Scott Hain Case Study - PHIL 111 Case Study Scott Hain On...

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PHIL 111 Case Study: Scott Hain On October 6 of 1987, Scott Hain, accompanied by his friend Robert Lambert were out drinking and being troublesome in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The two spotted a young couple sitting in a car parked in a parking lot near them. Hain and Lambert then hijacked the car while the couple were still inside. After driving around for a short period of time in the stolen vehicle, they stopped and pulled over the car. Hain and Lambert then proceeded to steal money and any other valuable items the abducted individuals had on them; the couple was then forced into the trunk. After locking them in the trunk of the car, Robert Lambert set the vehicle on fire. Both victims burned alive, dying while they were still in the trunk of the car. Scott Hain was arrested and convicted as a juvenile for felony murder. Sixteen years later in April of 2003, Hain was executed by lethal injection in the state of Oklahoma. Until this day he is the last person in the United States to be legally executed for crimes committed as a minor. Lambert was also sentenced to death, however, it was overturned by the Oklahoma Supreme Court because he was determined as intellectually disabled. The moral dilemma that came along with the Scott Hain case is the justification to execute an individual based off of a crime that was committed as an adolescent. In 1976, the death penalty was reinstituted in America; that same year twenty-two executions of juveniles took place. By 1988, the United States Supreme Court decided they would re-evaluate the execution of juvenile offenders. What they determined was offenders that were 15-years of age or younger would not be executed as a fault of maturity. However, the court also determined that the Eighth Amendment, which involves the use of cruel and unusual punishment would not apply
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to the execution of offenders that are 16- or 17-years of age. By 2002, the United States Supreme Court returned to the controversial topic of juvenile execution. Four of the nine justices determined that the use of capital punishment for minors was a unjust practice. Three years later, in 2005, the supreme court had finally come to the conclusion that the use of the death penalty for juveniles was a cruel and unusual punishment. Juvenile execution has been highly debated upon by many, bringing strong viewpoints from both sides of the issue. The most notable stakeholders found within the Scott Hain case were Scott Hain himself and Robert Lambert. However, the other stakeholders during this case were all other juveniles delinquents (mostly those who have committed murder). This is because they were in the same boat as Hain and Lambert, facing juvenile execution. People who oppose the death penalty for minors say that execution of a juvenile should evolve with the standards of decency. Cognitive and emotional maturity are not fully developed, allowing to irrational decision making to be made. Since the brain does not fully develop until 25-years of age, juveniles are not as blameworthy as adults. Research has determined that rapid development of the brain during
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  • Fall '18
  • Scott Allen Hain

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