[DP] Fwd: Punish juvenile killers? Definitely. But we don't have to execute them
carole646 at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 4 09:32:24 CST 2003
>From: "david Atwood" <dpatwood at igc.org>
>Reply-To: TCADP-BOARD01 at yahoogroups.com
>To: <TCADP-BOARD01 at yahoogroups.com>
>Subject: [TCADP-BOARD01] Fw: [lampofhope] Death penalty---Punish juvenile
>killers? Definitely. But we don't have to execute them
>Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 13:04:43 -0600
>----- Original Message -----
>Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 1:58 PM
>Subject: [lampofhope] Death penalty---Punish juvenile killers? Definitely.
>But we don't have to execute them
>Death penalty---Punish juvenile killers? Definitely. But we don't have to
>Texas has executed almost as many people as all other states combined.
>But it also is a leader in putting to death juvenile offenders. This
>summer alone, Texas executed three young men who were younger than 18
>when they committed capital murder: Napoleon Beazley, 25, in May and T.J.
>Jones, 25, and Toronto Patterson, 24, in August.
>Support for the death penalty is strong, even fierce, among Texans. But
>even those who favor a death penalty for adults are uncomfortable with it
>for juvenile killers. The Legislature must draw the line at executing
>A 2001 poll by the Houston Chronicle underscores that point: Thirty-four
>percent of those polled supported executing juvenile offenders compared
>with 42 % who opposed it. About 23 % had no opinion or weren't sure. Even
>in Harris County, which critics dubbed "the death capital" because it
>outpaces other states in sending convicted killers to death row, there
>was little support for giving 17-year-olds the ultimate punishment.
>We, too, oppose sentencing juvenile offenders to death.
>To do so is to categorically reject any notion that teenagers are
>redeemable and able to be rehabilitated, that they are capable of growth,
>development and change. Texas law recognizes their immaturity and
>distinguishes them from adults; they can't legally buy cigarettes, vote,
>sit on juries or enter contractual agreements.
>A death sentence for a 17-year-old doesn't take into account social and
>physiological differences between adolescents and adults or new research
>regarding brain development of teenagers. This year, a split U.S. Supreme
>Court also signaled its concerns about whether that punishment violates
>the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
>In considering whether to ban such executions, the legislature should
>take a long, hard look at the rest of the United States and the world. 22
>states permit such executions, but few actually carry them out. The Lone
>Star State is practicing this macabre punishment in near solitude.
>New developments should also give us pause, including a growing number of
>wrongly convicted people here and across the nation who were released
>after being cleared by DNA evidence. An increasing number of convictions
>also have been overturned because of false confessions. A judge recently
>overturned the convictions of 5 black and Hispanic young men in New York
>prisons who were convicted of brutally raping and assaulting a female
>jogger in Central Park. They were between the ages of 14 and 16 when they
>were convicted, largely because of confessions that turned out to be
>false. Legal experts long have asserted that minors are more susceptible
>to being coerced into falsely confessing.
>In Texas, there should be greater concern regarding innocent people being
>executed, given the failure of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to
>provide the judicial scrutiny death row cases deserve and the law
>intends. A recent study shows that the court regularly failed to ensure
>death row inmates got competent lawyers to handle their appeals. The
>appeals process typically is all that stands between the innocent and
>We hope the legislature will consider those issues and ban executions of
>juveniles. Surely we can incapacitate teenage offenders without killing
>(source: Editorial, Austin American-Statesman)
>* * * Jimmy Kinslow - Medical Neglect at Stateville Correctional Center,
>IL * * *
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