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Juvenile Parricide Offenders Sentenced to Death

NCJ Number
Victims & Offenders Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2010 Pages: 76-99
Kathleen M. Heide; Jessica McCurdy
Date Published
January 2010
24 pages
This article presents an analysis of juvenile patricide offenders sentenced to death to determine the typology of the offenders.
Most accounts of youths who kill parents describe the plight of the severely abused child who kills to end long-standing abuse. Although there is recognition among scholars and practitioners that youths who kill parents to get money, to gain freedom, or to express hatred do exist, the literature has not focused on them. This research looks closely at cases of juveniles sentenced to death from 1973 to 2005, a period when juvenile murderers were eligible for capital punishment in many States, to determine if there were any cases of youths killing parents represented among this population. Of the 205 juveniles sentenced to death during this period, 4 killed 1 or more parents. This manuscript presents an in-depth analysis of one of these cases and then provides summaries of the others. These cases contain startling similarities in regard to offender motives and backgrounds and differ markedly from cases presented in the professional literature. References (Published Abstract)