to steer their development onto the right path. 11 While research on brain-tissue loss can help us to understand teens better, it Anton be used to excuse their violent or homicidal behavior. But it can be used as evidence that teenagers are not yet adults, and the legal system shouldn’t treat them as such.
Paul Thompson is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of California, Los Angels, School of Medicine. Now that you have completed the descriptive outline, discuss the following questions with your class: What does each section say? What is its content? How does each section affect the reader? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Which section is the most developed? Which section is the least developed? On the basis of your descriptive outline of the text, what do you think is the main argument?
Is that argument explicit or implicit? Now consider the following questions about the structure of this text: Activity 10 How are the author’s arguments ordered? (Which arguments come first, in the middle, last? ) What is the effect of this on the reader? How has the structure of the text helped make the argument clear, convincing, and engaging? Noticing Language?Focused Questions The following questions are based on the articles by Thompson, “Startling Finds,” and Lunchroom, “Kids Are Kids. ” Answer them in writing and then share your answers.