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NCJ Number: 136688 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Patterns of Mitigating Factors in Juvenile Death Penalty Cases
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:28  Issue:3  Dated:(May-June 1992)  Pages:246-275
Author(s): D A Robinson; O H Stephens
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of patterns of mitigating factors in juvenile death penalty cases encompasses all reported juvenile death penalty cases in the United States from 1973 through May 1, 1991.
Abstract: Within this time frame, the authors identified 91 cases in which appellate courts reviewed death sentences of juveniles. A profile of mitigating circumstances involved in these opinions was compiled for each offender. The descriptive categories used were "troubled" family history and social background, psychological disturbance, mental retardation, indigence, and substance abuse. The findings indicate that juveniles sentenced to death had this matrix of interrelated problems and characteristics in varying combinations, in addition to the common age factor. These mitigating factors did not deter the courts from imposing the death penalty on these juveniles because of two major disadvantages of the criminal process for these offenders. First, the legal process did not consistently ensure the full and fair consideration of mitigating factors known at the sentencing phase of the capital trial. Second, in some cases additional factors emphasized at the appellate stage were not considered at all at the trial stage. 51 footnotes, a table of mitigating-circumstances profiles of juveniles sentenced to death from 1974 through 1991, and a list of juvenile death penalty cases from 1974 through May 1, 1991 (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile capital punishment; Sentencing factors
Index Term(s): Juvenile sentencing
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