WPR News
12:53 pm
Thu January 29, 2004

Questions Raised About Death Penalty for Youths

Laramie, Wy – The U-S Supreme Court decided this week that it will rule on whether executing juveniles is constitutional. And a state legislator here has proposed a ban on the practice. Representative Jane Warren is sponsoring the bill; she says the timing is a coincidence. But, she does note there is a growing sentiment in the country that the death penalty for juveniles isn't necessary.
Warren says she believes the facts show the death penalty isn't a good way to prevent youths from committing crimes. She says addressing issues like child poverty and abuse will do more to prevent teenagers from committing crimes punishable by the death penalty.
Right now Wyoming law says if a person convicted of murder committed the crime before they were 16 they cannot be put to death. Warren's bill would increase that age to 18.