Video is free to stream

Capital punishment for juveniles in the United States existed until March 1, 2005, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in Roper v. Simmons. Since 1642, in the Thirteen Colonies, the United States under the Articles of Confederation, and the United States under the Constitution, an estimated 364 juvenile offenders have been put to death by the individual states (colonies, before 1776) and the federal government.

In some ways the debate over the death penalty for juveniles is a curious one. Many[weasel words] have pointed out that historically, few juveniles have ever been executed for their crimes. Even when there have been juveniles sentenced to death, few if any executions have actually been carried out. In the United States for example, youths under the age of 18 were executed at a rate of 20–27 per decade, or about 1.6–2.3% of all executions from 1880s to the 1920s. This has dropped significantly when only 3 juveniles were executed between January 1977 and November 1986.


Special Report



Media Type

Looking for more videos?

Search our video archive