Too Many Youths Facing Adult Justice

Brief

Too Many Youths Facing Adult Justice

August 25, 2004

Abstract

[Baltimore Sun] In its coming term, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether convicted criminals can be sentenced to die for crimes committed before age 18. The case before the court is widely described as a challenge to America's "juvenile death penalty." However, since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, all offenders sentenced to death by have been tried and convicted as adults--those under 18 were reclassified as adults and transferred to adult courts for prosecution. If the thought of executing 16-year-olds is inherently disturbing, we are debating the wrong policy. We should be re-evaluating our methods for denying youths their legal status as juveniles.

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