skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

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

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. 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: 123243 Find in a Library
Title: Thompson v. Oklahoma: Debating the Constitutionality of Juvenile Executions
Journal: Pepperdine Law Review  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:(1989)  Pages:737-762
Author(s): S M Simmons
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 26
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Thompson v. Oklahoma (1988) essentially states that it will not interfere with the executions of juveniles, provided the offender is sentenced under a statute expressly authorizing the death penalty for offenders under age 16.
Abstract: Although William Wayne Thompson and two others escaped execution because they were juveniles sentenced to death in a State that has not legislatively authorized the execution of persons under 16 years old, the Supreme Court's ruling in the Thompson case does not make the execution of juveniles unconstitutional. States need only legislatively specify the minimum age for offenders who may receive the death penalty in order to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling. An occasional execution of a juvenile will not serve any of the legitimate social purposes underlying capital punishment. It will do little more than assuage a particular judge's or jury's distaste for a particular juvenile, not for juvenile killers as a whole. Although the argument of arbitrariness supports the abolition of capital punishment for all ages, it is particularly appropriate when applied to children, who are often unable to appreciate the consequences of their actions. 189 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Juvenile capital punishment
Index Term(s): State laws; US Supreme Court decisions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=123243

*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.