To many people, the death penalty is seen as a just punishment for a crime committed. To others, it is cruel and unusual punishment.

No matter how we view the process, it is still a very prevalent act in our criminal justice system.

Death penalty and the young

It is hard for us to believe that young people could carry out such heinous crimes that result in them being placed on death row. There are many people still living on death row in prisons across the country. However, some of the youngest inmates executed for their crimes have been under the age of 30-years-old.

Below is a list of the ten youngest inmates to have been executed thus far.

10. Alvaro Calambro, 25

Alvaro Calambro was involved in the murder of two U-Haul employees in Reno in 1994. His friend and accomplice was recently fired from that exact store. Together, they tied up and beat Peggy Crawford, 37, and Keith Christopher, 21. Calambro was responsible for the death of Christopher by beating him with a hammer and then a crowbar. They proceeded to take $2,400 from the store. Calambro received a death sentence for Christopher’s death, along with an additional sentence for Crawford’s death. He was executed on April 5, 1999 by lethal injection at the age of twenty-five.

9. Napoleon Beazley, 25

At the age of seventeen, Napoleon Beazley and two of his friends decided that they wanted to try to carjack a Lexus while armed with two different guns.

After a failed attempt, they spotted a Mercedes and made it their primary target. Driving the vehicle was John Luttig and he had his wife with him. As they pulled into their driveway, the couple was ambushed by Beazley and his friends. Beazley shot Mr. Luttig, but it was not fatal. Soon after, Beazley walked up to the victim and shot him point blank, killing him instantly.

Mrs. Luttig was able to survive the ambush and the teenagers fled the seen in the car. Once arrested, Beazley admitted to his part in the murder and was Sentenced To Death. He was executed at the age of 25 in Texas by lethal injection. The date was May 28, 2002.

8. T. J. Jones, 25

T.J. Jones was sentenced to death for the murder of seventy-five years old Willard Davis in Texas.

Jones was 17-years-old at the time he carried out the crime. He claims he had intended to just steal the victim’s car and fire the gun to scare him, however, forensic evidence proved that the shooting was intentional. Jones fled the scene in the victim’s car and police were able to apprehend him a few blocks away. Jones still had the murder weapon in his pocket. After the forensic evidence came to light, Jones was sentenced to death and was executed by lethal injection at the age of 25 on August 8, 2008.

7. Elijah Page, 25

18-year-old Elijah Page pleaded guilty to his involvement in the torture and death of a “friend.” On March 12, 2000, Page and two other accomplices kidnapped 19-year-old Chester Poage at gunpoint.

Poage was tortured by the trio for three long hours before he succumbed to the abuse. He was beaten repeatedly, forced to drink acid and remove his clothes in a freezing creek, and sustained stab wounds to the head and torso. Page chose not to make any appeals after he was given the death penalty. He showed no remorse whatsoever for the crime he had committed. He was executed on July 11, 2007 in South Dakota by lethal injection. He was 25-years-old.

6. Steven Judy, 24

22-year-old Steven Judy brought a new meaning to the term “sociopath.” On April 28, 1979, Judy raped and murdered 21-year-old Terry Chasteen, along with her three children, Misty, 5, Stephen, 4, and Mark, 2. He made a full confession in court, explaining how he was able to gain control over the young family.

While driving down Interstate 476 in Indiana, he passed the Chasteen’s car and motioned them to pull over, suggesting that something was wrong with their vehicle.

After Judy pulled over he removed a coil from the car, so that the car would not start. He offered the Chasteen family a ride and they agreed. Once he had them in the car, he drove off into the woods and sent the kids to walk ahead. He proceeded to rape Terry and then strangle her to death with her own clothes as the children watched. He threw her lifeless body in the creek, then threw the children one by one into the deepest parts of the water.

All three children died as a result of drowning. As Judy gave his confession in court, he told the jury that he would recommend the death penalty for himself because if he was released he would definitely rape and murder again.

He even hinted that a member of the jury could be his next victim. Judy was sentenced to death and executed on March 9, 1981 by the electric chair. He was 24-years-old.

