ADVANTAGES

Are we seeing a drop because children are thinking more carefully about their crimes, knowing they could receive adult sentences? All but five states allow children of any age charged with murder to be tried as adults. The death penalty generally isn't an option — at least not for defendants under the age of 16; The U. S. Supreme Court has ruled capital punishment unconstitutional for anyone who hasn't celebrated their 16th birthday. Some states, however, will consider 16- and 17-year-olds for the death penalty.

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