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Executing young killers to be reviewed - SCOTUS will weigh whether death is cruel, unusual penalty
Associated Press ^ | January 26, 2004 | Associated Press Staff

Posted on 01/27/2004 1:19:12 PM PST by MeekOneGOP


Executing young killers to be reviewed

Supreme Court will weigh whether death is cruel, unusual penalty

10:19 PM CST on Monday, January 26, 2004

Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Twenty-six Texas death row inmates, including three scheduled for lethal injection in the coming months, would be affected if the U.S. Supreme Court bars execution of convicted killers whose crimes were committed when they were younger than 18.

The high court, which two years ago abolished executions for the mentally retarded, said Monday that it would reopen the question of whether executing very young killers violates the Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment."

"It's a disastrous development for crime victims and innocent murdered people," said Dianne Clements, president of Justice For All, a Houston-based crime victims' group that supports the death penalty. She urged the court to "look at the record."

"That's all we would ask. Look at the crimes committed by these horrific, heinous murderers who happened to be 17 years old and make a decision on that. Take into account their age and understand a 17-year-old is as vicious as a 27-year-old."

But David Atwood, director of the Texas Coalition to Abolish The Death Penalty, called the decision good news.

"I think for Texas, it's particularly significant because we have so many juvenile offenders here," he said. "And we've executed a lot in Texas already. This is probably more significant for Texas than any other state."

According to Texas law, a person who commits a capital murder at age 17 can be sentenced to death. There are other states that extend capital punishment to 16-year-olds, but in Texas a 16-year-old charged with capital murder receives an automatic life prison term if convicted.

"What it really signifies is that the Supreme Court is looking very carefully at the death penalty in a way they haven't looked before," Mr. Atwood said. "How this will turn out ultimately, who knows?"

"Because legislation in individual states is slow, and particularly here in Texas," it is significant that the high court is considering the issue, Mr. Atwood said. The Supreme Court probably will consider the case during its next term in the fall.

Since Texas resumed executions in 1982, a dozen men have been executed in the state for crimes committed when they were 17.

The three on the execution schedule are Harris County cases: Eddie Capetillo, set to die March 30; Efrain Perez, June 23; and Raul Villarreal, June 24.

"We'll just have to wait and see," said Roe Wilson, who handles capital case appeals for the Harris County district attorney's office. "I hope they [Supreme Court justices] just settle the issue."

Mr. Capetillo was condemned for the January 1995 slayings of two people during a robbery that netted $18 from a northwest Harris County home.

Mr. Perez and Mr. Villarreal face lethal injection for the 1993 rape, beating and strangling of two Houston girls as part of a gang ritual.

According to statistics from Amnesty International USA, which opposes the death penalty, of 22 states with capital punishment, seven have executed people who committed crimes when they were younger than 18. Of the 26 convicted while juveniles and on death row in Texas, where the total death row population is 451, 10 are from Harris County.

The most recent inmate to be executed for a crime committed when he was 17 was Toronto Patterson, who was 24 when he was put to death in August 2002 for killing a 3-year-old cousin at her Dallas home, one of three relatives gunned down so he could steal wheels from a car stored at the house.


Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/012604txcnpenalty.7ca92.html


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: deathpenalty; executions; juveniles; scotus; texas
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1 posted on 01/27/2004 1:19:14 PM PST by MeekOneGOP
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To: Sparta; luckodeirish; archy; Houmatt; BJClinton; SpookBrat; bonehead4freedom; ...
Do the crime, do the time I think ...

Executing young killers to be reviewed - SCOTUS
will weigh whether death is cruel, unusual penalty





Please let me know if you want ON or OFF my Texas Executions ping list!. . .don't be shy.


2 posted on 01/27/2004 1:22:03 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Check out this HILARIOUS story !! haha!: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1060580/posts)
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To: yall
The three on the execution schedule are Harris County cases:

Eddie Capetillo, set to die March 30 ...


3 posted on 01/27/2004 1:28:27 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Check out this HILARIOUS story !! haha!: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1060580/posts)
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To: yall
The three on the execution schedule are Harris County cases:

Efrain Perez, June 23 ...


4 posted on 01/27/2004 1:32:11 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Check out this HILARIOUS story !! haha!: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1060580/posts)
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To: MeekOneGOP
the question of whether executing very young killers violates the Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment."

Horse Hockey. Ask the victims' families.

5 posted on 01/27/2004 1:34:30 PM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: yall
The three on the execution schedule are Harris County cases:

Raul Villarreal, June 24 ...


6 posted on 01/27/2004 1:34:30 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Check out this HILARIOUS story !! haha!: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1060580/posts)
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To: MeekOneGOP
Anyone doubt that Sandra Day O'Dunce will vote with the four libs and say NO to executing anyone under 18.....
7 posted on 01/27/2004 1:39:38 PM PST by OldFriend (Always understand, even if you remain among the few)
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To: MeekOneGOP
Mr. Perez and Mr. Villarreal face lethal injection for the 1993 rape, beating and strangling of two Houston girls as part of a gang ritual.

