Death Penalty Ruled Out For Juvenile Offenders

2005

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Roper v. Simmons, strikes down state death penalty laws for those seventeen and younger as “cruel and unusual” punishment. The majority cites changing public opinion and notes that the United States stands “alone in a world that has turned its face against the juvenile death penalty.” The decision will result in a new sentence for Christopher Simmons and likely new sentences for seventy-two juvenile offenders on state death rows at the time of the ruling.