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High Court Ends Death Penalty for Youths

Batman

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High Court Ends Death Penalty for Youths

This is a big mistake. Some "youths" are just plain evil and deserve the ultimate punishment. This ruling would apply to youths like Dylan Klebold, the 17 year old student that said "I hope we will kill 250 of you," in a video tape the morning of the Columbine High School shootings.
 

Pacridge

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Here's another article on the subject:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/ap/20050301/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_death_penalty_7

While I disagree with your opinion that "it's a big mistake." I do find it odd that the Court would make the decision. Where in the constitution does it draw any age limits on cruel and unusual punishment? If it's cruel and unusual for a 17 year old would it not be for an 18 year old? And it seems to move away from their earlier decisions regarding the death penalty, IMO.
 

shuamort

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"Some 'youths' are just plain evil"? Evil? Sorry, Batman, people are not evil, some of their actions could be labeled that but it's just hyperbolic to call a person evil.

Pacridge said:
Where in the constitution does it draw any age limits on cruel and unusual punishment?
Well, it doesn't, it also doesn't mention a lot of things that are in law today. The Supreme Court makes decision by interpreting the law based on the Constitution and then those interpretations set precedent that future decisions are based on. Decisions like 2002's Atkins v. Virginia set the precedent that it was unconstitutional to execute a mentally retarded person which was based on the 8th and 14th amendment. Here's a link to the opinion of the court that states the rationale for stopping death penalty not just for youths which is defined as <18 years old, but also for adults whose crimes were committed when they were youths.
 

Hoot

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30 out of 50 of our US states have laws on the books against putting minors to death.

I live in Illinois and we do not put minors to death.

I agree there's a fine line between levels of maturity...and I can understand arguments that might say...if someone is 17 years, 11 months and 29 days old they will not face the death penalty, however, if they waited one more day until the age of 18 before committing murder they are subject to the death penalty?

However, the USSC decision has to be based on consensus and prevailing standards. ( I could be wrong about this, so correct me if I am?)

I think 30 out of 50 states is a consensus, therefore, a line has to be drawn somewhere, or we'd really have chaos in the courts. What would we have to do? Prove maturity level?

Impossible...and a further waste of the courts time.

Actually, I'm almost more amazed by the USSC showing compassion? LOL!
 
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Batman

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shuamort said:
Evil? Sorry, Batman, people are not evil, some of their actions could be labeled that
Evil:
-Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
-Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful.
-The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
-That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction
-An evil force, power, or personification.
-Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction


Sorry shuamort, I thought Hitler was an evil man. Thanks for clearing that up.
 

Batman

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shuamort said:
Sure, anytime. And thanks for the invocation of Godwin's Law. :D
I have come to an understanding with the statements of Urethra Franklin concerning wikipedia.

In addition, whoever points out that Godwin's law applies to the thread is also considered to have "lost" the battle, as it is considered poor form to invoke the law explicitly

A draw then. :D
 

Squawker

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I think it should be decided on a case by case basis. They are all different. The real bone of contention was over using international opinion as a basis for the ruling. I don't like this trend at all. We have our laws and constitution. What the rest of the world does should not be a factor in determining how judges rule in any case.
"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 (news - web sites) wrote.


Juvenile offenders have been put to death in recent years in only a few other countries, including Iran (news - web sites), 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.
 
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Batman

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Squawker said:
The real bone of contention was over using international opinion as a basis for the ruling. I don't like this trend at all. We have our laws and constitution. What the rest of the world does should not be a factor in determining how judges rule in any case.
Absolutely.

Some statements by Antonin Scalia who wrote the dissent:

'The court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter'

'The court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our nation's moral standards'
 

shuamort

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Batman said:
Absolutely.

Some statements by Antonin Scalia who wrote the dissent:

'The court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter'

'The court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our nation's moral standards'

Scalia is a hypocritical idiot. He's bitching here about the court playing Moral Superior when it's something he personally disagrees with and then voices the allegiance to morality when it comes to other things. His comments in relation to Bowers v Hardwick
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., was recently vilified for suggesting that if the Texas law was unconstitutional, states could not regulate other behavior such as fornication, bigamy, adult incest, bestiality and obscenity. Justice Antonin Scalia exonerates the senator by saying in his dissent: “(T)his (opinion) effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation.”
You can't have it both ways, Scalia, and not be an obnoxious redundant hypocrite.

(Oh, and as for Wikipedia, I didn't need to add the link in the above post but decided it was necessary for those that haven't heard of Godwin's Law. It did nothing to buttress my opinion but more to elucidate it for the non-savvy. As for Urethra Franklin....I invoke the Bambi law.)
 

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I'd like so much to add some great nugget of wisdom to this debate, however, my opinion has already been voiced. I agree that it should be decided on a case by case basis.
 
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