Justices Abolish Death Penalty For Juveniles.

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Shattered, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Shattered
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    Justices abolish death penalty for juveniles
    5-4 decision affects 70 cases; Kennedy pens majority's view


    The Associated Press

    Updated: 10:33 a.m. ET March 1, 2005WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Constitution forbids the execution of killers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes, ending a practice used in 19 states.

    The 5-4 decision throws out the death sentences of about 70 juvenile murderers and bars states from seeking to execute minors for future crimes.

    The executions, the court said, were unconstitutionally cruel.

    Earlier ban
    It was the second major defeat at the high court in three years for supporters of the death penalty. Justices in 2002 banned the execution of the mentally retarded, also citing the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishments.

    The court had already outlawed executions for those who were 15 and younger when they committed their crimes.

    Tuesday’s ruling prevents states from making 16- and 17-year-olds eligible for execution.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, noted that most states don’t allow the execution of juvenile killers and those that do use the penalty infrequently. The trend, he noted, was to abolish the practice.

    “Our society views juveniles ... as categorically less culpable than the average criminal,” Kennedy wrote.

    Juvenile offenders have been put to death in recent years in just a few other countries, including Iran, Pakistan, China and Saudi Arabia. All those countries have gone on record as opposing capital punishment for minors.

    The Supreme Court has permitted states to impose capital punishment since 1976 and more than 3,400 inmates await execution in the 38 states that allow death sentences.

    Kennedy joins more liberal justices
    Justices were called on to draw an age line in death cases after Missouri’s highest court overturned the death sentence given to a 17-year-old Christopher Simmons, who kidnapped a neighbor in Missouri, hog-tied her and threw her off a bridge. Prosecutors say he planned the burglary and killing of Shirley Crook in 1993 and bragged that he could get away with it because of his age.

    The four most liberal justices had already gone on record in 2002, calling it “shameful” to execute juvenile killers. Those four, joined by Kennedy, also agreed with Tuesday’s decision: Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

    Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, as expected, voted to uphold the executions. They were joined by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7051296

    What's wrong with this picture? Why is a 15 year old that kills someone in cold blood for whatever reason any less culpable than a 30 year old? WTF!
     
  2. OCA
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    OCA Senior Member

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    Just another step for big government intrusion upon states rights.

    Watch as the number of juvenile murders rise, adults will now try to contract underage killers.
     
  3. SmarterThanYou
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    we already excuse mothers who kill their children, why should juveniles be any different. /sarcasm off

    pretty screwed up ruling if you ask me.
     
  4. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    I don't have a clue. It seems to be a pretty novel interpretation of the 8th amendment. I see nothing cruel or unusual about executing cold-blooded murderers.
     
  5. TheEnemyWithin
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    Well, you see, they want to give the fifteen-year-old time to make it with his girlfriends, therefore keeping Planned Parenthood in buisness. :lame2:
     
  6. TheEnemyWithin
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    Doesn't cold-blooded murder sound MORE cruel and unusual to anyone?

    MY GOD, Savage is telling a disgusting story about two Mexican 17 year old gang members who raped and killed two girls by railroad tracks in Houston. "Their rotting bodies were found four days later, MISS GINSBURG! I say if you can pull a trigger you should get the death penalty!"

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a domestic terrorist. :alco: OH, what I would give to bitch-slap her on national TV!!!
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I think that may be going a bit far, even if we do agree that the ruling was wrong.
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I get the feeling we have seen the opening salvos of 'international law' intervening on the national courts:

    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/politics/11024711.htm

     
  9. Johnney
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    Johnney Senior Member

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    this has to be one of the most nauseating things ive seen in a while.
    if you can do the crime...
    but then again, we need to keep them alive so they can be a drag on our taxes. its the American thing to do
     
  10. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Like it or not, there is a whole world beyond the borders of the US. The complaints about international law "intervening in the national courts" is simply so much isolationist nonsense.

    When the US signed the Fourth Geneva Convention, it, in essence, agreed that the minimum age for capital cases is 18 years of age. The US made no exception or disagreement with Article 68, para 5 of the <a href=http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Human_Rights/geneva1.html>Convention</a> which states:

    <blockquote>In any case, the death penalty may not be pronounced on a protected person who was under eighteen years of age at the time of the offence.(1.)</blockquote>

    So, children in occupied countries in a time of war had the very protection that children were being denied within America's borders in a time of peace.

    It is a profound failure of our society when our children are tried as adults, let alone executed. The execution of minors has been foresworn or outlawed by every nation in the world, except one..until today...The US. Punishment, not vengeance is the hallmark of an effective criminal jsutice system, and America has gone too far in its quest for vengeance. It's time to stop.


    Citations:

    (1.) The Fourth Geneva Convention, found at:

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Human_Rights/geneva1.html

    For more information see:

    http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGAMR510581998
     

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