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The Death Penalty Inflicted upon Teenagers

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There are some youngsters who are extremely perilous and do not respond to efforts taken to reform them. The use of the 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. 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.

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 the 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 attempt to argue against the moral and practical viability of such steps taken. 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. 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 a contradiction of human rights especially in case of children or teenagers despite the adults who might be responsible for the actions of the vulnerable, impulsive, and young and poor decision makers.

The purpose of the research in the context of the above problem is to understand whether punishing teenagers with the death penalty is immoral.

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