In Roper v. Simmons there are two issues that must be addressed, the first being the issue of moral maturity and culpability. The defense in the trial phase of this case argued that Mr. Simmons was an at an age where he was not responsible enough to fully understand the effects and consequences of his actions. The majority draws on Atkins v. Virginia to argue that this specific precedent supports their case that the death penalty should not be imposed on the mentally immature or impaired. However, an important point to be made is that the Atkins v. Virginia decision is geared towards the clinical definition of mental retardation: significant limitations that limit adaptive skills. Also, another important question to consider is the competency and premeditation of Mr. Simmons’ crime in this case.
Christopher Simmons was a seventeen year old juvenile from Missouri whom in 1993 along with two of his friends, Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer, planned to rob and murder Shirley Crook in her home (Roper v. Simmons, 2004). On the night the crime was to be committed, Tessmer pulled out of the plan, and Simmons and Benjamin would continue on as planned. The two broke into the Ms. Crook’s home, robbed her, tied her up, covered up her eyes, then drove her to a state park and threw her off a bridge. During the trial, evidence, videotaped reenactment and testimony outlining the premeditated plan, allowed for the jury to easily convict Simmons of the crime. Even though Simmons had no previous criminal record and was a minor at the time the crime was committed,
Kids ranging from 8-15 years are tried as a juvenile and to transfer the case into adult court, they would fill out an application to do so. Kids committing crimes such as armed robbery, rape, or even murder should be tried as an adult. This type of allegation will not go unseen just because he/ she is a child. Even though these criminals are children, they will not or should not be exempt from the law or juvenile justice system.
This brings me back to prop 66. In California “nearly two thousand murders occur annually and only fifteen death sentences are imposed”(prop 66 official voters guide). When the father of Hester Prynne’s child did not commit a murder or rape which those people who committed murder would be sentenced to death. Although prop 66 will bring justice to those families that have suffered great losses it still has it’s drawbacks, prop 66 is poorly written and might sentence innocent lives.
After the assault, it was said the child, who prior to this was in healthy condition, had a failure to thrive and died several months later. He testified that he didn't know Bishop or who she was, but recognize her face and knew that she was the reason for his
The eighth amendment is a protection for American citizens against “cruel and unusual punishment” and “excessive bail”. Roper v Simmons also violates the fourteenth amendment which addresses rights and citizenship, this became another hurdle in the case. The fourteenth amendment states “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” , in Roper v Simmons the Missouri Supreme Court was close to depriving Christopher Simmons of his life. Since Roper V Simmons states have reevaluated their minimum age for death penalty, 30 states do not even have a death penalty or capital punishment anymore. Cornell Law has also argued that because of Simmons’s age he was mentally incompetent, at the age at 17 Simmons is not eligible to “drink, serve on juries or even see certain movies…” , this was very intimidating and scary to Simmons’s prosecutor.
May 25, 1997, Sherrice Iverson, a 7-year-old girl lost the chance to grow up and live a full life. Jeremey Strohmeyer, a teenage boy walked into the women’s bathroom and intentionally molested and strangled the innocent child. David Cash was a key factor to whether that girl had a chance to a future or not. Choosing to ignore what he witnessed, he walked out of the bathroom leaving the teenage boy and 7 year old girl alone. Because of Cash’s decision, it created a controversial debate of whether he should continue to go to Berkeley.
Abstract On July 23, 1995, Janet Downing was found stabbed to death in her Somerville, Massachusetts home. With strong compelling evidence and creditable eyewitness testimony, Edward O’Brien was arrested for Downing’s murder. O’Brien was only fifteen years old and good friends with Downing’s son Ryan at the time of the murder. The first initial hearing judged that O’Brien would be tried as a juvenile, however this judgment would later be reversed.
The criminal justice system was created in order to punish people who choose to break the law. Some people believe they are above the law and decided to do whatever they like regardless of the consequences. Children and adults are both responsible for the actions they commit. The criminal justice should tried children as adults for committing felonies because a crime is a crime regardless of the age of the individual. This can be fulfilled by punishing juvelives with the correct sentence, by seeing that they know their actions lead to consequence and they have the proper process for a teen to be tried as adult.
In 1993 17 year old Christopher Simmons and two friends, John Tessmer and Charles Benjamin had planned to murder Shirley Crook. Then night of the murder one of the men , John Tessmer dropped out but Simmons and Benjamin carried out the plot. Around 2 am the men broke into Crook’s house through a window and committed robbery. Later, the two men entered Crook’s home and tied up the victim and covered her head. The suspects drove Crook to a nearby State park and threw her body into the Meramec river.
Even children have the capability to act and think the way as an adult would. Juveniles need to be held accountable for their actions because it was their actions that caused for them to be put in such a situation. 13 year old Derek King and his 12 year old brother, Alex, were being charged of bludgeoning their father, Terry King, to death. In the book, “Angels of Death,” by Gary C. King stated, “I hit him once and then I heard him moan and then I was afraid that he might wake up and see us, so I just kept on hitting him... I threw the bat on the bed, lit the bed on fire because I was scared of the [evidence] and everything.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that it is immoral to give juveniles life sentences, even if they commit a crime as serious as murder, because it is a cruel and unusual punishment. This has been an issue in America as teenagers are often treated as adults in court due to a belief that their crimes warrant a harsh punishment. Many believe that these kids should not be given such major sentences because they are still immature and do not have the self control that adults do. I agree that juveniles do not deserve life sentences because they put less thought and planning into these crimes and they often are less malicious than adults. The article “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” explains that the teenagers lose brain tissue that is responsible for self control and impulses (Thompson 7).
There are certain instances of juveniles being tried as adults and sometimes ending up getting a life sentence without a chance of parole. I find that pretty harsh because there have been some cases where the juvenile meant no harm, they were either confused or brought along by gang members and they end up being charged along with the gang members for just being with them when a crime goes down. I believe that juveniles do not deserve to be given a life sentence because for one they are still maturing, they can learn from their mistakes and make amends, we still have to combat crimes like intended murder committed by a juvenile with extreme punishments especially if they are well over the age of 16. In the article published by the New York Times on March 14, 2012 “Juveniles Don’t Deserve Life Sentences”, Garinger discusses that juveniles deserve a second chance since their brains are still developing.
Crimes are happening around us whether we pay attention to them or not. Those crimes as dangerous as murder are committed by all ages but should younger criminal in their juvenile age received the same punishment as older criminals. On June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that juveniles committed murder could not be sentenced to life in prison because it violates the Eighth Amendment.(On-Demand Writing Assignment Juvenile Justice) Advocates on the concurring side believes that mandatory life in prison is wrong and should be abolish. However, the dissenting side believe that keeping the there should be a life in prison punishment for juvenile who commit heinous crime regardless of their age.