The arrest of seventeen-year-old Paul Geidel for the brutal murder of William Jackson in the Hotel Iroquois has caused many people to ask, “What can they do with him? They can’t send a boy of seventeen to the electric chair, can they?”
These people would be surprised to know that under the law of this and of many other States a child of eight may suffer capital punishment. It should be added, however, that it is extremely doubtful if this extreme penalty would be exacted from a child of such tender years, though the record of England contain a number of cases where children of eight and nine years of age were hanged, and in this country children of ten and eleven have been condemned to the gallows.
New York’s death penalty was reinstated by Governor Pataki in 1995, but found unconstitutional by the State’s Appellate Court in 2004. Nobody has been executed here in 35 years.
In 1988 the Supreme Court banned executions of people under 16, and there are still 19 states which allow for executions of 16 and 17 year olds.
YOUTH NO BAR TO SENDING GEIDEL TO THE ELECTRIC CHAIR: Under the Law, a Child of Eight May Suffer Capital Punishment — The Law Concerning Murder. (PDF)
From August 6, 1911