BOOKS: "Anatomy of an Execution"

A new book authored by Todd Peppers and Laura Trevvett Anderson, "Anatomy of An Execution," follows the story of Douglas Christopher Thomas, a juvenile offender who was executed in Virginia in 2000.  Thomas was convicted of a double homicide in 1990 and sentenced to death in 1991. He was one of the last juveniles put to death before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the execution of those under the age of 18 at the time of their crime to be unconstitutional in 2005 (Roper v. Simmons). The authors explore a variety of death penalty issues surrounding the case, including the quality of court-appointed counsel, conditions on death row, and the reasons for excluding the execution of juveniles.  The book was published by Northeastern University Press.

Florida Inmate Who Faced Death Penalty at 15 to be Freed 26 Years Later

Anthony Caravello was convicted of rape and murder for a crime he allegedly committed in 1983 at age 15 in Florida.  The prosecution sought the death penalty. Now DNA evidence from the crime scene points to another individual and may result in his exoneration.  The state is not contesting his release.  Caravello has an IQ of 67 and was convicted largely on the basis of his own statements, which he says were obtained from him after beatings during his interrogation.  At his sentencing, the judge commented, "I'll tell you this, Anthony: If the jury had recommended death, I would have had you electrocuted."  Instead, he was sentenced to life.  The prosecution is still pursuing the investigation.

NOW PLAYING IN NY: “The Two Lives of Napoleon Beazley,” a Play by John Fleming

“The Two Lives of Napoleon Beazley” is a new play by John Fleming that explores the true story of a 17-year-old African-American defendant who was sentenced to death for a carjacking and murder in Texas. The victim was the father of a federal judge. Using a variety of factual resources, including court transcripts and media accounts, the play examines race and the criminal justice system before the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that the death penalty for juveniles violates the Constitution. Beazley was one of the last juvenile offenders executed in the U.S.

The Austin Chronicle writes that “The Two Lives of Napoleon Beazley” is:

The most important play to see in Texas right now.... Voicing all the opposing viewpoints on the issues of racism, judicial nepotism, ageism, and capital punishment, [this play] presents the story dramatically with heartbreaking scenes that are not at all contrived or insincere. Fleming’s well-knit play unfolds effortlessly before us, evoking pathos for injustice.

Articles - Juveniles

Editorials - Juveniles

Newspapers, Opinion Leaders Call for End to Juvenile Death Penalty

Juveniles News and Developments: 2000

The Georgia Supreme Court granted a stay in the case of Alexander Williams. Georgia, which has not had an execution in over 2 years, was scheduled to execute Alexander Williams in the state's electric chair on August 24, 2000. Williams was only 17 years old at the time of the crime, and is a diagnosed schizophrenic.


Juveniles News and Developments: 2001

Kentucky Governor Supports Ban on Executing Juvenile Offenders


Juveniles News and Developments: 2002

New York Times Condemns Capital Prosecution of Juvenile