Supreme Trial Of Christopher Simmons

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On the morning of September 9th, 1993, around 2 a.m. Christopher Simmons and his friends Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer (who he convinced to do it because he said that they could get away with it because they are minors) met together and headed to the victim's house but Tessmer left before the other two could carry out their sinister deed. While Simmons and his accomplice may have gotten away with it, one day later a fisherman recovered the deceased victims’ body in the river and her husband came home from an overnight trip the same day to find that his bedroom was a wreck and his wife was missing. The next day, after learning about his (Simmons) involvement, arrested him at his highschool and read him his miranda rights. 17 year old Christopher …show more content…

Since Simmons was 17 at the time, he was far from the jurisdiction of the states’ juvenile court system. Because of this, he was tried as an adult. At the trial, a videotaped confession was shown as was a reenactment of the crime, along with a testimony with Simmons bragging about the kill. During the trial, the defense called no witnesses so it was straight to the verdict.With all of the overwhelming evidence, he was sentenced to death. But the supreme court of missouri appealed the sentence.
Because the supreme court of missouri appealed the sentence, the supreme court eventually heard the case. Which brought the case all of the publicity/popularity that it has now. Eventually, in a 5-4 opinion, delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy in March 2005, The supreme court ruled that Christopher Should not have been charged with death as an adolescent/minor. They ruled this because it was deemed as “ Cruel and Unusual Punishment” and was a violation of the eighth …show more content…

It also shows that brains aren’t fully developed at seventeen years old. It also shows both sides of the argument. And while it may show that Simmons’ brain was not fully developed, he still was guilty of murder.

In the APA’s article,Adolescent development and severity of criminal punishment, they explain adolescent brain development. Psychologist Laurence Steinburg states that “before the age of 18, brains are not fully developed” and because of this, kids younger than 18 tend to make irrational decisions. Steinburg also argues that “even though adolescents can distinguish right from wrong, that doesn’t mean that they will still make rational decisions. Studies have shown that the brain does not fully develop until the mid twenties. Steinburg also argues that adolescents also struggle with peer pressure.

This source shows that the brain does not fully develop until the mid twenties, causing irrational decisions. It also shows how peer pressure plays a big part in teenagers decisions. It also states that teens tend to commit crimes in groups. It also states that if someone can’t make rational decisions, they should not be held to the law as a regular

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