skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 168937 Find in a Library
Title: Too Young to Die -- Juveniles and the Death Penalty -- A Better Alternative to Killing Our Children: Youth Empowerment
Journal: New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement  Volume:22  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1996)  Pages:391-437
Author(s): S Jackson
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 47
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This Note advocates that under all circumstances, imposition of the death penalty upon a juvenile is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Abstract: Part II of this Note briefly discusses the history of the juvenile justice system. The goal of the juvenile justice system is to treat and rehabilitate juveniles, not to punish them. Part III discusses the death penalty in general and specifically how it pertains to juveniles. This section focuses on the two most recent U.S. Supreme Court cases: Thompson v. Oklahoma and Stanford v. Kentucky. Part IV discusses the constitutionality of the juvenile death penalty. In determining whether a punishment is cruel and unusual, and therefore unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court has used a traditional three-part Eighth Amendment analysis. By using the Eighth Amendment framework, it must be concluded that the imposition of the death penalty upon a juvenile is cruel and unusual punishment. Part V discusses more effective alternatives in dealing with a violent juvenile offender rather than the imposition of the death penalty. First, society must get to the roots of juvenile delinquency and understand how these juveniles have come to commit such violent acts. Second, for any approach to be successful, it must proceed on two levels. The short-term solution is incarceration coupled with creative and innovative rehabilitation programs. The long-term solution is to rebuild and revitalize the American urban community. Any attempt to reduce juvenile crime must empower the juvenile, give him a sense of dignity and importance, and assist him in creating a meaningful future for himself. 339 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile capital punishment
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Juvenile murderers; Juvenile sentencing; US Supreme Court decisions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.