The Impact of Stanford v. Kentucky (1989) and Roper v. Simmons (2005) on Juvenile Crime Rates Open Access

Gifford, Mark (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/70795829p?locale=en
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Abstract

This paper explores the effects of two Supreme Court rulings related to capital punishment for
juveniles. The effects of Stanford v. Kentucky (1989), which permitted the execution of 16 and
17 year olds, and Roper v. Simmons (2005), which abolished executions for individuals below
the age of 18, on violent crime rates of 16 and 17 year olds will be analyzed using state level
panel data from 1981-2008. Using a difference-in-differences model, this paper finds that the
Stanford v. Kentucky is correlated with a 0.152 decrease in the forcible rape rate per 100,000
people in the years following the Supreme Court decision. Furthermore, findings indicate that
the Roper v. Simmons decision is correlated with a 0.982 increase in murder rates per 100,000
people aged between 15 and 19. However, results with regards to Roper v. Simmons also find
that the decision correlates to an increase in burglary rates per 100,000 people in the years
following the ruling.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

I. Statistical Model 4

II. Data 9

III. Results 9

IV. Limitations to Research 13

V. Conclusion 14

Appendices 18 Table 1 - Minimum Execution Ages By State (1989) 18 Table 2 - Summary Statistics per 100,000 15-19 year olds 19 Table 3 - Summary Statistics per 100,000 people 19

Table 4 - Violent, Property, and Total Crime Rates per 100,000 15-19 year olds

(Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 1) 20 Table 5 - Violent Crimes per 100,000 15-19 year olds (Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 1) 21 Table 6 - Property Crimes per 100,000 15-19 year olds (Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 1) 22

Table 7 - Violent, Property, and Total Crime Rates per 100,000 people (Stanford

v. Kentucky Specification 1) 23 Table 8 - Violent Crimes per 100,000 people (Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 1) 25 Table 9 - Property Crimes per 100,000 people (Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 1) 27

Table 10 - Violent, Property, and Total Crime Rates per 100,000 15-19 year olds

(Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 2) 29 Table 11 - Violent Crimes per 100,000 15-19 year olds (Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 2) 30 Table 12 - Property Crimes per 100,000 15-19 year olds (Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 2) 31

Table 13 - Violent, Property, and Total Crime Rates per 100,000 people (Stanford

v. Kentucky Specification 2) 32 Table 14 - Violent Crimes per 100,000 people (Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 2) 34 Table 15 - Property Crimes per 100,000 people (Stanford v. Kentucky Specification 2) 36

Table 16 - Violent, Property, and Total Crime Rates per 100,000 15-19 year olds

(Roper v. Simmons) 38 Table 17 - Violent Crimes per 100,000 15-19 year olds (Roper v. Simmons) 39 Table 18 - Property Crimes per 100,000 15-19 year olds (Roper v. Simmons) 40

Table 19 - Violent, Property, and Total Crime Rates per 100,000 people (Roper

v. Simmons) 41 Table 20 - Violent Crimes per 100,000 people (Roper v. Simmons) 43 Table 21 - Property Crimes per 100,000 people (Roper v. Simmons) 45


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