In late February, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutionally cruel when applied to people who committed a felony deserving of the death penalty according to state law before they reached age 18. The Court ruled that the death penalty cannot be applied to people who committed crimes as juveniles because of the lack of maturity, level of intelligence, and decision making that an individual has under the age of 18.
There are many arguments in favor of and against this ruling. What do you think are the effects of such a ruling under each of the following subjects:
- The ruling’s ethical implications
- The ruling’s effects on the adult sentencing criminal process
- Victim’s rights
- Courts’ rulings pertaining to cases of violent criminal acts