A lot of people think that the death penalty for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment and should only be used for adults. The crimes that juveniles commit are as dangerous and as violent as adult crimes. People argue that the adolescent brain does not mature until the late teens or early twenties, and that death penalty should not be the resolution. Some studies show that childhood abuse or neglect can causes the child to commit crimes when they grow to adulthood. Simmons, at the age of 17, when he was still a junior in high school, committed murder. About nine months later, after he had turned 18, he was tried as an adult and sentenced to death. The State charged Simmons with burglary, kidnapping, stealing, and murder in the first degree.
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Simmons was 17 at the time of the crime he was outside the criminal jurisdiction of Missouri’s juvenile court system. As a result of the ruling in Simmons, juvenile death penalty statutes in 20 states are unconstitutional and 72 juveniles living on death rows in these states will no longer face execution. On August 26, 2003, the Supreme Court of Missouri set aside Chris’ death sentence and re-sentenced him to life without parole. Some of the arguments that favor the juvenile justice system think that by having the death penalty it will decrease crimes in our county. Juvenile death penalty is allowed in 19 separate state jurisdictions, each is authorized to go its own way, and the justifications for this practice among these states can be expected to differ. The death penalty is a subject that has been on debate for many years now. In the United States, seventeen of the fifty states have abolished the use of the death penalty.
Ever since the writing of Hammurabi’s code “an eye for an eye” has been one of the most debated phrases in legal systems. In today’s world, this is often involved in the debate of capital punishment, or the death penalty. The question of whether juveniles should receive the death penalty is a controversial subject for many. There are so many variables to consider regarding this subject. I believe this subject is relevant because in recent news reports we are increasingly hearing about juveniles committing some violent and heinous crimes.
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