5. Jesse de la Rosa, 24

A convenience store robbery that resulted in a six-pack of beer and murder is the crime that sentenced 18-year-old Jesse De La Rosa to death. 27-year-old Masaoud Ghazali was found dead with two fatal gunshot wounds. The cash register was unable to be opened during the robbery, so only a six-pack of beer was taken from the store. During the trial, de la Rosa maintained his innocence with claims that he did not pull the trigger, but continued refusal to name the murderer. Due to his lack of compliance and evidence to suggest otherwise, de la Rosa was sentenced to death.

On May 15, 1985, Jesse de la Rosa was executed by lethal injection in the state of Texas at the age of 24.

4. Jay Pinkerton, 24

Jay Pinkerton was only 17-years-old when he committed the crimes that would later get him sentenced to death. On October 26, 1979, 30-year-old Sarah Donn Lawrence was brutally murdered, raped, and mutilated in her home. Pinkerton first raped the victim, then proceeded to stab her over thirty times, and then raped her again post-mortem.

Her children were asleep down the hall during this grisly crime. Pinkerton was arrested in connection to the murder. However, he was released due to insufficient evidence. On April 9, 1980, Pinkerton carried out his second crime. Inside a furniture store she managed, 25-year-old Sherry Welch was raped and murdered.

For a few months, Pinkerton remained free. New evidence came to light in connection to the murder of Sarah Lawrence.

A bloody handprint on her thigh that matched Pinkerton’s led to his arrest and conviction. He was sentenced to death. A year later, analysis of the body of Sherry Welch showed bite marks that matched Pinkerton’s and he was served a second life sentence for the rape and murder. At the age of 24, Jay Pinkerton was executed in the state of Texas by lethal injection on May 15, 1986.

3. Tony Fry, 23

At only 19-years-old, Tony Fry committed a methodical and gruesome murder with the help of his 17-year-old accomplice. On February 21, 1994, in Chesterfield County, Virginia, 42-year-old Leland Jacobs was lured from his place of employment.

Jacobs was a car salesman who worked at the local Ford dealership. Fry had contacted Jacobs, claiming that his grandmother was interested in purchasing a vehicle.

When Jacobs arrived, he was robbed, shot eleven times with a .22 caliber, and tied to the bumper of a vehicle by his necktie and dragged 777 feet down a dirt road into the woods. The most gruesome fact about this murder? Jacobs was alive the entire time and died shortly after being dragged down the road. Another warrant out for Fry’s arrest in an unrelated case led to the confession of this heinous crime. Tony Fry was sentenced to death and was executed by lethal injection on February 4, 1999 at the age of 23.

2. Steven Roach, 23

At the age of 23, Steven Roach was executed for the murder of his 70-year-old neighbor.

On December 3, 1993, Mary Anne Hughes was found dead by a single gunshot wound in the doorway of her home in Stanardsville, Virginia.

After eluding authorities for three days, 17-year-old Steven Roach turned himself in and confessed to the murder of his elderly neighbor. He claims to not have known why he killed her, but after the murder, he fled in her vehicle to the Carolinas and attempted to retrieve money from her ATM card. His sentence sparked controversy because he was a juvenile at the time of the crime. However, the sentence stayed intact and Roach was executed on January 13, 2000, by means of lethal injection. He was 23-years-old.

1. Scott Carpenter, 22

Scott Carpenter is currently the youngest to be executed in the United States since the death penalty was reintroduced in 1976.

On February 6, 1994, Carpenter carried out a robbery which concluded in the murder of 56-year-old convenience store owner, A.J. Kelley. The victim died as a result of stab wounds inflicted during the robbery.

19-year-old Carpenter was arrested that day and was later sentenced to death for the crime committed. During his time on death row, Carpenter appealed his case, however, he eventually gave in to his fate and ultimately wished for his death to come. Oddly enough, his wish came true as his execution date arrived earlier than expected. He was executed via lethal injection on May 7, 1997, at the age of 22 in the state of Oklahoma, making him the youngest person executed in the United States.