Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
July 30, 2014, 06:09:42 am
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

+  Atlas Forum
|-+  General Politics
| |-+  U.S. General Discussion (Moderators: True Federalist, Former Moderate, Badger)
| | |-+  Supreme Court bans juvenile executions
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 Print
Author Topic: Supreme Court bans juvenile executions  (Read 6109 times)
Sibboleth Bist
Realpolitik
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 56225
Saint Helena


View Profile WWW
« on: March 01, 2005, 11:03:16 am »
Ignore

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4308881.stm
Logged

Jake
dubya2004
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18731
Cuba


Political Matrix
E: -0.90, S: -0.35

View Profile
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2005, 12:01:47 pm »
Ignore

This is a good thing, but the wrong way to do it.
Logged
Blue Rectangle
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2683


Political Matrix
E: 8.50, S: -0.62

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2005, 12:08:32 pm »
Ignore

One point not related to the issue itself:
Notice that the four dissenters were Thomas, Scalia, Rehnquist and O'Conner.  If Bush is able to replace those last two with conservatives, this case represents one situation where it would not have made a difference.  Bush's court picks will not be as earth-shattering as the Democrats often claim.

As for the ruling itself, I am opposed, though not strongly.  The laws overturned were found unconstitutional because they set the age limit at 16.  The correct answer appears to be 18.  Where did they get this?  The opinion was based on the 8th and 14th amendments, but I looked and looked and couldn't find mention of age in those (other than the voting age).  Does the right to be executed derive from the right to vote?
Logged
opebo
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 47627


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2005, 12:17:20 pm »
Ignore

One point not related to the issue itself:
Notice that the four dissenters were Thomas, Scalia, Rehnquist and O'Conner.  If Bush is able to replace those last two with conservatives, this case represents one situation where it would not have made a difference.  Bush's court picks will not be as earth-shattering as the Democrats often claim.

As for the ruling itself, I am opposed, though not strongly.  The laws overturned were found unconstitutional because they set the age limit at 16.  The correct answer appears to be 18.  Where did they get this?  The opinion was based on the 8th and 14th amendments, but I looked and looked and couldn't find mention of age in those (other than the voting age).  Does the right to be executed derive from the right to vote?

They consider it cruel and unusual punishment.  The eighth amendment doens't list every possible way punishment can be cruel and unusual, and age is as good as reason as any other to judge the matter.
Logged

The essence of democracy at its purest is a lynch mob

J.R. Brown
Rutzay
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 717
View Profile
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2005, 12:31:33 pm »
Ignore

It's about time we joined the rest of the civilized world.
Logged
Blue Rectangle
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2683


Political Matrix
E: 8.50, S: -0.62

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2005, 12:40:40 pm »
Ignore

One point not related to the issue itself:
Notice that the four dissenters were Thomas, Scalia, Rehnquist and O'Conner.  If Bush is able to replace those last two with conservatives, this case represents one situation where it would not have made a difference.  Bush's court picks will not be as earth-shattering as the Democrats often claim.

As for the ruling itself, I am opposed, though not strongly.  The laws overturned were found unconstitutional because they set the age limit at 16.  The correct answer appears to be 18.  Where did they get this?  The opinion was based on the 8th and 14th amendments, but I looked and looked and couldn't find mention of age in those (other than the voting age).  Does the right to be executed derive from the right to vote?

They consider it cruel and unusual punishment.  The eighth amendment doesn’t list every possible way punishment can be cruel and unusual, and age is as good as reason as any other to judge the matter.
Prosecutors in those states with the age 16 limit did not seek the death penalty for every offense that had a capital option.  They used prosecutorial discretion to determine which cases merited it.  In addition, the prosecutor had to pass another hurdle: the death penalty can only be imposed by a jury (as it should be, not by judges).

The Court revoked the prosecution's discretion, revoked the jury's power to decide punishment and overturned the will of the people as expressed by the legislature and governor.  The Court must have a very good basis for such a decision.  Extracting an exact age limit from the rather vague statement against cruel punishment does not meet this standard.  If executing a juvenile is cruel, then how is locking up a juvenile for the rest of his life not?  Doesn't this ruling threaten the whole basis for selectively trying juveniles as adults?
Logged
opebo
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 47627


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2005, 12:53:01 pm »
Ignore


The Court revoked the prosecution's discretion, revoked the jury's power to decide punishment and overturned the will of the people as expressed by the legislature and governor.  The Court must have a very good basis for such a decision.

Sure, the basis was, these prosecutors and juries were imposing cruel and unusual punishment.   

