Supreme court case analysis

8 August 2016

In 1993, respondent Christopher Simmons in the state of Missouri at the age of 17 and his friend, had planned to rob and kill a female victim named Shirley crook. Simmons entered the house, robbed it and proceeded to kill the victim and later threw her off of bridge in a state park. Subsequent to the trial, the court found Simmons to be guilty of all charges and sentenced him to death. Based on the precedent, Stanford v. Kentucky, the State Court of Missouri maintained that the execution of Simmons was applicable.

However, Simmons appealed his execution due to his status as a minor and the violation of both the eight and the fourteen amendments. Issues: The issue was whether it is constitutional and acceptable to execute a juvenile offender under the protection of the 8th amendment that Rights, protecting him as a minor from punishment considered to be cruel and unusual and the 14th amendment that disallows the government from violating the right(s) to pursue ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’ with regard to any and all citizens of the United States of America.

Supreme court case analysis Essay Example

Holdings: The answer was No. The Supreme Court of the United States first established the applicability of the Eight Amendment, as well a precedent of the application of the death penalty to minors. Historically in U. S, minors rarely faced capital punishment. There was a “consensus” that the country is against the death penalty to juveniles. The Supreme Court stressed that “Capital punishment must be limited to those offenders who commit ‘a narrow category of the most serious crimes’ and whose extreme culpability makes them ‘the most deserving of execution.

’” The Supreme also solidified its decision based on the principle that juveniles lack maturity and understanding of responsibility. Juveniles are prone to be influenced by their negative environmental pressures such as families, friends, and peers. In addition the complete personality of a juvenile is not fully developed. They are not considered responsible adults yet. Analysis and reasoning: Based on the case of Roper v Simmons which occurred between the plaintiff, the prosecutor of the state of Missouri: Roper and the defendant Simmons, Justice O’Connor’s dissent did not see how a consensus existed.

Justice Scalia, joined by the Chief Justice and Justice Thomas, took issue with the notion that the Constitution had “changed” in such a way to permit the decision . The constitution should evolve with time. To better analyze the final outcome, let’s stress on the important keys of the case. On September 10, 1993, the defense of Simmons claimed during the trials that upon Simmons’ arrest, he was waived from the Miranda rights and was harshly interrogated by the police and even was put under pressure to confess and video tape the re-act of the crime.

On September 1993 the ACLU and some Nobel peace prize activists were petitioning for a reduction in sentence from capital punishment to life in prison. Between 1993 until 2002,Simmons appealed so many times through his new team of defense. He did first appeal to Missouri Supreme Court which was initially denied, and then he later tried to appeal to federal districts and circuit courts which were also denied. In 2002 he was strengthened by the Atkins v Virginia ruling which determined that executing certain groups was not just.

This case was very important to rely on and to overturn his death penalty. On August 26, 2003, Simmons’ sentence was reduced to life in prison based on the consensus that the execution of the juvenile offenders is considered unusual through the last decade nationally and internationally. As a result, this is a perfect example how cases affect each other and how precedents should be taken into consideration. In addition, this is a perfect scenario to prove how the constitution is not static and always evolves with time and circumstances.

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