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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118829 Find in a Library
Title: Juveniles' Attitudes Toward Their Impending Executions (From Facing the Death Penalty, P 38-59, 1989, Michael L Radelet, ed. -- See NCJ-118827)
Author(s): V L Steib
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Temple University Press
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099
Sale Source: Temple University Press
1601 N. Broad Street
University Service Bldg., Room 305
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the attitudes of the 34 youths executed between 1642 and 1986 for crimes committed while they were under age 18 found that attitudes varied widely.
Abstract: The youths were among the 281 executed during this period. They represented a small percentage of those receiving the death penalty. Sixty-nine percent were black, and 89 percent of their victims were white. Executions were most common in deep south States. Few occurred before the Civil War. A peak of 53 was reached in the decade of the 1940's. Death sentences have become increasingly rare in recent years. The attitudes were grouped into the following six categories: 1) lack of concern or indifference; 2) resignation and weariness with waiting for execution; 3) fear, a sense of abandonment, and a wish to be rescued; 4) pride, defiance, boastfulness, and joking; 5) penitence, acceptance, and a desire to serve as an example to others; and 6) conversion to an orthodox religion and a final prayer for salvation. The most common theme was that of last-minute religious conversion, some of which were apparently reaffirmations of childhood religious experience and others of which appeared to have no foundation. Many prisoners showed several of these attitudes during the time spent awaiting execution. Nevertheless, many aspects of the youths' attitudes remain unexplored. Notes, list of cases cited, and 37 references.
Main Term(s): Juvenile inmate attitudes
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Death row inmates
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