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Juveniles Essay

2048 words - 9 pages

The Case of Quantel Lotts

The Case of Quantel Lotts
On November 13th, 1999, Quantel Lotts at the age of fourteen years old fatally stabbed his stepbrother, Michael Barton who was seventeen years old, after their horseplay escalated after Michael hit Quantel with a blow dart and Quantel responded back with a toy bow and arrow. The horseplay then became much more serious when the fight got heated and Quantel picked up a knife and stabbed Michael twice who later died from the injuries of those stabs wounds inflicted by Quantel.
The state of Missouri convicted Quantel at the age of fourteen of first-degree murder with a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. The state ...view middle of the document...

After being removed from his mother’s care Quantel ended up living in three different foster homes before he was placed in his biological father, Charlie Lotts, and his younger brother. At the age of ten years old his father moved them into the home of Tammy Summers in rural St. Francois County, Missouri whom it later married. Tammy’s son was Michael Barton and the two kids became very close as stepbrothers according to Tammy who objected Quantel serving life for the death of her son in a later interview.
While life may have improved somewhat once he was taken out of his biological mother’s care, he obviously still lived in very dysfunctional household as drugs had a grip on his biological father and stepmother as well. Stepmother Tammy Lotts, 45, whose son Michael Barton was Lotts' victim stated that Quantel had a lot of anger because of all he has been through and that at the time of the crime, Tammy Lotts said she left her children for several days with her husband to get high on crack cocaine (Chen, 2008).
Quantel Lotts was an abused and neglected African American child who never got the nurturing care he should have received as child to even help him rationalized his actions in the heat of the moment. The textbook states that black abused and neglected children showed significantly increased rates of violent arrests compared to black children who were not maltreated (Siegel and Welsh, 2014, p 205).  
While Quantel does need to be accountable for the crime he committed to give him a life sentence without the possibility of parole is extremely harsh. As Quantel stated in an interview he understands he deserves some punishment but to be put here for the rest of his life with no chance is not a fair sentence (Liptak and Petak, 2011).
Looking at his upbringing one can reason he lacked complete ability to perform cognitive functions in a normal and orderly fashion:
Delinquency-prone adolescents may have cognitive deficits and use information incorrectly when they make decisions. They have distorted view of the world that shapes their thinking and colors their judgments. These youths view crime as an appropriate means to satisfy their immediate personal needs, which take precedence over more distant social needs, such as obedience to the law. They have difficulty making the right decision under stress. As a result of their faulty calculations, they pursue behaviors that they perceive as beneficial and satisfying, but they turn out to be harmful and detrimental. (Siegel and Welsh, 2014, p 86)
According to his background online he did not plot to harm his stepbrother or have a violent history so to not give him a second chance in life after making a grave mistake in his early teens is not fair. The person who committed that crime in the heat of moment as well as was provoked in the harsh horse-playing by his stepbrother was a fourteen year kid who was not able to control his emotional regulation. Quantel stated in a recent interview...

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