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Death penalty has always been one of the most debated issues that

is related to contemporary system of justice. Wolf R, the writer in


democrat and chronicle wrote that the death penalty that have being
imposed on juveniles is a hot cake issue in the nowadays system of
justice. Back in 1973 there are 226 juveniles that has been sentenced to
death. Death penalty should not be apply on juveniles offenders although
generally tolerated under international law. Todays society-acknowledge
that juveniles that are under age of 18 years old cannot not be treated as
adults yet. Law implied in a constitution play its role as a medium to
protect the children because of the consequences of their actions and
seeks to ameliorate the harm because when they makes mistake, we
should be giving them second a chance . The International on Civil
Rights and Political Rights requires that death penalty should only be
imposed only for serious crime. Only United States of America have an
outstanding reservation to the Articles that forbid the execution of juvenile
offenders. According to the study made by Victor L. Streib,Ella and
Ernest Fisher Professor of Law Ohio Northern University,theactual
execution of juvenile offenders sentenced to death began in 1642. Since
1642, at least 366 juvenile offenders were executed, an average of almost
exactly one per year. These 366 juvenile offender executions were
imposed by 38 states and the federal government, and they constituted
less than 2% of the total of about 20,000 confirmed American executions
since 1608. According to Charles M. Blow, in New Yorks Times,twentytwo of these 366 executions for juvenile crimes were carried out during
the current era (1973-2005). They constituted 2.3% of the 949 total
executions during this period, an execution rate only slightly higher than
had been experienced prior to 1973. Only 45% of executed juvenile
offenders were white, while 57% of executed adult offenders have been
white. The races of the victims are essentially the same for executed
juvenile offenders where 81% white as for executed adult offenders 80%
white. However, the over-representation of female victims is even more
apparent in juvenile offender executions (59% female victims) as
compared to adult offender executions where 49% are female victims. The
periods on death row awaiting execution for these executed juvenile
offenders ranged from 6 years to over 20 years, resulting in the ages at
execution ranging from 23 to 38.

One of the most reason why death penalty should not be imposed on juveniles is because
most of the time juveniles death penalty involves racism. Racism is quite a big problem
whereby a study that has been conducted by the National Academic Press in their book
juvenile crime, juvenile justice saying that although black youth represented approximately
15 percent of the U.S. population ages 10-17 in 1997, they represented 26 percent of all
juvenile arrests, 30 percent of delinquency referrals to juvenile court, 45 percent of preadjudication decisions, 33 percent of petitioned delinquency cases, 46 percent of cases
judicially waived to adult criminal court, and 40 percent of juveniles in public long-term.
Thus, the proportion of blacks under the supervision of the juvenile or adult criminal justice
systems is more than double their proportion in the general population. Meanwhile, according

to latest Bureau of Justice Statistics Data, the national death - row population is roughly
42% percent are black people while the United States population overall total of number is
only 13.6% black compared to white people. The situation in United States of America shows
a great racism towards each other between black and white people. According to data from
Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), 15 US counties accounted for 30% of the
executions since 1976 , which is less than 1% of counties in the country, and less than 1% of
the total counties in all death penalty states. Nine of these counties are in Texas, and three are
in Alabama . According to Carl E. Pope and Howard N. Snyder the
writer for Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, capital
punishment for juveniles has national and international implications, yet in the US where a
very small number of counties, largely in the South, accounts for a majority of the executions
and local officials enjoy broad powers to prosecute and execute based on groundless
assumptions and bias about race. Questions of guilt and innocence are subordinated to
expediency and prejudice. Until today, days of racial bias in the death penalty arises. One of
the famous case involving racial bias is George Stinney case. He was executed at the early
age of 14, reminds that death penalty on juveniles should and must end. George Junius
Stinney, a 14 year - old black boy died as the youngest person executed in the 20th century. He
was accused for killing two white girls in South Carolina. However, there is no record of
confession. There is not even physical evidence that shows he committed the crime. His trial,
if that what you want to call and assume about, only lasted for 2 short hours. No witnesses
were called. Also, no defence evidence was ever presented. The unfairness in this case was so
obvious that even all white jurist deliberate for only 10 minutes before sentenced him to
death.2 out of 3rd of the 288 children executed in the nations history were black. 100% of the
40 child executed in US for the crimes rape or attempted rape were black.
According to the Kaczorowski , president of The Childrens
Agenda in Democrat and Chronicle, stating that based on the study that
has been made, on the age of 16 and 17 the adolescent brain are still
developing until the age of 25. A study shows that at this age, teenagers
are still fragile and do not know the consequences of their behavior. This
was prove by most parents. However, this can be overcome because
young brain are more flexible than the adults with intervention from the
right kind of authority, youths are most likely to spend their youths time
away from committing any crime. Juvenile justice system act as wake up
call and one of the way to give the children support for them to break up
the cycle. But some of others teenagers need a treatment and some of
others may end up incarcerated. Young people who are placed in the
adults criminal justice system are rearrested at a rate of 34 percent higher
more than the youths who are stayed in the cell. And eighty percent of
youths released are more likely to commit a serious crime. The adult
system that has been implied to youths are not to scared them up out of a
life of crime but prepares them for it. Juvenile offenders are children under
18 years old, so they are still immature. They will always need guidance in
things they do because of the lack of experiences and often never think of
the consequences of their actions. According to Malcolm Writer, the
writer for abc news, at this age, they do not know how to act and think
real rationally. Mostly children at this age are rebellious, love to enjoy their
teen life. So, they even do things that might against the law because they
think they are doing it for fun. The bad influences that they have been

