Magog: Unguarded
Magog: Unguarded
Swarming Around... cats living with dogs... total chaos.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Good News, Kids! You're Less Culpable -- Hey Hey!

So the Supreme Court today, in a 5-4 ruling, banned the executions of killers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes.

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

I can see why this case led them to rethink the status quo.

So you can drive at 16, but if you deliberately run someone down in Mom's SUV you won't have to pay the price, as long as you do it in the next couple of years.

Incidentally, the 5-4 opinion wasn't quite as close as the score would indicate.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor filed a separate dissent, arguing that a blanket rule against juvenile executions was misguided. Case-by-case determinations of a young offenders' maturity is the better approach, she wrote.

"The court's analysis is premised on differences in the aggregate between juveniles and adults, which frequently do not hold true when comparing individuals," she said. "Chronological age is not an unfailing measure of psychological development, and common experience suggests that many 17-year-olds are more mature than the average young 'adult.'"

How is it that only one out of nine understood that?

posted by Max Power | 11:27 AM
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