She was sentenced to death at 16 and changed how we think about juvenile incarceration

Fusion

An Indiana woman who was once the youngest death row inmate in the U.S. and whose case attracted international attention committed suicide on Tuesday, less than two years after she was released.

Paula Cooper, 45, was found dead in her Indianapolis home. Her cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot, the Marion County Coroner’s Office confirmed to Fusion. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police spokesperson Kendale Adams confirmed that a suicide note was found but declined to discuss what the note contained.

Cooper was sentenced to death in 1986 at age 16 after pleading guilty to the murder of a 78-year-old Bible studies teacher in Gary, Ind. Her case attracted international attention and helped spark reform of juvenile death penalty policies. Her death sentence was commuted to 60 years in 1968, and she was released on parole in June 2013 after serving 27 years.

Most remember Cooper for her gruesome crime, but in the eyes of the people she…

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