In most countries, sentencing children to life imprisonment without parole is prohibited by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 37, which states in pertinent part, that “State parties shall ensure that:…. Neither capital punishment not life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age.”
This measure has been ratified by every UN member nation except the United States and Somalia. Somalia, however, has announced in November, 2013 that it will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but not so the U.S.
President Barack Obama and the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, are absolutely quiet on the issue and have given no indications of ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as Somalia has done. America now stands alone in the world of nation as against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Why won’t America ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? One reason is the U.S.’s ideology of “American Exceptionalism”, their modern globalized version of “Manifest Destiny” ideology, which basically promotes the fallacy that America is
blessed by GOD to rule the world and is the greatest nation on earth. And, because of this exceptionalism, America can do no wrong and the rule of law only applies to other nations, and not the U.S. Currently, the human rights of American children are rights of a global rule of law that America chooses not to apply.
Secondly, the U.S. does not want to subject itself to UN jurisdiction, where it could be brought up on international criminal charges before the World Court. However, the U.S. always wants to enforce UN laws on other nations.
Finally, to paraphrase the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “America is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” Even violence against its child citizens.
America’s cultural thirst for violence—as seen in Pennsylvania’s de facto death penalty sentences of 540 children serving Life-Without-Parole imprisonment—will not allow ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child unless it is pressured by the world’s people and nations and shamed into doing so.
Ultimately, trying to get America to stop its judicial killing of its child offenders is like trying to turn a jackal dog into a vegetarian. America stands alone for a reason—it doesn’t care about children.