The Juvenile Death Penalty Today: Death Sentences and Executions for Juvenile Crimes, January 1, 1973 – February 28, 2005

By Victor Streib / Ohio Northern University, on 8 September 2020

This is Issue #77, the final issue of these periodic reports, having first been launched on June 15, 1984. On that date, the death penalty for juvenile offenders (defined as those under age 18 at the time of their crimes) was an obscure issue in law as well as in political and social arenas. During the last twenty-one years, these reports have been with us (1) through the intense litigation of the late 1980s, (2) through our society’s near hysteria about violent juvenile crime in the 1990s, (3) into the era of the international pressure on the United States to abandon this practice, and (4) now at the end of this practice. The validity and influence of these reports is indicated by thecitations to them in the opinions of leading courts, including the United States Supreme Court: Roper v. Simmons, 125 S.Ct. 1183, 1192, 1193, 1210, 1211, 1221 (2005); In re Stanford, 537 U.S. 968, 971 (2002); and Stanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361, 373 (1989). In the litigation leading up to the final juvenile death penalty case before the United States Supreme Court (Roper v. Simmons, 125 S.Ct. 1183 (2005)), the Missouri Supreme Court majority opinion included 12 citations to these reports: See Simmons v. Roper, 112 S.W.3d 397, 408, 409, 411 (Mo. 2003). This final issue of this periodic report is intended to document the status of the death penalty for juvenile offenders as ofthe day before the United States Supreme Court held this practice to be unconstitutional. These reports sketch the characteristics of the juvenile offenders and their crimes who have been sentenced to death, who have been executed, and who are currently under death sentences. —- See bottom left hand corner of web page.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Juveniles,