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Sentencing Children to Death by Incarceration: A Deadly Denial of Social Responsibility

NCJ Number
Prison Journal Volume: 91 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2011 Pages: 198-206
Robert Johnson; Sonia Tabriz
Date Published
June 2011
9 pages
This article examines juveniles sentenced to death by incarceration.
Juveniles, even the worst offenders among them, have an affirmative claim to social conditions and public policies that foster their mature development. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the inherent immaturity of juveniles, which renders them less culpable than adults and more amenable to reform. For these reasons, juvenile offenders should not be subjected to final and irrevocable sanctions like life without parole, a punishment more appropriately referred to as "our other death penalty," death by incarceration. In failing to provide the resources necessary for American youth to mature into well-adjusted adults, while simultaneously implementing an overly harsh approach to criminal justice, we are in effect punishing our youth for society's shortcomings. (Published Abstract)