Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Now that I have had the chance to read the opinions (well, the dissent and portions of the majority opinion), I have to agree with Professor Bainbridge's post that Scalia's harsh dissent was very much warranted here.

This is simply a case of really unwarranted (and as Professor Bainbridge points out) logically inconsistent judicial activism. If it really offends "our" morality to sentence a juvenile to death, then the legislature is clearly the proper branch to deal with that, in this case the state legislature.

Certainly the jury (whose function is to represent the community) didn't object to the death sentence for this person.

Besides all that the distinction between a 17 year-old and 18 year-old is completely arbitrary. It is not as if any stage of human development occurs at that age. If this is cruel and unusual then frankly a fortiori all death sentences would be (which is fine with me, I really don't see the value in the death penalty, but I am not morally opposed to it either).
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I am an attorney in Chicago. Politically speaking, I am an indepedent that tends to lean conservative on fiscal issues and progressive on social issues. I try to remain as unbiased and open-minded as possible. Please email or post any comments, and especially criticisms. If something I say is wrong, or you disagree - let me know about it!



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