Quote
Extracting an exact age limit from the rather vague statement against cruel punishment does not meet this standard.  If executing a juvenile is cruel, then how is locking up a juvenile for the rest of his life not?  Doesn't this ruling threaten the whole basis for selectively trying juveniles as adults?

You could not extract anything from that vague statement, which is the point - it is left wide open for the courts to determine what is cruel and unusual.  No specifics are listed. 

Perhaps it does 'threaten' the basis for selectively trying juveniles as adults.  What of it?  Personally I would like to see 'juveniles' treated as adults at a much younger age in general - both in terms of rights and in terms of prosecution.  On the other hand it seems reasonable to call the death penalty for anyone of any age 'cruel and unusual punishment.
Logged

The essence of democracy at its purest is a lynch mob

Jake
dubya2004
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18731
Cuba


Political Matrix
E: -0.90, S: -0.35

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2005, 12:58:54 pm »
Ignore

It's about time we joined the rest of the civilized world.

lets become full members and gut our military, abolish the office of president, and allow euthanasia.
Logged
opebo
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 47627


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2005, 01:01:16 pm »
Ignore

It's about time we joined the rest of the civilized world.

lets become full members and gut our military, abolish the office of president, and allow euthanasia.

Sounds good.
Logged

The essence of democracy at its purest is a lynch mob

Jake
dubya2004
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18731
Cuba


Political Matrix
E: -0.90, S: -0.35

View Profile
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2005, 01:11:52 pm »
Ignore

It's about time we joined the rest of the civilized world.

lets become full members and gut our military, abolish the office of president, and allow euthanasia.

Sounds good.

screwing children sounds good to you opedophile
Logged
Grad Students are the Worst
Alcon
Moderators
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 29656
United States
View Profile
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2005, 01:53:55 pm »
Ignore

Jake, hate to tell you it, but there are countries with stronger militaries relative to their size, that have functional political systems that do not involve a President, and the state of Oregon already has legalized euthanasia. ;)

I agree with this ruling, in any case. There's too much risk with adults, but to take the life of a child incorrectly is perhaps the most terrible thing of all. The brain simply is not developed enough to make this a senseful deterrent to teen offenders.
Logged

n/c
Nation
of_thisnation
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 5587
United States


Political Matrix
E: 1.06, S: 1.14

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2005, 04:11:11 pm »
Ignore

A solid ruling.
Logged

i dont know, but i've been told
that a yankee politician ain't got no soul
Lunar
Moderators
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 30617
Ireland, Republic of
View Profile
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2005, 06:35:28 pm »
Ignore

It's about time we joined the rest of the civilized world.

lets become full members and gut our military, abolish the office of president, and allow euthanasia.

The US actually has a fairly weak executive compared to European democracies.
Logged

this is real
Rob
Bob
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6321
United States
Political Matrix
E: -6.32, S: -9.39

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2005, 08:14:33 pm »
Ignore

Jake, hate to tell you it, but there are countries with stronger militaries relative to their size, that have functional political systems that do not involve a President, and the state of Oregon already has legalized euthanasia. Wink



Yeah, and those damn religious right fanatics keep trying to violate my state's rights by banning it.

I'll add something to the actual discussion: I disagree with the Court's decision. Crime should be punished equally at all ages.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2005, 08:16:16 pm by Bob »Logged

Here’s what Sarah Palin represents: being a fat fucking pig who pins “Country First” buttons on his man titties and chants “U-S-A! U-S-A!” at the top of his lungs while his kids live off credit cards and Saudis buy up all the mortgages in Kansas.
TX_1824
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 535
United States


Political Matrix
E: 8.06, S: 2.17

View Profile
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2005, 01:26:26 pm »
Ignore

It's about time we joined the rest of the civilized world.

What determines a civilized world is relative in nature. What is civilized to you may be barberic to someone else living here or in another country. That being said, I'm in favor of this ruling. I'm not a strong proponent of the death penalty but I'm not completely against it. I believe it should be used in the most abhorant of circumstances like the BTK killings and the alleged hate killings of that judge's mother and her husband in Chicago. What bothers me is what Justice Kennedy stated in his majority opinion:

"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."

The Supreme Court is not in the business of acknowledging the opinion of international views regarding a particular subject matter. Their job is to interpret the Constitution of the United States which they swore an oath upon. In the most part they did in this case, but to recognize international opinion when interpreting United States law is a dangerous precedent. International opinion or even international law should never be considered when interpreting United States law. The key word here is interpreting not creating.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2005, 01:28:54 pm by TX_1824 »Logged

Hi. I'm from New York!

