Based on the evidence in Just Mercy, why are wrongful convictions and illegal trials involving young children very common?

Based on the evidence in Just Mercy, wrongful convictions and illegal trials involving young children are common because of racism, discrimination, poverty, harmful media narratives from the 1980s, and poor understanding of children's psychology.

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In Just Mercy (2014), Bryan Stevenson, the head of advocacy group Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), notes that a disproportionately large number of cases he comes across involve juvenile offenders, some of whom are children as young as fourteen. Stevenson gives a few reasons why some children not only often find themselves tried and sentenced as adults, but also victims of wrongful convictions.

One, most juvenile offenders wrongfully sentenced in America are either poor or minorities, or both. Many come from violent, abusive backgrounds, such as Trina Garnett, sentenced for culpable homicide when she was fourteen. Garnett had met unspeakable sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of her father and had faced periods of homelessness by the time she was involved in the crime for which she was sentenced. Yet these factors were not considered at the time of her sentencing. Moreover, poor, abused children like Garnett do not have access to competent lawyers ready to fight for them, which makes...

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