It is well known by lawmakers and judges in Illinois and across this country that the qualities that distinguish juveniles from adults do not disappear when an individual turns 18 years old. Research in neurobiology and developmental psychology has shown that the brain doesn’t finish developing until the mid 20s. Thus, 18 year old’s are more similar to adolescents than fully mature adults in important ways. They are more susceptible to peer pressure, less future oriented and more volatile in emotionally charged settings.
However, when a “young adult” 18-21 years old is using this brain science in open court not to be treated nor sentenced as a fully grown adult he is denied or delayed relief in spite of the overwhelming new evidence concerning the brain. See Justice Pierce dessent with opinion in People V. Ruiz, 2020 IL App(1st) 163145, May 26, 2020.
We the people need to start voting these judges and lawmakers out of office for their indifference to the fact that there is no difference in juveniles and emerging adults! As long as we allow them to ignore brain science, emerging adults will continue to be victimized by the system in sentencing them to life/de-facto life sentences for crimes committed with an underdeveloped brain and often under the influence of fully grown adults, drugs or alcohol.
Another example of the “Young Adult” brain is the destruction caused by them. When they are allowed to buy a weapon fit for combat in which they turn on their classmates with it. Again, if we don’t vote these judges and lawmakers out, history will continue to repeat itself.