Eco Left/Right:  +3.13
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: +1.85

only back for the worldcup
Lewis Trondheim
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 58783
India


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2005, 10:49:05 am »
Ignore

"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."

The Supreme Court is not in the business of acknowledging the opinion of international views regarding a particular subject matter. Their job is to interpret the Constitution of the United States which they swore an oath upon. In the most part they did in this case, but to recognize international opinion when interpreting United States law is a dangerous precedent. International opinion or even international law should never be considered when interpreting United States law. The key word here is interpreting not creating.
...although the phrase "cruel and unusual" throws the doors wide open to doing that. (Not saying it requires it, just that it is open to such an interpretation.)

I hadn't anticipated this ruling at all. It came as a surprise treat.
Does this automatically overturn all such convictions currently in existence or does it only prevent future ones?

Most of the Western world abolished the Death Penalty for under-18 or under-21 year olds in the 19th century, btw. IIRC there was about 5 or 6 countries left where you could be executed for a crime committed when you're not even 18 years old. Saudi Arabia, (parts of) the U.S., DR Congo, I forget the other ones.
Logged

"The secret to having a rewarding work-life balance is to have no life. Then it's easy to keep things balanced by doing no work." Wally



"Our party do not have any ideology... Our main aim is to grab power ... Every one is doing so but I say it openly." Keshav Dev Maurya
WalterMitty
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 20768


Political Matrix
E: 1.68, S: -2.26

View Profile
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2005, 11:03:23 am »
Ignore

im still waiting for someone to ban the execution of innocent people.  i guess well have to wait awhile for that....
Logged


I am guaranteed $10.00/hr, but could make up to $16.00/hr.  That's not including all the sales games they have.  AT&T likes to throw money around.
Blue Rectangle
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2683


Political Matrix
E: 8.50, S: -0.62

View Profile
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2005, 12:08:09 pm »
Ignore

"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."

The Supreme Court is not in the business of acknowledging the opinion of international views regarding a particular subject matter. Their job is to interpret the Constitution of the United States which they swore an oath upon. In the most part they did in this case, but to recognize international opinion when interpreting United States law is a dangerous precedent. International opinion or even international law should never be considered when interpreting United States law. The key word here is interpreting not creating.
...although the phrase "cruel and unusual" throws the doors wide open to doing that. (Not saying it requires it, just that it is open to such an interpretation.)

I hadn't anticipated this ruling at all. It came as a surprise treat.
Does this automatically overturn all such convictions currently in existence or does it only prevent future ones?

Most of the Western world abolished the Death Penalty for under-18 or under-21 year olds in the 19th century, btw. IIRC there was about 5 or 6 countries left where you could be executed for a crime committed when you're not even 18 years old. Saudi Arabia, (parts of) the U.S., DR Congo, I forget the other ones.
It overturns the sentence, not the conviction, of those already sentenced.  I believe those will simply revert to life sentences, but there may have to be new sentencing hearings.  I'm not a lawyer.  If it is the latter, we could see some of these previously condemned criminals only sentenced to 20 years with parole option after 5.

My major concern with the application of "cruel and unusual" is the arbitrariness of it.  What is it about when the crime was committed that makes the punishment "cruel"?  One example on the news was a man who is now 36 and was awaiting execution.  Why is it cruel to execute him now for a crime he committed 19 years ago, but not cruel if the crime had been 18 years ago?

The majority ruled that the human brain is undeveloped at 17, but is fully developed at 18.  Therefore, they reasoned, it would be cruel to condemn someone at 17.  How is this cruelty unique to capital punishment?  Answer: it is not--the same exact argument can be used against any punishment that treats some juveniles as adults.

The majority also referred to the 14th amendment's "due process" clause.  I'm at a complete loss to explain this one.  Any difference in the process of convicting a 17 year old versus a 18 year old in the same justice system would be minor and would seem to favor the 17 year old.

The "international opinion" argument is the most dangerous and most insulting.  There are many countries in the world without capital punishment that have atrocious human rights records and that have wholly dysfunctional judicial systems.  Why do we look to them for guidance?  Of course, the majority didn't mean those countries, we all know that "international" meant Western Europe.  The Court overturned the will of a majority of citizens by using the will of the "international" community as justification.
Logged
Richard
Richius
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 4374


Political Matrix
E: 8.40, S: 2.80

View Profile
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2005, 12:36:09 pm »
Ignore

This is a disaster, especially if you read the opinion.  Too bad.  Maybe in the future the Supreme Court wil reconsider it again.  This is a very unconstitutional ruling.
Logged
only back for the worldcup
Lewis Trondheim
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 58783
India


