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US juvenile death penalty abolished Mar 01

Good news, everyone! The US Supreme Court has abolished the death penalty for murderers who committed their crimes while under the age of 18, ruling it unconstitutional. Although the court voted 5-4, narrowly avoiding a penalty shootout, one vote is enough to swing it (if you’ll excuse my putting the “pun” in “capital punishment”). According to the Beeb, this ruling affects murderers who were 16 or 17 at the time as a similar ruling was made for under-16s in 1988.

As with all arbitrary age limits, this prompts a further question: why is it cruel and unusual to execute someone who murdered at 17 years 364 days old but not cruel and unusual for the state to kill someone who murdered at their 18th birthday party?

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