Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just Another Day On The Bench

An odd set of decisions issued from the Supreme Court yesterday. One upheld Citizen's United by voiding a 100-year-old Montana law against corporate campaign contributions. One knocked out a couple of provisions from the Arizona immigration law based on federal preemption, but left the stop-and-demand-papers provision. The third, however, was a little more palatable.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that it is unconstitutional for states to require juveniles convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. ...

We "hold that mandatory life without parole for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on 'cruel and unusual punishment,"' said Justice Elena Kagan, who wrote the opinion for the majority, referring to the U.S. Constitution.
[Emphasis added]

You will note that the decision does not outlaw the imposition of the life without parole sentence, merely forbids its automatic imposition if the defendant is found guilty of murder. In other words, the judge has the discretion on the sentencing, depending the age of the juvenile at the time of the crime and other factors. It will still be possible to impose that sentence. That means the US and Somalia are still the only two countries in the world which allows juveniles to be given that sentence.

It's clear that the US can still continue with its philosophy of vengeance rather than rehabilitation when it comes to justice. Somehow, this allegedly Christian nation doesn't believe in redemption when it comes to criminals, even the youngest of them.

And the decision once again 5-4, with Kennedy as the swing vote:

She was joined in that opinion by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

No surprise there.

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Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

A pack of fascists.

5:43 AM  

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