High Court Ends Death Penalty for Youths
Tuesday, March 1, 2005, 11:16am EST
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 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.
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...
I'm glad we're no longer a member of that club. After all, that's a group of nations with a long history of fair and humane treatment from their judicial systems.
Alabamian has a much better commentary on the ruling than I was able to manage on this day.