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NCJ Number: 211637 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Offenders and the Death Penalty: How Far Have Standards of Decency Evolved?
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:October 2005  Pages:316-333
Author(s): Peter J. Benekos; Alida V. Merlo
Date Published: October 2005
Page Count: 18
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Through a review of the literature, this article examines the evolution of juveniles and the death penalty in the United States and whether the juvenile justice policy of capital punishment is a reasonable and just policy or should be considered cruel and unusual punishment.
Abstract: Recent death penalty decisions for juveniles in the United States have shown unwillingness by juries to impose the death penalty, illustrating some of the complexities and ambiguities of the juvenile death penalty debate. In addition, there have been increasing concerns over wrongful convictions and the execution of innocent defendants. The questions put forth are whether the execution of juvenile offenders is cruel and unusual punishment, are juveniles less mature and responsible than adults, should juvenile offenders be less culpable, and what are the evolving standards of decency. In an attempt to answer these questions, this article reviews recent juvenile justice policy decisions, recent court decisions on the death penalty, citizen and student opinions on juveniles and the death penalty, and comparative policies from other countries in juvenile executions. References
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Cruel and unusual punishment; Deterrence; Juvenile capital punishment; Literature reviews; US Supreme Court decisions; Violent juvenile offenders
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