- March 28 - Oklahoma is scheduled to execute Scott Hain on
April 3 for a crime committed when Hain was 17 years old. The
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Friday called
on the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to vote to recommend
clemency for Hain when it convenes Monday.
scheduled to be executed for the murders of Michael William
Houghton and Laura Lee Sanders in Tulsa. He had no prior record
of committing violent offenses.
Director Steven W. Hawkins said Oklahoma officials should consider
emerging public opinion in the United States when it hears Hain's
case. He noted that so far this year, legislation to ban the
execution of youthful offenders has been filed in at least ten
states, with legislators in three states -- Florida, Nevada
and South Dakota -- passing bans out of committee.
that only one country besides the United States -- Iran -- executes
people for crimes committed as minors. Within the past year
alone, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Philippines
have moved away from the practice.
executions not only violate international norms, they also offend
human decency," Hawkins said. "The mind of a youthful
offender is by definition less developed than the mind of an
adult. Minors do not handle social pressure, instinctual urges
and other stresses the way that adults do. Youthful offenders
therefore cannot be held to the same degree of culpability as
adults, just as mentally retarded people cannot be held to the
same degree of culpability. We now ban the execution of mentally
retarded offenders. There can be little justification for applying
a different standard when it comes to juveniles."
Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty was founded in 1976 and
is the only fully-staffed national organization devoted specifically
to abolishing the death penalty. NCADP is comprised of more
than 100 local, state, national and international affiliates.