Minimum age for death Penalty

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by dgabriel, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. What is the youngest age you would support the death penalty in a capital case? The age would be at the commission of the crime.
  2. ...seems odd to me that a taxpayer would fund the govt's ability to take their life...even if they are does happen...

  3. depends, how old are you???:D
  4. Personally, I think it is a big mistake to treat juveniles differently than adult criminals, at least for serious crimes involving violence. No doubt the juvenile justice systems were established out of the best of motives, but times have changed. In the 50's or 60's, juvenile "delinquency" might have meant truancy, minor vandalism or maybe car theft in extreme cases. Now we are talking contract killing on down. You are just as dead if a 14 year old kills you as a 25 year old.

    In fact, the lenient juvenile systems have encouraged crime. Criminals and juveniles are aware of the vast difference in treatment based on age, and they recruit teens for the violent jobs, knowing they will get a light sentence if caught.

    The police in major cities barely treat auto theft as a crime any more. Most of it is done by teens who are just released the minute they are caught.

    Another big mistake is sealing juvie records. Judges and juries should know the background of thugs before them. How does it encourage "youths" to obey the law if they know they get their sheet wiped clean?
  5. your points are valid - but if they are competent enough to be prosecuted as adults, are they also competent enough to vote, buy a house, drink beer, buy tobacco, get married, have sex with adults, buy a gun, drive a car, support themselves, be drafted, etc.?
  6. this would mean putting Juvenile prisoners in adult prisons....Big mistake if you ask me....

    I agree with you though as far as capital crimes; murder is murder and a juvie should be tried as an adult in this specific case......
  7. I gather from your post AAA that you support in principle the same punishment for juvenile capital offenders as for adult offenders. If so, does this mean you make no age limit for the application of capital punishment. Can a 9 year old be convicted of 1st degree murder, and if so, should he be executed as an adult would be under the similar criminal and statutory circumstances?
  8. You make good points. Personally, I think it is silly someone can join the army but can't legally buy abeer. We trust their judgment enough to let them vote but not to sign a legally binding contract.

    Those restrictions however were imnposed primarily for the juvenile's own protection. Here we are talking about protecting society from predators. Obviously, a determination has to be made that the defendant had the necessary mental state or specific intent to be found guilty. Some cases, for example the Florida teen who killed the little girl using wrestling moves, might be tough. There could well be a credible claim that he lacked the mental intent. Other cases, eg gun battles between drug gangs, require no such subtle judgments.
  9. Well, that is the hard case, isn't it? There is no question that younger people lack impulse control and often a clear understanding of consequences. I have no problem with the law taking that into account. I'm not sure the best way to do that is with an age cutoff however. What if that 9 year old goes out next week and kills a couple more people? What do you do then?
  10. right - but that mental state is the problem. putting age limits on certain actions implies that below that limit someone cannot possess such a mental state at all. most of these things require some intent, but the laws say the intent doesn't count due to age.

    for ex., with statutory rape, even if the youth claims she has full intent, knowledge, and complete understanding of what she is doing, the law says that she is simply too young to be able to consent, her mind has not fully developed - there is no consent possible.

    if a 15 yr. old is legally unable to consent to sex, can she be able to consent to murder? it's a tricky question - but it seems that it should be consistent, either old enough to face consequences for actions, or not....
    #10     Jan 30, 2004