"By a 5-4 vote, the high court declared unconstitutional the juvenile death penalty, a decision that could affect about 70 death row inmates."
In Texas alone, almost 30 juvenile murders will be affected by this decision.
The court argued:
"Justice Anthony Kennedy (news - web sites), writing for the majority, said many juveniles lack maturity and intellectual development to understand the ramifications of their actions. "
Saying in effect that they don't know what they are doing.
Now I'm 40 years old myself, but I can still recall my own youth, and the experience of being a 17 year old young man. Granted I was a hormone pumping ignorant proto-adult, but I fully grasped the concept of killing by that time.
Perhaps some individuals are not capable of comprehending the consequences of their actions, which is argued in many murder cases regardless of age, but a blanket which is thrown over an age range bordering on adult ranges is absurd.
I argue that it is highly individual, and can only be discovered in the context of the circumstance in question.
The death penalty has opponents & supporters as always. But the liberal US Supreme Court has seen fit to further diminish the death penalty for capital crimes.
If a majority of Americans voted to eliminate the death penalty completely, I would support that majority consensus as an American, while still advocating it. But if we collectively continue support for a death penalty as a nation, no one who intentionally kills another, and understands what they were doing at the time, should escape our maximum penalty.
Regardless of age.