BLR  Vol.6 No.4 , December 2015
The Practice of US Execution of Juvenile Delinquents in Dated Times Vis-À-Vis International Human Rights Laws and Case Laws
ABSTRACT
The prohibition against the death penalty as applied to juveniles is widely practiced across the globe. The United Nations treaties have prescribed age requirements for extreme sentences such as the juvenile death penalty. Despite these requirements very few countries continue to sentence juveniles to the death penalty that ignore the age of the offender. The United States leads the world in state-sanctioned juvenile executions. However, recently the United States came into compliance with international norms and heralded a major shift by banning the death penalty as applied to juveniles in the Supreme Court case of Roper v. Simmons in 2005. Due to that, the overwhelming majority of states do not sentence juveniles to the death penalty and the prohibition against sentencing children to die has become accepted. On the contrary, for over three centuries, the United States executed juvenile delinquents and the Supreme Court, for a long time, held there was no national consensus rejecting juvenile executions and not a violation of the Eighth Amendment. The US is already a party to a number of fundamental human rights treaties that impact capital punishment. To some extent, the US has isolated itself from the most direct effects of these treaties through reservations or by invoking domestic law. But the US is committed to the underlying human rights principles of these treaties and these instruments can serve as a starting point for reforming and restricting the death penalty from a human rights perspective.

Cite this paper
Feleke, N. (2015) The Practice of US Execution of Juvenile Delinquents in Dated Times Vis-À-Vis International Human Rights Laws and Case Laws. Beijing Law Review, 6, 331-339. doi: 10.4236/blr.2015.64029.
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