Juvenile Offenders on Death Row - Mallett

Juvenile Offenders on Death Row - Mallett - Chris Mallett,...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chris Mallett, Ph.D., J.D., LISW Socio-Historical Analysis of Juvenile Offenders, Criminal Law Bulletin (2003), 39(4), 455-468 Socio-Historical Analysis of Juvenile Offenders on Death Row Christopher A. Mallett, Ph.D., J.D., LISW Assistant Professor Cleveland State University 2121 Euclid Avenue, CB #324 Cleveland, OH 44115-2214 216-523-7514 c.a.mallett@csuohio.edu Abstract This paper reviews all current eighty death row inmates who were sixteen and seventeen at the time of capital offense commission, focusing on their socio-historical backgrounds, searching for common themes among these individuals. Socio-historical factors include poverty, mental health/psychiatric disorders, abuse/neglect, family dysfunction, organic brain damage, drug and/or alcohol addictions, school failure/MRDD, and child welfare/juvenile justice involvement. Records were obtained through all available resources including published reports, court and trial documents, current and past defense attorneys, advocacy groups, and the inmates/families themselves. The paper’s first thesis is that these youth “never had a chance” because of their socio-historical background factors. The paper’s second thesis is that the systems designed to support at-risk youth (family, education, mental health, juvenile justice, and child welfare) failed for these juveniles. Executing these juvenile offenders is against their legal rights because jury trials are not presented this mitigating evidence of their childhood and adolescent socio-historical backgrounds. This study finds systemic incompetence of counsel. These juvenile offenders’ legal rights are not upheld within the current death penalty system. The death penalty should be abolished for sixteen and seventeen year-old offenders. Introduction The childhood and adolescent experiences of juvenile offenders currently on death row were extremely difficult. Severe abuse and neglect, impoverished backgrounds, psychiatric disorders, disorganized family structures, substance abuse addictions, mental retardation, significant school failure rates, and brain damage mark these offenders’ histories. These adolescents received little support in avoiding their ultimate death row sentence, even with significant involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Socio-historical background information must be presented at the mitigation phase of a death penalty case. Sentencing juries too often have not considered and/or been offered the 1
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Chris Mallett, Ph.D., J.D., LISW Socio-Historical Analysis of Juvenile Offenders, Criminal Law Bulletin (2003), 39(4), 455-468 breadth and depth of the mitigating factors in these juvenile offenders’ childhoods. Recently, the United States Supreme Court found state authorized killing of mentally retarded death row inmates unconstitutional. 1
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course LAW 158 taught by Professor Richland during the Winter '08 term at UC Irvine.

Page1 / 28

Juvenile Offenders on Death Row - Mallett - Chris Mallett,...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online