Christopher Vialva Wiki – Christopher Vialva Biography
Christopher Vialva, 40, is set to receive the death penalty on Thursday at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was convicted 20 years ago for the 1999 murders of two youth ministers
One Black juror and 11 white jurors heard the 2000 federal case in Texas against Christopher Vialva, who is now 40 but was 19 at the time of the killings. https://t.co/ndh3Lq0oke
— The Huntsville Item (@HuntsvilleItem) September 24, 2020
For the first time in nearly 70 years, the United States will execute a man for a crime he committed when he was young.
Christopher Vialva and Sentenced to death case
40-year-old Christopher Vialva is preparing to be sentenced to death in a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Thursday. He was convicted of the 1999 murder of two youth ministers in Fort Hood, Texas, 20 years ago. He was 19 years old at the time of the crime.
Christopher Vialva crime was horrible, his lawyer and other advocates agree.
But in decades of research on adolescent brain development since then, the announcement from the Ministry of Justice raises an important question: Should a person be given a final punishment for a crime committed in his youth?
Jason Chein, a professor of psychology at Temple University, says, “Despite the very, very disgusting nature of the crime that Christopher was convicted of, my view is based on science that his brain is not the brain of a full-fledged adult,” and author of a recent article on Vialva’s sentence, CNN he told. “And that leads me to the conclusion that the punishment for killing someone is very severe.”
CNN reached out to the Justice Department for comment, but received no response.
On Christopher Vialva Murder Research
Research shows adolescent brains are not fully mature
The Justice Department announced on 31 July that it plans to execute Vialva along with William LeCroy, who was executed on Tuesday. This will be the seventh federal execution since the Justice Department took a 17-year break from practice in July.
Christopher Andre Vialva’s death is scheduled to be the seventh federal execution this year after a push by President Donald Trump’s administration to restart the federal death penalty after a 17-year hiatus. https://t.co/npwKTF1gmm
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) September 24, 2020
The federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, where Vialva’s execution is planned.
A federal court found that Vialva shot the couple, while other 18-year-old defendant Brandon Bernard set the car on fire to destroy evidence. Both were found guilty and sentenced to death.
Chein said that the crime for which Vialva was convicted was “vile” and there was no question that he should be held responsible. However, research that has emerged since his trial has shown that the brain of someone in his late teens and early twenties is not yet fully mature.
“The evidence tells us that an individual of this age has the potential for change,” Chein said. “Their personalities and behavior are not fixed in the way we think they eventually become fully mature adults.”
Studies show that teens are more likely to take serious risks, especially when they are with their peers. They may also be less able to control their impulses in stressful or heated situations.
Brain imaging studies show that the brain region involved in decision making and risk assessment in adolescents is not yet developmentally mature. At the same time, the part of the brain that plays a role in regulating pleasure and reward is relatively more active than other developmental stages.
Scientists say this combination could have dangerous consequences.
there is no hard limit for a person to mature
Lawyers argue that the Court of Cassation has already recognized that young age should be included in punishment decisions.
In 2005, the Court ruled that the execution of a minor constituted “cruel and unusual punishment” and banned the death penalty for the child. In 2012, it ruled that mandatory life imprisonment without parole for juvenile offenders is unconstitutional.
According to this logic, Henderson Hill, senior adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said that the federal government should not require the death penalty for a person convicted of a crime while his brain is still developmentally immature.
Christopher Vialva was 19 at the time of the murder crime
However, because Vialva was 19 at the time of the crime, she is not considered a child.
“What we know about brain development flies in the face of good science,” Hill told CNN. “… It is terrible to think that such a final decision could be given to a 19 year old.”
Chein said that the way the legal system works does not take into account the nuances around brain development. The process is not monolithic, meaning that different systems in the brain develop at different rates, and the point at which a person can be considered a developmentally adult varies from person to person.
“The idea that you have this bright line is greatly undermined by the evidence from developmental science that this age you suddenly maturity as you go from 17 to 18,” Chein said. “There is no moment when you crossed this line and now you are an adult.”
Its proponents say this complex reality is already clear in how the US treats adults.
People can vote and enlist at the age of 18. However, they cannot buy alcohol or tobacco until the age of 21. Car rental and insurance companies are demanding higher rates for people under the age of 25 as they are viewed as higher risk drivers.
“It couldn’t be big enough to buy a pack of cigarettes or alcohol,” Hill said. “But he’s old enough to be executed. That doesn’t make any sense.”