Execution Of Juveniles Found Unconstitutional

1988

In Thompson v. Oklahoma, the U.S. Supreme Court concludes that, according to society’s “evolving standards of decency,” it is “cruel and unusual” punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, to execute offenders who commit their crimes when under the age of 16. A year later, however, in Stanford v. Kentucky, the court approves executions for defendants who were 16 or 17 when they committed their crimes.