In 1986, a 43-year-old Indiana woman was put on death row at 16 for stabbing and killing an elderly Bible school teacher. Today, Paula Cooper is being released.
The Indiana Supreme Court took away Cooper’s death sentence in 1988 and gave her 60 years instead. Cooper’s prison term was recently cut short due to a Supreme Court intervention, according to NBC News.
Cooper was convicted of murder and sentenced to the electric chair in 1986. At the time, she was the youngest death row inmate in the U.S., which attracted human rights activists and those opposed to the death penalty. For those who view the criminal justice system as racist, the teen was just another victim.
Indiana’s execution age limit was raised from 10 to 16 after state lawmakers passed the law. In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to execute people under 18-years-old.