I think that executing a minor violates the 8th amendment, “No cruel or unusual punishment.” If a little kid makes a mistake and accidentally shoots a gun or does something that kills someone, and they are executed I think that that falls under cruel and unusual punishment.
A court case that made it to the Supreme Court was the case of Kevin Nigel Stanford, who was convicted in 1981 of a murder committed in Kentucky when he was 17 years and 4 months old. Stanford and an accomplice repeatedly raped and sodomized a 20-year-old woman during the robbery of a gas station where she worked. The men took her to a wooded area, and Stanford shot her straight in the face, then in the back of the head, to prevent her from testifying against him. Stanford’s case first came to the Supreme Court in 1989. In the decision Stanford vs. Kentucky, a narrow Supreme Court majority ruled the execution of death row inmates who killed before they were 18 was not then cruel and unusual punishment, following the 8th amendment of the Constitution.
I think that it is unfair that a minor could be killed for something when they aren’t even allowed to vote. Those younger than 18 are not allowed to vote or be on juries, or enjoy any of the other responsibilities and privileges of adulthood because the government considers their judgment unformed. So why would you execute them if you think their judgment isn’t up to par? To the government their judgment isn’t up to par, so don’t tell minors that they should know right from wrong when the government believes that they can’t think right yet. A minor should know not to murder someone, but maybe their mind just hasn’t quite developed that sense of right or wrong yet.
Rather than robbing them of the chance to grow and become better human beings, though, the government has the ultimate responsibility to help transform these troubled youths into upstanding citizenseven if it is within the walls of a prison rather than a classroom or office building. Executing minors does nothing but remind us of America’s stubbornness to do what may take time but in the end is right.
The case mentioned earlier is still in action. Nearly a decade later, Stanford is still fighting death row. He is now about 27 but should still be looked at as the same age he was when he was initially charged, 17. I think that he should face a lifetime in jail, not be executed. This to me would violate the 8th amendment of the Constitution.
I think that executing a minor whose mind hasn’t developed fully, matches the cruelness of executing someone who is mentally retarded. Executing someone who is mentally retarded has been ruled by the Supreme Court as, Cruel and unusual. Whoever is a minor and is getting executed hasn’t been given a chance to live of their life. A kid or adolescent could have made a bad error and doesn’t truly deserve to be executed. The only way to find this out or not is to let them live and not execute them at such a young age. Doing so, to me, is definitely cruel and unusual.