Juvenile justice approach is recognized as one critical aspect of the criminal justice system established in the country. There are many legal cases where court’s decisions play a critical role in shaping juvenile law in the United States of America. Comprehensive understanding of the criminal cases in case of infantile individuals helps to figure out different dimensions of the constitution. Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 is one of the landmark legal cases in the history of U.S. because the decision of Supreme Court of US presented direction for the approach of capital punishment in case of underage offenders (Roper v. Simmons, 2005). Here, the main focus is to critically analyze various dimensions of this particular case to enhance knowledge about the judicial system of the country.
At the first step of this case analysis, it is crucial to illustrate basic seminal facts of this case to better apprehend the legal domain. The overall history of this specific case indicates that in 1993, Christopher Simmons in the age of 17 planned to rob in one woman’s home. Later, Simmons and his younger friend attempted to kill her by throwing her over the bridge. Simmons confessed his act of killing in front of police. The details of the case reflect Simmons as the committed criminal in case of capital murder. It is vital to identify the main laws that have been violated in this particular legal case. The fundamental law of the right of living was violated in the scenario as Simmons committed the murder of the woman (Flynn, 2008). The legal perspective of robbing is another legal feature associated with this case. The legal domains of “evolving standards of decency” and “national consensus” are under consideration concerning the perspective of the death penalty for the juvenile.
Identification of the possible penalties in case of violation of relevant laws is also critical to assess the legal foundation of the scenario. The death penalty is the possible forfeit for Simmons as he proved guilty of a woman’s killing. It is also crucial to consider the possible domain of death penalty under the perspective of the juvenile justice system because Simmons was an underage offender. Capital punishment is the possible punishment for the offender but the scenario of the criminal justice system is different when it is done by a juvenile. The specific case of Roper v. Simmons was heard by the Missouri Supreme Court under the domain of the federal court system exists in the country. Consideration of the jurisdictional requirements is necessary to figure out the necessary reasons due to which this specific case was heard under the domain of the federal court system (Feld, 2008). The decision made by the Missouri Supreme Court established a landmark for the approach of capital punishment for the criminal activities done by individuals under the age of 18. At the initial stage of the case hearing in the trial court, the jury found Simmons guilty and gave their verdict in the form of the death penalty for him. After many appeals and other petitions, Simmons filed a relief petition in the Missouri state court after the prospect of U.S. Supreme Court. The judicial system at both state and federal level plays a critical role to turn this case decision as to the reference to many other legal allegations in case of juvenile offenders.
Comprehensive consideration of this particular criminal case requires critical summarize all the different aspects of this case. It is crucial to figure out which legal foundations were selected by the court to give relief to the Simmons. The legal base of eight amendments in the constitution is used by the jury members to establish that capital punishment can never be given as penalty to Simmons because he was an underage individual at the time of the crime. The maximum members of the jury come up with the opinion that it is unconstitutional to impose the punishment of death penalty in case of crime done by a child who was characterized as underage. The court decision appeared in the form of relief for Simmons due to crucial mitigating elements such as his no criminal record and his age.
In the considered case of Roper v. Simmons, the decision of the jury was justifiable as the offender was under the age of 18. The decision made by the Supreme Court clearly reflects the unconstitutional dilemma in this case. I believe that it is unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on an individual under the age of 18 as he/s is unable to understand the consequences of his wrongdoings. I believe that Juvenile should be given with an opportunity to attain a mature understanding instead of extinguishing his life. It is notable to mention that some basic liberties needed to be applied in the considered scenario instead of making any harsh decisions (Denno, 2005). Juvenile should not be sentenced with harsh penalties as they do not have the ability to assess risk. Moreover, I believe that juveniles do not possess a potential level of judgment as compared to adults.
To conclude the discussion about the particular case of Roper v. Simmons, it is critical to indicate that it one crucial case in the country’s history when it comes to the prospect of the death penalty in case of the juvenile criminal system. Eight amendments of the constitution eventually provide necessary justification to never impose the death penalty for the underage offender.
Denno, D. W. (2005). The scientific shortcomings of Roper v. Simmons. Ohio St. J. Crim. L., 3, 379.
Feld, B. C. (2008). A slower form of death: Implications of Roper v. Simmons for juveniles sentenced to life without parole. Notre Dame JL Ethics & Pub. Pol'y, 22, 9.
Flynn, E. H. (2008). Dismantling the Felony-Murder Rule: Juvenile Deterrence and Retribution Post-" Roper v. Simmons". University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 156(4), 1049-1076.
Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 125 S. Ct. 1183, 161 L. Ed. 2d 1 (2005).
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