by Luna Reyna, contributing columnist
Brain maturity throughout life was assumed to be largely finished after puberty. A person’s teenage years have been considered a time that a person’s body and mind goes through dramatic change which allows them to transition into self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood. Recent cognitive neuroscience has proven otherwise. From the ages of 18-25 a person’s brain continues to develop in the prefrontal cortex, the area that is responsible for planning, prioritizing, and controlling impulses. With this new understanding, policymakers are reconsidering the ways in which adolescent health and well-being are affected in the criminal legal system.
Continue reading OPINION: State Bill Raising Age for Juvenile Prosecution Would Make Seattle Safer
by Dr. Ben Danielson, Sean Goode, and Anita Khandelwal
Young people’s brains are still developing; they are more impulsive than adults and less capable of understanding the consequences of their actions. Researchers, teachers, doctors, and courts all recognize this scientific fact. Unfortunately, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, a self-proclaimed “progressive,” has chosen to ignore and even challenge this science with an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Washington State’s Supreme Court’s decisions providing protections to youth who are prosecuted in the adult system. If successful, he would undo necessary safeguards for young people and exacerbate the racial disparities that plague our criminal legal system. He should withdraw his appeal immediately.
Continue reading OPINION: Satterberg’s Appeal to the Supreme Court Harms Youth, Undermines Science, and Exacerbates Racial Injustice