• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court upheld executions of juveniles who committed murder.

Justice Antonin ScaliaScalia, Antonin;Stanford v. Kentucky[Stanford v. Kentucky] wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority sustaining the execution of persons who were juveniles over the age of sixteen at the time they committed the capital offense. Scalia reviewed the practices of capital punishment in the United States at the time of the adoption of the Bill of Rights. He found a large number of executions of those under eighteen and a significant number of those under seventeen. Scalia argued that contemporary standards of decency still allowed the execution of juveniles in most states, at least above age sixteen. Without directly setting a minimum age, the Supreme Court implied that it might be unconstitutional to impose a death penalty on those under sixteen at the time of the offense. Justices William J. Brennan, Jr., Harry A. Blackmun, Thurgood Marshall, and John Paul Stevens dissented, arguing that contemporary standards of decency prohibit the death penalty for juveniles when all factors from the states are taken into account.Capital punishment;Stanford v. Kentucky[Stanford v. Kentucky]Juvenile justice;Stanford v. Kentucky[Stanford v. Kentucky]

Capital punishment

Cruel and unusual punishment

Due process, procedural

Eighth Amendment

Juvenile justice

Payne v. Tennessee

Penry v. Lynaugh

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