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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 137105 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile on Death Row
Author(s): D M Heckert
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment did not forbid the death penalty for crimes committed by sixteen- and seventeen-year olds. An inmate on death row, sentenced as a juvenile, is interviewed regarding his views on capital punishment.
Abstract: This inmate was a white male who had been on death row for over 10 years; his case was still in the appeals stage, and he maintained his innocence. He also maintained a constant opinion during his interview that the death penalty should be abolished, holding that it does not operate as an effective deterrent. In terms of adolescent offenders, the inmate believed that adolescents cannot be held responsible for their actions in the same way as an adult and that deterrents for juveniles must be designed differently; traditional socializing institutions, particularly the family, offer the most effective means of deterrence. He named better education and more incentives as programs that would aid rehabilitation efforts for adolescents. Even individuals who could not be returned to society should not be executed, according to this inmate. Furthermore, he stated that adolescents under penalty of death should be housed in juvenile, rather than in adult, facilities. The inmate also opposed capital punishment because it is discriminatory, because it holds the potential of executing innocent parties, and because it creates new victims in the family of the executed offender. 23 references
Main Term(s): Abolishment of capital punishment; Juvenile capital punishment
Index Term(s): Field interrogation and interview; Inmate attitudes
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