Arguments for and against the death penalty in the USA

Opposition to the death penalty, especially for use with juveniles, is mounting.

The Death Penalty for Juveniles: When Iran Executes Children

When it comes to the death penalty, America has shown a peculiar propensity over the years for perpetuating the "shameful mistake." When the Supreme Court hands down its ruling in the case, hopefully at least one avenue for such mistakes will be permanently closed down. And once people see that justice can still be served without executing young criminals, perhaps they will be more inclined to believe that the justice system would still function were the death penalty as a whole consigned to history.

Legal representation is likely to be inadequate for youths facing the death penalty.

Pros and Cons of Death Penalty for Juveniles - Vision …

Defendants facing capital charges are tried before a 3-judge panel known as the General Court. Appeals can be filed up to 30 days after deposit of judgment. After 45 days, with or without the defendant’s filed appeal, the Appellate Court must engage in automatic review of any sentence of death, which cannot be confirmed except by unanimous decision if the sentence is discretionary. Confirmation by the Appellate Court is not final—the Supreme Court must still confirm the sentence. In the case of acquittal at trial, the prosecutor or the individual asserting a private criminal claim (for qisas) has 30 days to file an appeal. While the parties might not always be permitted to appear before the Appellate Court, the Court may review of questions of law and fact, including newly submitted facts, and orders retrial if it finds for the petitioner (whether for a defendant or prosecutor or person exercising a private right of qisas). Our research indicates that prosecutors and those claiming a private right of qisas are not able to appeal a decision of the Appellate Court.

Espionage.The death penalty might be applied as ta'zir for espionage.

Women With Small Children.
A pregnant prisoner’s sentence is automatically submitted for review for a reduction of sentence, but she may still be executed four months after giving birth. In practice, the death penalty may not be immediately applied to women with small children. We found reports of at least two women who in 2007 were under sentence of death and were detained with young children: Zeynab Fadhil , aged 25, and her three-year-old daughter; and Liqa' Qamar, aged 25, and her one-year-old daughter.

AAPL members are urged to consider a position paper in support of banning the death penalty for crimes committed prior to age 18.


Juveniles and the death penalty - Emory University

The death penalty is unlikely to haveany deterrent value on juveniles as many young juvenile offenders are impulse ridden, highly stimulus reactive and havedifficulty planning ahead.

Juveniles and the death penalty ..




The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Reaffirming the development towards the abolition of the death penalty generally, as reflected in article 6, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the Second Optional Protocol thereto, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, Protocol No.

History of Death Penalty for Juvenile Offenders - …

Seventeen have been executed for crimes committed as juveniles since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 and three ofthese executions occurred earlier this year.

SAGE Reference - Death Penalty for Juvenile Offenders

6 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, article 4, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the American Convention on Human Rights and the Protocol to the American Convention to Abolish the Death Penalty, Recalling Commission on Human Rights resolutions 1998/8 of 3 April 1998, 1999/61 of 28 April 1999 and 2000/65 of 26 April 2000, in which the Commission expressed the conviction that abolition of the death penalty contributed to the enhancement of human dignity and to the progressive development of human rights, Noting that the death penalty is often imposed after trials which do not conform to international standards of fairness and that members of racial, national or ethnic minorities appear to be disproportionately subject to the death penalty, Welcoming the tendency in retentionist States to restrict the number of crimes carrying a possible death sentence, Welcoming also the fact that many countries, whilst retaining the death penalty in their penal legislation, are applying a moratorium on executions, Recalling the view of the Commission on Human Rights that the death penalty should not be imposed on or carried out against a person suffering from any form of mental disorder, Reaffirming the prohibition of the imposition of the death penalty on those aged under 18 at the time of the commission of the offence, as enshrined in article 6, paragraph 5, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 37 (a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 5, paragraph 3, of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, article 77, paragraph 5, of Protocol I and article 6, paragraph 4, of Protocol II Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, Affirming that the imposition of the death penalty on those aged under 18 at the time of the commission of the offence is contrary to customary international law, 1. Condemns unequivocally the imposition and execution of the death penalty on those aged under 18 at the time of the commission of the offence; 2. Calls upon also States that retain the death penalty for juvenile offenders to abolish by law as soon as possible the death penalty for those aged under 18 at the time of the commission of the offence and, in the meantime, to remind their judges that the imposition of the death penalty against such offenders is in violation of international law; 3. Calls upon all States in which the death penalty has been imposed on a person aged under 18 at the time of the commission of the offence after the State ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and/or after the entry into force of domestic legislation abolishing the imposition of the death penalty on juvenile offenders to remind their judges that the imposition of the death penalty against such offenders is in violation of international and/or national law; 4. Requests the Commission on Human Rights to reaffirm its resolution 2000/65 at its fifty-seventh session; 5. Decides to continue consideration of this matter at its fifty-third session under the same agenda item; 6. Recommends the following draft decision to the Commission on Human Rights for adoption: "The Commission on Human Rights, recalling its resolutions 1998/8 of 3 April 1998, 1999/61 of 28 April 1999 and 2000/65 of 27 April 2000 on the question of the death penalty, recalling also Sub-Commission resolution 1999/4 of 24 August 1999 on the death penalty, particularly in relation to juvenile offenders, and taking note of Sub-Commission resolution 2000/17 of 17 August 2000 on the death penalty in relation to juvenile offenders, confirms that international law concerning the imposition of the death penalty in relation to juveniles clearly establishes that the imposition of the death penalty on persons aged under 18 years at the time of the offence is in contravention of customary international law."