Supreme Court Bans Juvenile Death Penalty
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.
No. 03-633, Roper v. Simmons, affirmed 5-4, in an opinion written by Justice Kennedy. Justice Stevens filed a concurrence, joined by Justice Ginsburg. Justice O'Connor dissented. Justice Scalia dissented, joined by the Chief Justice and Justice Thomas.[Via Scotus Blog]
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