Friday, October 25, 2002

Earlier this year, a controversial 5-4 US Supreme Court cited polling data and other supposed trends to decide that the Constitution prohibits the application of the death penalty to mentally retarded persons. Now, this week, the four activist liberals say thesame reasons supporting that holding apply with equal or greater force to the execution of juveniles. The four say:
No State has lowered its voting age below 18. ... Nor does any State permit a person under 18 to serve on a jury... Scientific advances such as the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging—MRI scans—have provided valuable data that serve to make the case even stronger that adolescents “‘are more vulnerable, more impulsive, and less self-disciplined than adults.’” ... Moreover, in the last 13 years, a national consensus has developed that juvenile offenders should not be executed. ... All of this leads me to conclude that offenses committed by juveniles under the age of 18 do not merit the death penalty. The practice of executing such offenders is a relic of the past and is inconsistent with evolving standards of decency in a civilized society. We should put an end to this shameful practice.

We will soon see that popular opinion says otherwise, now that the DC snipers have been caught and one of them is a 17-year-old illegal alien. (The other is a Mohammedan fanatic.) There can be no doubt that these four (Stevens, Souter, Breyer, Ginsburg) are just liberal activist judges who want to impose their personal opinions on everyone else. Their arguments are all bogus. A 17-year-old has the maturity to understand that murder is illegal and wrong, and does not have the maturity to serve on a jury. Trying to use MRI scans to support an anti-death penalty position is laughable.

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