exposed from their peer friends encourage them to commit things that are
against the law bravely. Children are easily influenced by their friends, be
it good or bad. They often realise they commit wrong things after they see
the impact of their consequences. If death penalty is the only solution to
their unintentional crimes, that would be such a cruel thing to do because
they may have realised what is their mistake and they want to have a
second chance. Death penalty to juvenile offenders should be abolished
because they deserve a second chance in life. They are still young and it
is a human nature to commit mistake even thought it is a heavy one,
especially youngsters. The law should consider that juveniles offenders as
some of them may actually not even found guilty, but somehow were
found guilty maybe because being in the false circumstances, or being at
the wrong place at a wrong time and somehow trapped in some serious
crime that they do not even commit.
Children are denied in many rights due to their inability to exercise
the maturity and sound of judgement, so death penalty for juveniles also
should have been denied too. According to the Facts On The Juvenile
Death Party, if they are not allowed to be in contracts before they reach
the age of 18 based on legal law, also not allowed to donate their body
organs, not allowed to buy cigarette, and not allowed to make a will if they
are not reach the majority age of 18, death penalty for juveniles should be
the same too. Death penalty for juveniles offender is a harsh punishment
as the crime they commit may not be intended to do it in the first place.
Children are easily influence, be it good or bad things, but they also would
learn from their mistakes. In order to learn from their mistakes, they
should be given a second chance of life, to live their life as a new person,
knowing that they would not repeat the same mistake twice. This question
arise when there was a case back in 1993, when 17-year-old Christopher
Simmons abducted and murdered his neighbour, little did he know that
some of the nation's top brain researchers and psychiatrists would one
day rush to his defence before the Supreme Court.
According to Paul Davies, in his report of the Wall Street Journal on
Psychiatrists Question Death for Teen Killers. It was stated that in 1993, Mr
Simmons and Charles Benjamin, who was 15 at that time, broke into their
neighbours home in Fenton, Mo. Once they managed to get inside the
house, they encounter Shirley Ann Crook. Fear that she would recognize
them, they had made a decision to bound Ms. Crook, 46 with a duct tape
and an electrical cord. Then, they drove her to a railroad bridge and
shoved her into Meramec River, where she was found drowned. Mr.
Benjamin, who was too young to face death penalty, was sentenced to life
in prison. Mr Simmons was convicted of murder and sent to death row. He
told his friends that he thought he could get away with the crime because
he was a minor, according to the Missouri attorney general. On last
summer, the Mossouri Supreme Court ruled that Mr Simmonss death
penalty violated the U.S. Constitutions Eight Amendment against cruel
and unusual punishment and that Mr. Simmons was too young to be held
fully responsible for his crime. The Supreme Court has agreed to take up

the Simmons case this fall to reconsider whether executing people for
crimes committed when they were 16 or 17 is "cruel and unusual
punishment." Supreme Court in 1989 set the minimum age for the death
penalty at 16, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
the American Psychiatric Association and the American Society for
Adolescent Psychiatry recently issued statements opposing capital
punishment for juveniles. 19 states still permit executions of convicts as
young as 16. Most recently, Sean Sellers of Oklahoma was executed in
1999 at the age of 29 for a murder committed when he was 16.
There has been a strong opposition from a president of Justice for All
a Houston, non-profit victim advocacy group, Diane Clement. She stated
that this is only an effort by those in the scientific community who oppose
the death penalty to use science to argue their position. However, a child
psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont made
a statement saying that "Kids may know the difference between right and
wrong, but that does not stop them from doing dumb and dangerous
things that they would never think of doing as adults," The crimes they
commit are undeniably horrible, and those convicted should be punished,
but not to the point and stage to be put them into a deadly death
sentence.
To conclude, the Supreme Court have finally abolished the death
penalty for convicted killers who committed their crimes before the age of
18. The practice will also be banned for any future crimes. They had finally
come to a conclusion that, 18 is the age at which the line for death
eligibility ought rest. Also, 18 is the point where society draws the line for
many purposes between childhood and adulthood.