Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

The Court gets it right!

The Supremes have ruled that it is wrong for states to execute juveniles! It is about time!
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - 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.

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.

I hope to have read the opinion by this evening, Scalia is reported to have written a 24 page dissent, Fun Stuff!