StandDown Texas Project

The StandDown Texas Project identifies and advocates best practices in the criminal justice system. To stand down is to go off duty temporarily, especially to review safety procedures. That is what Texas needs to do with its death penalty.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Juvenile Death Penalty Goes to U.S. Supreme Court

This Wednesday the question of whether or not the death penalty is suitable for juvenile offenders will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Court follows its own logic established when it ruled offenders with mental retardation cannot face the death penalty, the Court will strike down a penalty that is rarely applied - outside of Texas.

A majority of states bans the execution of juvenile offenders, those who commit a capital crime while younger than 18 years of age, and public opinion is solidly against the practice. In the last 10 years, only Oklahoma and Virginia have joined Texas in carrying out such executions in the U.S., finding themselves in the company of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iran.

The American Medical Association, other child development experts, a group of state attorneys general, and newspaper editorials across the nation have urged the Court to end executions of juvenile offenders.

An excellent overview of the issue can be seen in today's Chicago's Tribune:,1,2183330.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

Also, the Dallas Morning News is in the middle of a provacative series of articles on the issue:

Expect extensive coverage following Wednesday's oral arguments.


At 4:23 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

We don't execute enough people. I say we bring back "cruel and unusual" punishment. If criminals saw that there actually was a punishment, and not just a cushy jail cell awaiting, then maybe they'd think twice about what they're doing. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about making sure the convicted person is the correct person responsible for the crime. They should get two appeals max. Then if both appeals fail, for murderers there is one year maximum until the execution date. For repeat male sex offenders, chop off the reproductive organs. For drug dealers, go through a process of getting them high and stringing them out for a month. Takes care of prison overcrowding, saves taxpayer dollars and puts the fear of God into some people.

At 5:26 AM, Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

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