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NCJ Number: 136540 Find in a Library
Title: Insight Toward Juvenile Death Penalty
Journal: Journal of Juvenile Law  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:(1990)  Pages:78-81
Author(s): D Peelman
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Culpability and mitigating factors, as evidenced in U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Eddings v. Oklahoma and Enmund v. Florida, have long been the hallmark for juvenile death penalty analysis.
Abstract: In 1977, Eddings ran away from his Missouri home at age 16 with several of his friends. After arriving in Oklahoma and being stopped by a highway patrol officer, Eddings shot and killed the officer without provocation and for no apparent reason. The State of Oklahoma was granted a fitness motion and was allowed to try Eddings as an adult. During trial, evidence was presented that showed Eddings to be an emotionally disturbed youth who had a very troubled childhood. Nonetheless, Oklahoma courts refused to weigh mitigating factors in imposing the death sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled that State courts must consider all relevant mitigating evidence and weigh it against the evidence of the aggravating circumstances. In the Enmund v. Florida case, a 16-year-old convicted of complicity in the murder of two elderly people was sentenced to death. Enmund argued that because he did not kill or attempt to kill and because he had no intent to kill, the death penalty was disproportionate to the crime. The U.S. Supreme Court stressed that Enmund's criminal culpability must be limited to his actual participation in the crime and that his punishment must be tailored to his personal responsibility and moral guilt. 18 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile capital punishment
Index Term(s): Criminal responsibility; Florida; Juvenile murderers; Oklahoma; US Supreme Court decisions
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