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Missouri Supreme Court Stops Execution Of Juveniles

On August 26, the Missouri Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision overturned the death sentence of Christopher Simmons, who was 17 when he killed a woman 10 years ago. The court said it based its decision on a June 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Writing for the majority, Judge Laura Denvir Stith said it is clear that the U.S. Supreme Court also “would hold that the execution of persons for crimes committed when they were under 18 years of age violates ‘the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.’” My question to Laura: Why have those standards of decency not yet evolved in the United States of 2003?


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