Roper v. Simmons (2005)
At seventeen years old Christopher Lee Simmons planned the murder of Shirley Crook with two of his friends. He entered the Crook residence, tied Shirley up and threw her body off the bridge, killing her. There was much overwelving evidence so he decided to confessed to the crime and agreed to re enact the murder. The Court found him guilty and a recommended the death sentence. Simmons appealed the court’s decision time after time every court however upheld that he should receive the death penalty.
There was some debate regarding weather if the death penalty may be to much of a cruel and unusual punishment for minor based on the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment. At the time many American had come to believed that capital punishment was to harsh of a punishment.
The court had to decide whether or not punishing a minor with capital punishment violated the provision against cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.
The court reached at 5-4 decision based on the Atkins v. Virginia case. Where the court prohibited the capital punishment against people with mental disabilities. American were now opposing the execution of minors. Therefore the judges concluded that it was executing minors was a for of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.
I personally do not agree with the court decision on on this case because is very selective a crime is still a crime whether is committed by a minor or a 60 year old. The capital punishment is not charged to just anyone, this harsh punishments for is not handled lightly when a person receives this punishment it is because they truly deserve it. If the court thinks executing a minor is a cruel punishment violating the Eighth Amendment then capital punishment should be consider unconstitutional for all ages. I think the court just came to this decision to make the American people happy, since at the time the execution of minors vas not very popular.
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