Clinical and Research News
Two More States Ban Execution of Minors
Psychiatric News
Volume 39 Number 7 page 44-44

Legislators in several states have been debating bills that would prohibit the execution of criminals who were younger than 18 when they committed their crimes. Psychiatrists have testified in favor of such a statute change on behalf of APA and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) in a number of those states (Psychiatric News, March 19).

On March 3, with the signature of their governors, two of those states, Wyoming and South Dakota, became the 30th and 31st states to eliminate the death penalty for crimes committed before an adolescent reaches age 18. The New Hampshire legislature may also be nearing agreement on a bill to limit death penalties to those aged 18 or over.

APA and AACAP have used ever-more-sophisticated scientific evidence to explain to lawmakers around the country how adolescents’ brains are still developing, including brain areas that affect teenagers’ ability to make judgments and control impulsive behaviors.

In its next term, which begins on the first Monday of October, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on whether executing people who were under age 18 at the time of their crime violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

Interactive Graphics


Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Related Articles