For this Discussion, there are two parts, each worth a possible 20 points:
1) First, watch a talk by Dr. BJ Casey. Her presentation is called The Teen Brain: Implications for Legal Responsibility. Briefly (a sentence or two) discuss the findings from the study on decision making in a driving simulation - how are adolescents and adults similar when a peer is NOT present, and what happens to an adolescent's performance on a task when a peer IS present? You must write in complete sentences for full credit! Also, identify the specific area of the brain that is involved in explaining these differences. It is NOT just about "teens brains are not mature" so note how it may explain adolescent impulse control (or lack thereof!) in the peer condition of this experiment. (15 points for complete/correct response, 5 for coherent)
2) Second, watch the 16-minute talk by Dr. Michele Deitch, an expert on prison reform and juvenile justice and an award-winning teacher at the University of Texas. In this talk (link below), she addresses the problem of youth who are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system and confined in adult jails and prisons. She describes the troubling conditions she has witnessed, and discusses the kids she has encountered in the course of her work who have persuaded her about the need to change the laws and policies that permit this practice. For this part, link a real-life example to the information you've learned about the brain, and/or discuss how brain development (or the brain in general) may help explain Christopher's behavior, or the 10-year-old awaiting trial as an adult, or the 14-year-old...etc., (as told by Dr. Deitch). In fact, some states allow children as young as 7 to be tried as adults, and several states allow those 12 and older to be tried as adults (rather than juvenile court). In adult court, sentences are often mandated, meaning that if you are convicted (as a 10-year-old) for murder in adult court, you go to prison for 25+ years or more. Given what YOU know about the brain, and development, do you think it is fair to try children as adults, and what do you think should determine the placement (juvenile court vs adult court) of a child under 18? (Brief response). (15 points for complete/correct response, 5 for coherent)
Complete and Correct
All aspects of the discussion question(s) have been answered, using examples and elaboration (and word requirement is met). The answer is correct, or relevant to the question(s) asked. Typical deductions include vague or inaccurate representations of the material, or failure to elaborate (you need to demonstrate an understanding of the material).
The response makes sense and is easy to follow. No spelling errors, or grammatical errors, and no punctuation errors. (Deductions for sloppy writing, response that is hard to follow).
In addition to the discussion response, a submission of at least one meaningful comment on a peer’s post is required. The comment should be more than “I agree”.
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