05. Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Human Development/Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Kansas Charley: The Story of a 19th-Century Boy Murderer (Viking, 2003). Through the tale of Charles Miller, a nineteenth-century adolescent, Brumberg recreates the experience of a poor, emotionally impoverished orphan from New York City whose life circumstances led him to commit a brutal act of murder at the age of 15. After a trial that took less than three days, Miller was executed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at the age of 17. Then, as now, there were some Americans who thought executing a minor was barbaric while others hailed it as an act of justice. Brumberg uses boy culture and current psychological findings about the teenage brain in her assessment of Charley. In her historical analysis of why Charley was denied clemency, Brumberg illuminates how death penalty cases, even when they involve minors, usually become political footballs. The book offers an important case history for the legal community as the Supreme Court hears Simmons v. Roper.

› Back to Top  /  › Next Article  /  › Back to Listing

If you can see this message in a graphical web browser, then you are most likely using a non-modern browser. People who are using a graphical browser have the following options:

Upgrade to a modern generation web browser such as Mozilla, Opera, or for Mac users there is also Safari.

For people using early generation web browsers, such as Netscape 4, you can access the content of this page as is but there may be presentational errors.

Cornell University  
222 Day Hall
Ithaca, New York
14853-2801

P: 607.255.7200
F: 607.255.9030
E: VP Research
C: Credits

Cornell