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Should Teenagers be subject to the Death Penalty - Research Paper Example

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Should Teenagers be subject to the Death Penalty? I. Introduction A. Background and Research Problem Crime is defined as an infringement of criminal laws for which the criminal is subjected to some kind of formal penalty by the governmental authority…
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Should Teenagers be subject to the Death Penalty
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Download file to see previous pages Hence, the idea of death penalty as a deterrent to crime becomes quite controversial. Most of the countries have ceased applying death sentences to deter crime. Today, more than half of the nations across the world have stopped death penalty either by rule or through practice. They have reported that death sentence is not a solution to deter crime. The social and economic environment of the criminal directs crime. The first nations to have put an end to capital punishment were Venezuela, San Marino, and Costa Rica in the mid-nineteenth century. Other countries like Yugoslavia, Montenegro Serbia, Turkey and Chile have also abolished death penalties from 2000. Executions are prevalent in China, Saudi Arabia and the United States of America. (The European Union is united against Capital Punishment, 2007). The sentencing of youths who have been convicted of violent crimes to execution again depends on the extent of atrocity of the crime. The Juvenile Courts have long protected most of the young offenders from the full-fledged application of criminal law and have also allowed them to enjoyment of their special rights and immunities. The special rights mainly include protection from publicity, imprisonment only to 21 years of age, no imprisonment with adults, and shelter from the consequences of adult punishment like the loss of civil entitlements, the exercise of adjudication against the juvenile convict in the following proceedings and debarment from public employment. The reason for drafting such rights and immunities is to provide the young convict with guidance and rehabilitation so as to ensure the child’s future as well as the protection of the society. Nevertheless, there are some youngsters who are extremely perilous and do not respond to efforts taken to reform them. The use of death penalty under such circumstances would actually depend on the nature of the crime and on the mental state of the offender. However, giving another scope to the youth to rectify and straighten oneself out is desirable (Laurence and Scott, 2003, pp. 1009-1018). Human rights groups have constantly argued against the death penalty inflicted upon a juvenile offender on the grounds of immaturity and vulnerability of impulse. This has especially taken a positive turn after the mentally retarded people were barred from such penalties (Bender, 2002, p. 20). Public consensus already has spoken against the death penalty for juvenile offenders. For instance, a Chicago survey of 2001 showed that while 62 percent favored death penalty for capital crimes, only 34 percent support the same for the teenagers under 18 years of age. The present research centers on the death penalty inflicted upon teenagers and attempts to argue against the moral and practical viability of such steps taken. B. Problem Statement and Purpose The execution or imposition of death penalty on offenders with mental retardation is against the prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment” as enforced by the Constitution. The three states of US, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia have carried out 82 percent of all the death penalties in the nation (American Bar Association, 2004, p. 2). Human rights groups and the director of Amnesty International argue that even the imposition of death penalty on teenage offenders was unconstitutional. Hence death penalty might lead to contradiction of human rights especially in case of children or teenagers despite the adults who might be responsible for the actions of the vulnerable, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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