The United States is among only a few of the countries around the world to use the death penalty against juvenile offenders. As of 2004, juvenile offenders executed since 1976 in United States were already twenty-two. A total of thirty one states though prohibit the juvenile death penalty.
“The overwhelming international consensus that the death penalty should not apply to juvenile offenders stems from the recognition that young persons, because of their immaturity, may not fully comprehend the consequences of their actions and should therefore benefit from less severe sanctions than adults,” said Mary Robinson, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement urging clemency for two U. S. juvenile offenders. “More importantly, it reflects the firm belief that young persons are more susceptible to change, and thus have a greater potential for rehabilitation than adults” (Robinson, 2002).
The death penalty debate in the U. S. is dominated by the fraudulent voice of the anti-death penalty movement. The culture of lies and deceit so dominates that movement that many of the falsehoods are now wrongly accepted as fact, by both advocates and opponents of capital punishment. The following report presents the true facts of the death penalty in America. If you are even casually aware of this public debate, you will note that every category contradicts the well-worn frauds presented by the anti-death penalty movement. The anti-death penalty movement specializes in the abolition of truth.
1. Imposition of the death penalty is extraordinarily rare. Since 1967, there has been one execution for every 1600 murders, or 0. 06%. There have been approximately 560,000 murders and 358 executions from 1967-1996 FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) & Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). 2. Approximately 5900 persons have been sentenced to death and 358 executed (from 1973-96). An average of 0. 2% of those was executed every year during that time. 56 murderers were executed in 1995, a record number for the modern death penalty.
This represented 1. 8% of those on death row. The average time on death row for those 56 executed – 11 years, 2 months ("Capital Punishment 1995", BJS, 1996), an all time record of longevity, breaking the 1994 record of 10 years, 2 months. 3. Death penalty opponents ("opponents") state that "Those who support the death penalty see it as a solution to violent crime. " Opponents, hereby, present one of many fabrications. In reality, executions are seen as the appropriate punishment for certain criminals committing specific crimes. So says the U.
S. Supreme Court and so say most death penalty supporters ("advocates"). 4. Opponents equate execution and murder, believing that if two acts have the same ending or result, then those two acts are morally equivalent. This is a morally untenable position. Is the legal taking of property to satisfy a debt the same as auto theft? Both result in loss of property. Are kidnapping and legal incarcerations the same? Both involve imprisonment against one's will. Is killing in self defense the same as capital murder? Both end in taking human life.
Are rape and making love the same? Both may result in sexual intercourse. How absurd. Opponents’ flawed logic and moral confusion mirror their "factual" arguments – there is, often, an absence of reality. The moral confusion of some opponents is astounding. Some equate the American death penalty with the Nazi holocaust. Opponents see no moral distinction between the slaughter of 12 million totally innocent men, women and children and the just execution of society's worst human rights violators. But the direction of the issue’s momentum is becoming clear.
Even after the Stanford ruling gave states the go-ahead to continue executing juveniles, virtually no legislatures have lowered the statutory minimum age. Instead, legislation abolishing the juvenile death penalty and fixing the minimum age for capital punishment at age 18 has since been approved in Montana, Indiana, New York, and Kansas. On March 4, South Dakota and Wyoming were added to the list. Similar bills have been introduced in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
The state of Washington outlawed the practice in a 1993 state Supreme Court ruling, State v. Furman. Altogether, 30 states prohibit capital punishment for juveniles. The declining frequency of juvenile executions nationwide seems to follow these same trends. The total of seven juvenile executions annually in 2000 and 2001 was half that of each of the preceding six years. By 2003, this number fell to the lowest point since 1989, with only two such executions nationwide.