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Attorney Decries Juvenile Executions (From Young Blood: Juvenile Justice and the Death Penalty, P 159-165, 1995, Shirley Dicks, ed. - See NCJ-166057)

NCJ Number
D Bruck
Date Published
7 pages
Executions of offenders who were 16 and 17 years old at the time of their crimes continued until the 1960's and has resumed with the execution of Charles Rumbaugh, Jr. in Texas, although the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights forbids capital punishment for anyone under age 18 at the time of the crime.
Texas uses 16 as its age limit for capital punishment; 26 other States impose lower limits or no limits. The youngest person executed was 14-year-old George Stinney, Jr., a black youth convicted of murdering an 11-year-old white female in South Carolina in 1944. The youth confessed to the murder. The defense offered no evidence and did not request a psychiatric evaluation. The jury deliberated for 10 minutes before reaching a guilty verdict with no recommendation of mercy. The execution took place less than 2 months later. The execution would automatically have been stayed for at least a year if the defense attorney had filed a one-sentence notice of appeal. However, the attorney did not see the youth from the time he left the court, did not speak to any family member, and never advised Stinney or his parents that he had the right to appeal.