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Supreme Court Ends Death Penalty for Minors

March 04, 2005  | 

The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that executing those who were under 18 when they committed murder is cruel and unusual punishment, making it unconstitutional.

The ruling not only outlaws the execution of minors who commit murder in the future but also prevents states from executing the approximately 70 people on death row who were minors when they murdered. The court had already outlawed executions of those 15 and younger in 1988.

The 19 states that currently allow executions for people under age 18 are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Texas, and Virginia.

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