Execution of Juveniles in the U.S. and other Countries

Age at which Suspects are Tried as Adults in U.S. States
The Execution of Juveniles in the the United States in the Modern Era
The Execution of Juveniles in Other Countries Since 1990

AGE AT WHICH ALL SUSPECTS ARE TRIED AS ADULTS
(The death penalty is forbidden in all states for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crime following the Supreme Court's ruling in Roper v. Simmons (2005))


 
AGE
STATES
SIXTEEN AND ABOVE (3 states) Connecticut, New York, North Carolina
SEVENTEEN AND ABOVE (9 states) Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin
EIGHTEEN AND ABOVE (38 states plus the District of Columbia) Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, plus the District of Columbia
(source: Pamela Ferdinand, "Seventeen an Awkward Age, N.H. Juvenile Justice Finds," Washington Post, Mar. 27, 2002, citing the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs)


THE EXECUTION OF JUVENILES IN THE U. S.

The first execution of a juvenile offender was in 1642 with Thomas Graunger in Plymouth Colony, Massachesetts. In the 360 years since that time, a total of approximately 365 persons have been executed for juvenile crimes, constituting 1.8% of roughly 20,000 confirmed American executions since 1608. Twenty-two of these executions for juvenile crimes have been imposed since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. These 22 recent executions of juvenile offenders make up about 2% of the total executions since 1976.

JUVENILES EXECUTED IN THE UNITED STATES IN THE MODERN ERA (Since January 1, 1973)

Name Date of Execution Place of Execution Race Age at Crime Age at Execution
Charles Rumbaugh
9/11/85
Texas White
17
28
J. Terry Roach
1/10/86
South Carolina White
17
25
Jay Pinkerton
5/15/86
Texas White
17
24
Dalton Prejean
5/18/90
Louisiana Black
17
30
Johnny Garrett
2/11/92
Texas White
17
28
Curtis Harris
7/1/93
Texas Black
17
31
Frederick Lashley
7/28/93
Missouri Black
17
29
Ruben Cantu
8/24/93
Texas Latino
17
26
Chris Burger
12/7/93
Georgia White
17
33
Joseph Cannon
4/22/98
Texas White
17
38
Robert Carter 5/18/98 Texas Black 17 34
Dwayne Allen Wright
10/14/98
Virginia Black
17
24
Sean Sellers
2/4/99
Oklahoma White
16
29
Douglas Christopher Thomas
1/10/00
Virginia White
17
26
Steven Roach
1/13/00
Virginia White
17
23
Glen McGinnis
1/25/00
Texas Black
17
27
Shaka Sankofa (Gary Graham)
6/22/00
Texas Black
17
36
Gerald Mitchell
10/22/01
Texas Black
17
33
Napoleon Beazley
5/28/02
Texas Black
17
25
T.J. Jones
8/8/02
Texas
Black
17
25
Toronto Patterson
8/28/02
Texas
Black
17
24
Scott Allen Hain
4/3/03
Oklahoma White
17
32

 


THE EXECUTION OF JUVENILES IN OTHER COUNTRIES

 

The death penalty for juvenile offenders appears to have been abandoned by nations everywhere in large part due to the express provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and of several other international treaties and agreements. Since 1990, juvenile offenders are known to have been executed in only seven countries: China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
- Victor L. Streib, "The Juvenile Death Penalty Today: Death Sentences and Executions for Juvenile Crimes January 1973 - September 30, 2003" (2004)

REPORTED EXECUTIONS OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN OTHER COUNTRIES SINCE 1990

Country Name of Prisoner Age at crime (C), sentence (S), or execution(E) Year of Death Notes
CHINA Zhao Lin 16 (C), 18 (E) 2003 China revised a law in 1997 forbidding the execution of defendants under age 18 at the time of the crime, but juveniles continuie to be executed due to insufficient care in determining the age of defendants.
Gao Pan 16 or 17 (C) 2004
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO Kasongo 14 (C/E) 2000 In 2001, the death sentences of five children were commuted. At the time of writing there was a moratorium on executions in effect.
IRAN Kazeem Shirafkan 17 (E) 1990 In December 2003, a bill to raise the minimum age to 18 was approved by the parliament, but must still receive the approval of the highest governing body in Iran, the Guardian Council, to become law.
Male (name unknown) 16 (E) 1992
Male (name unknown) 17 (E) 1992
Male (name unknown) 17 (E) 1992
Ebrahim Qorbanzadeh 17 (E) 1999
Jasem Abrahimi 17 (E) 2000
Mehrdad Youssefi 16 (C) 2001
Mohammad Mohammadzadeh 17 (C), 21 (E) 2004
Salman 17 (C) 2004
Atefeh Rajabi Sahaaleh 16 (E) 2004
Iman Farrokhi 17 (C) 2005
Ali Safarpour Rajabi 16 or 17 (C) 2005
Mahmoud Asghari 15 or 16 (C) 2005
Ayaz Marhoni 16 or 17 (C) 2005
Farshid Farighi 14 to 16 (C) 2005
Name unknown 17 (E) 2005
Name unknown 17 (C) 2005
Rostam Tajik 16 (C) 2005
Majid Segound (Sagvand) 17 (E) 2006
Sattar 17 (C) 2006
Morteza M 16 (C) 2006
Naser Batmani uner 18 (C) 2006
Mohammad Mousawi 16 (C) 2007
Sa'id Qanabar Zahi 17 (E) 2007
Mohammad Pezhman (Pejman) under 18 (C) 2007
Amir Asgari under 18 (C) 2007
Hossein Gharabaghloo 16 (C) 2007
Babak Rahimi 17 (E) 2007
Name unknown under 18 (C) 2007
Name unknown under 18 (C) 2007
Mohamad Reza Tork 16 (C) 2007
Makwan Moloudzadeh 13 (C) 2007
Amir Hoshang Fazlollahzadeh under 18 (C) 2007
Javad Shojaee 16 (C) 2008
Mohammad Hassanzadeh 16 or 17 (E) 2008
Hasan Mozafari under 18 (C) 2008
Rahman Shahidi under 18 (C) 2008
Reza Hejazi 15 (C) 2008
Behnam Zare 15 (C) 2008
Gholamreza H 17 (C) 2008
Ahmad Zare 17 (C) 2008
Mola Gol Hassan 17 (C) 2009
Delara Darabi 17 (C) 2009
Ali Jafari 17 (C) 2009
Bahnoud Shojaee 17 (C) 2009
Mosleh Zamani 17 (C) 2009
NIGERIA Chiebore Onuoha 15 (C) 1997  
PAKISTAN Name Unknown 17 (E) 1992 In July 2000, the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance was promulgated, abolishing the death penalty for anyone under 18 at the time of the crime. In July 2002 it was announced that 74 young offenders had been taken off death row.
Shamun Masih 14 (C) 1997
Ali Sher 13 (C) 2001
Mutabar Khan 16 (C) 2006
SAUDI ARABIA Sadeq Mal-Allah 17 (S) 1992  
Dhahian Rakan al-Sibai'l 15 or 16 (C) 2007
Moeid bin Hussein Hakami 16 (E) 2007
Sultan Bin Sulayman Bin Muslim al-Muwallad 17 (C) 2009
'Issa bin Muhammad 'Umar Muhammad 17 (C) 2009
SUDAN Mohammed Jama Gesmallah 16 (C) 2005  
Imad Ali Abdullah 17 (C) 2005
YEMEN Nasser Munir Nasser al'Kirbi 13 (E) 1993 In 1994 Yemen abolished the death penalty for people under 18 at the time of the crime.
Adil Muhammad Saif al-Ma'amari 16 (C) 2007

(Source: Amnesty International "Indecent and Internationally Illegal: The Death Penalty Against Child Offenders" September 2002, with updated information from Amnesty International: Execution of Child Offenders - Updated Summary of Cases.)


 Last Updated February 23, 2011

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