Teen Execution Case Could Affect Trials As Adults


The U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring the execution of juvenile offenders will likely affect how lawyers and judges view juvenile criminal behavior, says the American Bar Association Journal. Children's rights advocates say the decision raises the broader question of whether juveniles are less culpable than adults and less deserving of adult-style treatment. They contend the ruling could also be applied to cases in which juvenile offenders are sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“The court's recognition that teenagers are not fully formed and that their criminal behavior is likely limited to their teenage years should lead to a wholesale re-evaluation of the laws in every state that have made it easier to prosecute children as adults and bring rehabilitation back to the forefront of our sentencing policy concerning youthful offenders,” says Northwestern University law professor Steven Drizin.

Link: http://www.abanet.org/journal/redesign/05ndeath.html

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