First, having juveniles commit the crime when you want some killed is a standard street gang technique. No record, less time. So age has nothing to do with it.
Second, I used to teach a class at the Renaissance Faire entitled Crime and punishment, comparing the two legal systems to each other.
Under the Elizabethan system it was considered cruel and unusual to make the person wait if sentenced to death. The maximum amount of time you could be held before execution of sentence was two months under Elizabeth, expanded to three when Scotland became part of it under James. There was no juvenile compared to adult justice. If you were capable of committing the crime, you were treated as an adult.
THird I am more upset with the waste of money in a strapped economy. This kid and the menendez brothers have one thing in common, a jury unwilling to merely excise the problem. Right now the State of California (Which is close to bankruptcy) spends over 60,000 dollars a year in salaries and plant maintence for the prisons to keep just one criminal in prison. Compare that to an average income at just above poverty level of less than 30,000.
It bothers me most because the same state pays less than 10,000 to keep a kid in school.
As for the cost of capital punishment... 'in terms of dollars is WAY too high to make sense on a massive scale'. True. However that cost is caused not by the penalty itself (A lethal injection costs about $20, A rope for hanging about $15 [remember plant maintenance? The scaffold gets used hundreds of times] Gas chamber after cost of the actual room about $11, Electrocution, $250. IT is caused by the constant appeals process. The first thing any lawyer smart enough to study at law school knows is; when in doubt, ask for a continuance at every level. All you have to convince is the judge. Then you spend the sometimes years on your butt, paid for your services by the client (Or the state if you're a public defender) trying to find legal reasons why your client should go free on a technicality. A perfect example is the Menendez case, where the first jury was hung. Not on guilt, but on the punishment.
For those who don't remember, the two boys (Youngest was 18 when the crime was committed) fired a shotgun into their parents fiurteen times, passing the gun back and forth as they did. The reason? Their parents wouldn't increase their allowances. They claimed abuse, and were only protecting themselves, but once the older boy passed the gun to his brother, it stopped being self defense.
Their lawyer assured the next jury was firmly against the death penalty, then asked for leniency because, get this, they were orphans.
Last edited by machievelli; 12-02-2009 at 03:28 PM.