Individuals who were juveniles at the time they committed a capital offense continue to be sentenced to the death penalty in the United States. Although the number of juvenile offenders affected by the death penalty is small, these offenders serve as a focal point for often highly politicized debates about the constitutionality of the death penalty, public safety, alternatives available to judges and juries in determining the fates of these youth, and, most crucial, the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system in safeguarding the due process rights of youth.

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Juveniles and the Death PenaltyCoordinating Council on Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention
November 2000