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Headlines Should they be executed?

Do you agree with the courts decision?

  • Yes

    Votes: 6 30.0%
  • No

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Yes, they are too young!

    Votes: 2 10.0%
  • No, if they are old enough to kill, they are old enough to be killed!

    Votes: 10 50.0%
  • I don't know

    Votes: 1 5.0%

  • Total voters
    20
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#1
NYPost said:
High Court Ends Death Penalty for Youths
By HOPE YEN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A closely divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it's unconstitutional to execute juvenile killers, ending a practice in 19 states that has been roundly condemned by many of America's closest allies.

The 5-4 decision throws out the death sentences of 72 murderers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes and bars states from seeking to execute minors for future crimes.
The executions, the court said, violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

"The age of 18 is the point where society draws the line for many purposes between childhood and adulthood. It is, we conclude, the age at which the line for death eligibility ought to rest," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.
The ruling continues the court's practice of narrowing the scope of the death penalty, which justices reinstated in 1976. Executions for those 15 and younger when they committed their crimes were outlawed in 1988. Three years ago justices banned death sentences for the mentally retarded.

Tuesday's ruling prevents states from making 16- and 17-year-olds eligible for execution.
As a result, officials in Prince William County, Va., said Tuesday they will not prosecute a murder case there against teen sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, who is already serving life in prison in two of the 10 sniper killings that terrorized the Washington area in 1992. Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert had hoped to get the death penalty for Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the killings, but said another trial would now be an unnecessary expense.

Juvenile offenders have been put to death in recent years in only a few other countries, including Iran, Pakistan, China and Saudi Arabia. Kennedy cited international opposition to the practice.

"It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty, resting in large part on the understanding that the instability and emotional imbalance of young people may often be a factor in the crime," he wrote.
Kennedy noted most states don't allow the execution of juvenile killers and those that do use the penalty infrequently. The trend, he said, is to abolish the practice because "our society views juveniles ... as categorically less culpable than the average criminal."
In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia disputed that there is a trend and chastised his colleagues for taking power from the states.

"The court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter: 'In the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty,'" he wrote.

"The court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our nation's moral standards," Scalia wrote.
Death penalty opponents quickly cheered the ruling.

"Today, the court repudiated the misguided idea that the United States can pledge to leave no child behind while simultaneously exiling children to the death chamber," said William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

"Now the U.S. can proudly remove its name from the embarrassing list of human rights violators that includes China, Iran, and Pakistan that still execute juvenile offenders," he said.

Dianne Clements, president of the Houston-based Justice for All victims' advocacy group, criticized the decision and said she hopes that when there is a Supreme Court vacancy a strong death penalty supporter is nominated.

"The Supreme Court has opened the door for more innocent people to suffer by 16 and 17 year olds," she said. "I can't wait for the Supreme Court to have judges more concerned with American values, American statutes and American law than what the Europeans think."
The Supreme Court has permitted states to impose capital punishment since 1976. Twenty-two of the people put to death since then were juveniles when they committed their crimes. Texas executed the most, 13, and also has the most on death row now - 29.

More than 3,400 inmates await execution in the 38 states that allow death sentences.
Justices were called on to draw an age line for executions 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.

The four most liberal Supreme Court justices - John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer - had gone on record in 2002 opposing the death penalty for juveniles, calling it "shameful." Those four, joined by Kennedy, formed Tuesday's decision.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia in seeking to uphold the executions.
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.'"
The 19 states allow executions for people under age 18 are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Texas and Virginia.

The federal government does not execute juveniles.

The case is Roper v. Simmons, 03-633.
:question: What do you think, Should they be executed.

I think, if they are old enough to commit murder, then they are old enough to pay for those crimes with their life.
Although, I do feel that it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the murder.
 

gurlgonewild

Was machen Sie?
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#2
dude, i think we've convicted 13-14 year olds as adults already, no? i kind've remember something like that. anyways, teenagers are privy to much more than say what 25-35 year olds were back in their day. they're exposed to a hell of lot more, quicker, and have babies of their own. so, if you can make life-you can take it- and it can be taken away from you.

hmmmm that didnt come out exactly right, but you now what i'm saying. if you do the crime, you should do the time as an adult.
 

RageAgainst

Chaotic Neutral
7,540
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#3
Depends of the nature of the murder.
 

switch_scribe

dolor ex fides
290
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#4
I agree that it depends on the nature of the murder, but there's more at stake here.

The human brain does not finish fully developing until around 19-20 years of age. And the centers of the brain that take the longest to develop are the centers that have to do with... (drumroll) ... reasoning and consequences! This is why young people always strut around like they are invincible. So there is a very strong chance that a juvenile offenders really, truly don't realize the consequences of their actions, because that center in the brain hasn't finished yet.

For me, that's why it depends on the nature of the murder, because consequences or not - some people are just fucked up and will almost surely never get better.
 
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#5
gurlgonewild said:
dude, i think we've convicted 13-14 year olds as adults already, no? i kind've remember something like that.
This is true. However, conviction is not the issue.