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2005, 12:36:56 pm »
Ignore

Well, Western Europe, Latin America and much of Asia, actually. Just a sidenote, though.
Logged

"The secret to having a rewarding work-life balance is to have no life. Then it's easy to keep things balanced by doing no work." Wally



"Our party do not have any ideology... Our main aim is to grab power ... Every one is doing so but I say it openly." Keshav Dev Maurya
Blue Rectangle
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2683


Political Matrix
E: 8.50, S: -0.62

View Profile
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2005, 12:39:18 pm »
Ignore

Well, Western Europe, Latin America and much of Asia, actually. Just a sidenote, though.
Here is a gedanken experiment for you:
What if the Massachusetts gay marriage dilemma goes to the Supreme Court.  Imagine that the majority rules that gay marriage must be banned in the U.S. as a whole based on:
--A large majority of states ban gay marriage.
--There has been an "evolving standard of decency", as evinced by the recent bans sweeping the nation, that gay marriage is morally wrong.
--A large majority of countries in the international community ban gay marriage and the majority of people on this planet believe homosexuality is evil.

Would you call this a solid Court ruling?  I certainly would not.  Substituting a morality test for the constitutional test can cut both ways.
Logged
Richard
Richius
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 4374


Political Matrix
E: 8.40, S: 2.80

View Profile
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2005, 12:47:20 pm »
Ignore

Bwhahahaha.  Excellent post.
Logged
opebo
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 47627


View Profile
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2005, 01:11:25 pm »
Ignore

Well, Western Europe, Latin America and much of Asia, actually. Just a sidenote, though.
Here is a gedanken experiment for you:
What if the Massachusetts gay marriage dilemma goes to the Supreme Court.  Imagine that the majority rules that gay marriage must be banned in the U.S. as a whole based on:
--A large majority of states ban gay marriage.
--There has been an "evolving standard of decency", as evinced by the recent bans sweeping the nation, that gay marriage is morally wrong.
--A large majority of countries in the international community ban gay marriage and the majority of people on this planet believe homosexuality is evil.

Would you call this a solid Court ruling?  I certainly would not.  Substituting a morality test for the constitutional test can cut both ways.

The phrase 'cruel and unusual punishment' is the Constitution (or rather its authors) asking for a morality test!

As for gay marriage, it is covered under the equal protection clause - therefore the Constitution leaves no room for a morality test, since treating people unequally before the law is explicitly forbidden.
Logged

The essence of democracy at its purest is a lynch mob

Richard
Richius
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 4374


Political Matrix
E: 8.40, S: 2.80

View Profile
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2005, 02:46:08 pm »
Ignore

Well, Western Europe, Latin America and much of Asia, actually. Just a sidenote, though.
Here is a gedanken experiment for you:
What if the Massachusetts gay marriage dilemma goes to the Supreme Court.  Imagine that the majority rules that gay marriage must be banned in the U.S. as a whole based on:
--A large majority of states ban gay marriage.
--There has been an "evolving standard of decency", as evinced by the recent bans sweeping the nation, that gay marriage is morally wrong.
--A large majority of countries in the international community ban gay marriage and the majority of people on this planet believe homosexuality is evil.

Would you call this a solid Court ruling?  I certainly would not.  Substituting a morality test for the constitutional test can cut both ways.

The phrase 'cruel and unusual punishment' is the Constitution (or rather its authors) asking for a morality test!
No, it has a literal interpretation.  Cruel and unusual have nothing to do with ethics.
Logged
opebo
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 47627


View Profile
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2005, 04:00:49 pm »
Ignore

Well, Western Europe, Latin America and much of Asia, actually. Just a sidenote, though.
Here is a gedanken experiment for you:
What if the Massachusetts gay marriage dilemma goes to the Supreme Court.  Imagine that the majority rules that gay marriage must be banned in the U.S. as a whole based on:
--A large majority of states ban gay marriage.
--There has been an "evolving standard of decency", as evinced by the recent bans sweeping the nation, that gay marriage is morally wrong.
--A large majority of countries in the international community ban gay marriage and the majority of people on this planet believe homosexuality is evil.

Would you call this a solid Court ruling?  I certainly would not.  Substituting a morality test for the constitutional test can cut both ways.

The phrase 'cruel and unusual punishment' is the Constitution (or rather its authors) asking for a morality test!
No, it has a literal interpretation.  Cruel and unusual have nothing to do with ethics.

It is arguable that 'unusual' could merely be a statistical value, but cruel is a 'moral' valuation. 
Logged

The essence of democracy at its purest is a lynch mob

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Logout

Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines