NPR logo

Executions of Men Who Killed as Teens Face Test

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4107718/4107719" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Executions of Men Who Killed as Teens Face Test

Law

Executions of Men Who Killed as Teens Face Test

Executions of Men Who Killed as Teens Face Test

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4107718/4107719" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Supreme Court hears arguments testing whether it is cruel and unusual punishment to execute juveniles for crimes committed when they are 16 and 17 years old.

The high court ruled 15 years ago that there was a national consensus against executing those under the age of 16, but no consensus exists for those ages 16 and 17. All but a handful of states have abandoned the practice, either by changing their state laws or simply enforcing capital punishment against juveniles.

There are currently 72 men on death row for crimes committed when they were 16 or 17. Hear NPR's Nina Totenberg.