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James Arcene
Born ca. 1862
Died June 18, 1885 (age 23)
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Conviction(s) Robbery and murder
Penalty Death by hanging
Status Deceased

James Arcene (ca. 1862 – June 18, 1885) was the youngest child sentenced to death, who was subsequently executed for his crime,[1] in the United States. Arcene, a Cherokee man, was hanged by the U.S. federal government in Fort Smith, Arkansas for his role in a robbery and murder committed thirteen years earlier, when he was 10 years old.[2]

Arcene was arrested and tried for the robbery and murder of his victim, but escaped and eluded capture until he was apprehended and executed at the age of 23.[1] Arcene's case is frequently brought up in discussions of the death penalty for children, and to a lesser degree in discussions of the unfair treatment Native Americans received from the United States government.[2][3][4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Streib, Victor L. Death Penalty for Juveniles. Indiana University Press, 1987. p.72.
  2. ^ a b Scott, Charles L., MD. "Roper v. Simmons: Can Juvenile Offenders be Executed?" Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. 33:4:547-552 (2005).
  3. ^ "Questions on the Death Penalty." Ask Amnesty. November 4, 2003.
  4. ^ James, Joy. States of Confinement: Policing, Detention and Prisons. Macmillan, 2000. ISBN 0312217773. p. 23.


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