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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:35 PM
Original message
"High Court Asked to End Child Executions"

WASHINGTON (AP) - Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, the American Medical Association and 48 nations are among those who lobbied the Supreme Court Monday to end the execution of killers who committed their crimes before age 18.

The United States is among only a handful of nations that allow the practice. The high court will reconsider this fall whether such executions are constitutional.

"By continuing to execute child offenders in violation of international norms, the United States is not just leaving itself open to charges of hypocrisy, but is also endangering the rights of many around the world," said a friend of the court filing Monday on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize winners, including former President Carter and former Soviet President Gorbachev.

"Countries whose human rights records are criticized by the United States have no incentive to improve their records when the United States fails to meet the most fundamental, baseline standards," it said.

http://apnews1.iwon.com/article/20040719/D83TTRNG0.html
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. "Child" here might be a stretch.
"Child" is usually used to describe someone who has not yet reached puberty. 17 year old murderers are not "children".

The use of the exagerated language implies that the author does not think the true argument has merit (or selld well).
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. There is no in between age regarding the law
Either you are old enough to handle or control your own defense or you are not. Our society decides that age to be 18. If everything was on the sliding scale of maturity, things like driver licenses, being drafted and the drinking age would all be determined individually.
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. That's the line for "adult" and "adolescent"
"Child" is further down.

Obvioulsy they aren't always capable of being tried as an adult, but that doesn't make them children.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Also our industrial society has changed the onset of puberty
Would you be OK with executing a young girl of 10 or 11 who has already reached menarche?


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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'm not "OK" with executing anyone that isn't responsible for
their own behavior.

I'm just saying refering to a 17 year old as a "child" is attempting to use the emotional impact of the word to strengthen the argument. If the argument is solid, it shouldn't NEED that kind of linguisting manipulation to convinve people.


The law differentiates (poorly) between those who can be held criminally responsible for their actions and those who can not. Some 17 year olds fall on one side of that divide and some on the other. That's why a court determines whether they can stand trial "as an adult".
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. But as a minor he can't control his own defense
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 02:01 PM by wuushew
If he is old to be killed then he is old enough to enjoy all the other adult privileges of society.

I am for the abolition of all executions and welcome even emotional arguments in order to accomplish this goal.

I understand your point of view, but it is basically a variation on the "Palestinian rock throwers were not kids, so its ok to shoot them" argument.
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I don't think the Palestinians had
a court system where a dozen other people and a court had to agree (and not be overturned by four levels of appeal) that death was warranted.

I'm all for emotional arguments. But false emotional argument tends to be ineffective.


Who controls a minor's defense if he is found competant to stand trial with a deeath penalty possibility????
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Are you aware...
that most children under the age of 18 who are convicted of murder have killed their mother's abuser?
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Not only am I not aware of it, I doubt it's true.
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 01:53 PM by Frodo
Can you provide a link? And please please please don't quote a ten year old march of dimes stat. I think it was long ago debunked.

In over a dozen murder cases I've seen in the papers, I have yet to see ANY where that is the case.
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Wow. A dozen cases from papers. You must be a criminologist.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. It's really quite simple...
If they are not given any of the privileges of adulthood (i.e. voting, drinking) then it is hypocritical to treat them like adults when it comes to the death penalty (or any other punishment for that matter).
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I think I've seen that argument somewhere else.... now where was it?
Ah yes.

So you're in favor of lowering the drinking age back to 18, right?
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. All three should be synchronized to destroy hypocrisy
18 to drink
18 to go to war
18 to be tried as an adult.


The setting of the drinking age is claimed by its defenders to massively improve the safety of public roads. However when a car is not involved I fail to see why police should hassle underagers. Perhaps the probation period of driver licenses should be extended and result in immediate revocation if a driver under 21 is caught with any amount of alcohol in his bloodstream?
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Nahh.
When an adult is tried, a judge and jury (and experts) determine competancy... but some magic age is going to define who can get away (literally) with murder? No thanks. I know plenty of 18-21 year olds who are far less "mature" than some teens I've met.

The mature teen who kills before turning 18 is just "lucky"? While the 20 year old without even a HS education is S.O.L.?

I prefer case by case.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. What is the difference between war and murder?
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 02:49 PM by wuushew
Are you ok with the current age requirements for military service or do you welcome an Ender's Game future of video game button pushing?

I really don't see what the objective criteria is for determining age appropriateness in the justice system. If anything that determination should be made by broad consensus of psychologists not judges who have no expertise into the adolescent or adult mind.


Re-read my post #2. What you are proposing is a subjective determination of all things in our society. This has serious practical problems and you have yet do show why treatment of crimes is so much different from many of the other age based important decisions made in life. Subjective determination exclusivelly can lead to biases in decision making. I think you will find the net level of justice in a society to be diminished.
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Ender's Game!?
Hey, that's one of my favorite pulpy Sci-Fi works.

But there's a big difference between war and murder.

"I really don't see what the objective criteria is for determining age appropriateness in the justice system."

If you don't see it, how can you come up with an entirely arbitrary age of 18? It certainly wasn't that way in the past. We've delayed "adulthood" in our society until well beyond where it used to be. Drinking, military service, marriage, etc was much closer to puberty not too many decades ago.

And yes, I'm ok with the current minimum age for the military though that seems contradictory. You aren't just a guy with a gun anymore, you need a higher level of education to succeed now.

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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Voting age and military age must always be the same
If the nature of warfare has changed then the 26th amendment must also be modified.
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I meant the other way.
It wasn't at all uncommon for young teens and even boys to be in the military. Eighteen is fine with me.

The "voting age must always be the military age" sounds more like Heinlein than Orson Scott Card. But I agree. :-)
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Yes I am in favor...
of lowering the drinking age back to 18. I think it was ridiculous that at age 19 I was able to vote in a local election determining whether the city I lived in was going to stay "dry". I could make that decision for everyone in town...but I wasn't considered old enough to make the decision whether to drink for myself. Makes no fucking sense at all.
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