My sympathies are not aroused. Those two are animals.

8 posted on 01/27/2004 1:41:23 PM PST by DumpsterDiver
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To: glock rocks
The victims are just as dead regardless of the age of the murderers.

I went to the TDCJ site to find the three named under-18 YO's.

These murders are horrendous.

Liberals will kill innocent unborns, but will fight tooth and nail to get these monsters off the hook.


9 posted on 01/27/2004 1:41:48 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Check out this HILARIOUS story !! haha!: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1060580/posts)
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To: OldFriend
I bet she does too ...

10 posted on 01/27/2004 1:42:52 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Check out this HILARIOUS story !! haha!: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1060580/posts)
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To: DumpsterDiver
Horrendous alright ...

11 posted on 01/27/2004 1:45:52 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Check out this HILARIOUS story !! haha!: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1060580/posts)
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To: MeekOneGOP
Supreme Court will weigh whether death is cruel, unusual penalty

Just do it! Then, it wouldn't be so unusual.

12 posted on 01/27/2004 1:47:14 PM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: MeekOneGOP
The most recent inmate to be executed for a crime committed when he was 17 was Toronto Patterson,

I'm surprised his Canadian embassy wasn't able to save him from being executed.

13 posted on 01/27/2004 1:49:50 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Some days you're the windshield; some days you're the bug)
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To: MeekOneGOP
If the USSC does decide that states can not execute killers who were younger than 18 when they did their victim(s), the Mafia and several other organizations are prepared to launch major recruiting programs, especially in the ghettos, for qualified and trainable assassins.

Once the death penalty is off the table, the stiffest penalty might be "time to age 18," or a minimal easy prison sentence, with no record (juvenile offender!). Most slots in the training program will got to Mexican illegals ("they will do jobs that Americans won't") or to black youths from the hood ("they can't get any job 'cause the Mexican illegals get them all").

With all the child assassins in prison, the anti-death penalty whacko organizations will add a key issue to their agendas, Proms-For-Killers. To do otherwise would be cruel and unusual.

14 posted on 01/27/2004 1:56:11 PM PST by Tacis
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To: OldFriend
Anyone doubt that Sandra Day O'Dunce will vote with the four libs and say NO to executing anyone under 18.....

Remember when the libs floated a story around the time of Gore's attempted theft of the 2000 election that O'Connor had been considering retiring, but wanted to stay on long enough to have Bush appoint a "conservative" successor? I think it's more likely she is trying to wait out Bush's administration so she will not be replaced by someone conservative.

We all talk about how important it is to get Bush's choices approved, yet it looks like we are needing antidotes to O'Connor (a Reagan appointee) and Souter (a Bush 41 appointee) as much as for Clinton's and Carter's appointees.

15 posted on 01/27/2004 1:58:59 PM PST by Sans-Culotte
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To: MeekOneGOP
If the U.S. Supreme Court determines that people who committed crimes before they turned 18 should somehow be treated differently under the law, then it logically make sense that any minor can never be tried as an adult -- or must serve out their entire prison sentence in a juvenile facility (even if that results in a 40 year-old man serving a prison term among pre-teens).
16 posted on 01/27/2004 2:07:18 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: MeekOneGOP
Execute convicted child molesters rapists and murderers...humanely....
imo
17 posted on 01/27/2004 2:40:09 PM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: MeekOneGOP
These are the people who would show compassion on someone who killed his mother and father and then cried for mercy because he was an orphan.
18 posted on 01/27/2004 2:47:11 PM PST by armymarinedad (Patriots love their way of life. Liberals love their lifestyle.)
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To: MeekOneGOP
Well, since the Constitution is subject to evolving morals, especially if they come from Europe and coincide with the Gay/Socialist/Abortion agenda, then by all means, the court MUST decide that we can't execute teenagers. That's too obvious to leave to the legislatures to decide.

Prediction: 6-3, only Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist dissenting.

Bush has to get cracking. We need to replace Rehnquist and add 2 judges to put a stop to this nonsense. And they will have to develop a doctrine that says when a prior court runs rampant and becomes a super-legislature, its rulings may be overturned in a return to the principles of the Constitution. That will have the libs howling.

19 posted on 01/27/2004 2:55:46 PM PST by Defiant ("Medals make good frisbees"--John Kerry)
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To: Tacis
"If the USSC does decide that states can not execute killers who were younger than 18 when they did their victim(s), the Mafia and several other organizations are prepared to launch major recruiting programs, especially in the ghettos, for qualified and trainable assassins."

Classic fear mongering!

Do you really think people see the death penalty vs life in prison as a deterrent?

And if so, what is stopping them from using 16 year olds right now?

Peerhaps you missed the part about life in prison?
20 posted on 01/27/2004 3:38:48 PM PST by eboyer
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