The new rule is that we may not sentence them to death, NO MATTER WHAT THE NATURE OF THE CRIME that they have been convicted of. Yes, there are some that should not be executed. However (to agree with you), the nature of the crime is what matters, not age. If they are old enough to willingly commit murder, with full understanding of what they are doing. Then they are old enough to have the favor returned to them.
 

Dave666

Pot-Head
565
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#6
I think if there old enough to take someones' life then they should be killed no matter how brutal it was.
 

DanGeo23

Resident Conservative
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#7
I think that this is a first step in the direction of trying to get of the death penalty altoghther... cause if its cruel and unusual to subject a "kid" to the death penalty.. then I think that a case will be made that it is also cruel and unusual to subject an adult to it..
this also takes away states rights to decide on these matters.. I feel that each state should be able to vote on whether or not to have capitol punishment in thier state...
each case is different and should be treated as such... a jury should decide based on the evidence...
at the facility I work at we have this "kid" and lemme tell you.. that article doesn't come close to illustrating the hell he put that lil girl through... he is 16 now... and could be free in 3 years if he gets charged as a juvie... he can try to make a good life for himself... but his victim cannot... part of what we are doing at my facility is trying to display whether he is mentally competent... if he is released there is no doubt in my mind that someone else will get hurt by him...
 
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#8
Of course kids should be executed for crimes they commit. You kill, you get killed. It's a fair trade.
 

RageAgainst

Chaotic Neutral
7,540
506
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#9
switch_scribe said:
I agree that it depends on the nature of the murder, but there's more at stake here.

The human brain does not finish fully developing until around 19-20 years of age. And the centers of the brain that take the longest to develop are the centers that have to do with... (drumroll) ... reasoning and consequences! This is why young people always strut around like they are invincible. So there is a very strong chance that a juvenile offenders really, truly don't realize the consequences of their actions, because that center in the brain hasn't finished yet.

For me, that's why it depends on the nature of the murder, because consequences or not - some people are just fucked up and will almost surely never get better.
gimme a break. I remember when I was 14-15 and I did something "wrong" for the thrill I knew perfectly well the consequences of my actions.

Anyways, there are different types of murders. Those who should be punished by death sentence are "sick psycho murders" or free murders (free=kill for the thrill or something like that).

Other murders that have a motive that is not for "fun" or "thrill" should only be punished by life sentence in my opinion.
 

bnccoder

Postaholic
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#10
All the good ones did it for the thrill. It makes you want to know what the rush is like doesn't it. They say it is like no other.
 

MaxPower

You're my number two
Staff
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#12
Off with their heads. Sorry but someone who's fucked up enough to commit a murder at that age, that would actually convince a jury to give them the death penalty, has no right to breath our air.
With the exception of Texas, it's extremely hard even to send an adult to death.
On the other side of the coin, up until the ruling, we were the only country in the world that still had minors on death row. Even Iran, Tailand, and other countries with much rougher court systems, have stopped executing minors.
 

PantherNews

Newsroom Thats Pissed!!
19
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#14
Looks like im going to be brutally outnumbered here, but I actually agree with the court decision here. Personally I dont think that the death penalty should be used at all, let alone on minors. Yes they did the crime and they should be punished for it, but lowering ourselves to the level of murderers is not the way to do it. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye will make the world blind." Killing killers does not make us any better than them. Arent we supposed to be this pillar of morallity here inthe US? Aren't we supposed to be the civilized world and the home of dreams? How can we be that if we are sending out children to death row. If you think murder is wrong then I do not see how you can back the death penalty, it is nothign but legalized murder. I can hear you all thinking, "Yeah but we have a good reason to kill them." Well im sure that most of the murderers on death row had good reasons to kill too, at least they sounded good to them. I am against death penalty in all its forms and wished that we would not do it at all. Let them rot in prison, let them think about what they did every single day they are in there until it drives them insane with guilt, or if their too insane to feel guilt then jsut let them rot knowing that they will never again have the chance to kill or even the freedom to walk outside ever again. To me that is more punishment than death. I know that if I ever did somethign as horrible as murder that I would rather die than to live with it every day, knowing what I had done would be a much more sever punishment. So if you're jsut lookng for a punishment, then let them stay in prison for the rest of their lives.
 

Skitch0o0

Put it in MY butt...
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#15
Why bother killing any of them, even the adults? It costs FAR more to try to execute them than to just lock them away for life and really it's a far worse punishment. Hmmm... Spend the rest of my life locked in a cell with no livelihood, or just die. Gee, which sounds worse to me.
 

edub1371

nervous tic, dull knife
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#16
Life sentence with no possibility of parole....ever! Life with "tiny" or "Bubba" would be worse than dying in a couple of seconds anyday. But, to reduce the cost, give them bread, water and a multivitamin every day. Some kind of cheaply produced glop that provides necessary nutrition to sustain life. Not some crazy good for ya diet that produces musclebound freaks. Take away all of the recreational activities that they have and make life suck. Treat them all like trainees for the military. Hell, the majority of the trainees live worse than most inmates.