published Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Judicial delinquency

At what age is a person sufficiently mature to receive a death sentence or a sentence of life in prison without parole for committing murder? Ask 10 people and you may get 10 different answers.

Ask the U.S. Constitution and you will get no specific answer.

Here is what the Fifth Amendment says:

“No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law … .”

With due process of law, therefore, a person may indeed be executed or imprisoned — including permanently — for a given crime.

The Eighth Amendment adds this:

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

But since the Fifth Amendment already has provided for the possibility of death sentences and long-term imprisonment, it is plain that the framers of the Constitution did not consider those punishments inherently “cruel and unusual.”

What is equally clear is that, other than in federal cases, the Constitution leaves it to the states to decide, via their lawmakers, questions such as whether a person who commits murder before turning 18 can be executed or sentenced to life in prison. The Constitution simply does not offer a list of rules on those matters.

And so it is troubling that a narrow majority of the U.S. Supreme Court again has substituted its personal views on what constitutes appropriate punishment of juvenile offenders for the views of duly elected lawmakers.

The court, in a 5-4 decision, said states and the federal government may not impose automatic sentences of life in prison without parole on people who murder before reaching age 18.

“[S]uch a scheme poses too great a risk of disproportionate punishment,” liberal Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the slim majority.

According to whom? According to what part of the Constitution?

According to nothing, really, except the majority’s notion of what “disproportionate punishment” is.

And for the record, we don’t necessarily disagree with their personal views on this matter. State and federal lawmakers may be well advised to maintain some discretion in the sentencing of juvenile murderers, who in some cases may not grasp the full horror and impact of their acts.

But those are decisions that are, constitutionally speaking, to be left to lawmakers, who are accountable to their constituents.

The high court previously also ruled out the death penalty for juvenile murderers and life without parole for youths who commit grievous crimes that do not actually leave someone dead.

Again, there might be reasonable arguments for taking those extra precautions when sentencing youthful offenders. But nothing in the Constitution confers on the Supreme Court the right to make those decisions — and to thwart the will of the people repeatedly.

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conservative said...

I totally agree. Five justices of the Supreme Court have usurped the power and authority of the states to make the laws on capital punishment.

However, this has been going on for quite some time most notably Roe vs Wade.

America is now largely a Socialist nation which can not abide with the Constitution so Socialist judges have gained power to rule that the Constitution says and means whatever they say.

We truly are a nation of men and not law.

July 2, 2012 at 8:36 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You have no clue what "Socialist" means. You're just spouting your right-wing propaganda.

July 2, 2012 at 9:59 a.m.
joneses said...

With Obastard regime and the activist liberal Supreme Court the U.S. Constitution is a meaningless piece of paper. It does not matter what it says as obastard and the activist Supreme court have proven they have no respect for the Constitution of the United Socialist States of Americai.

July 2, 2012 at 10:17 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses,

Still whining and talking like a child? Grow up.

July 2, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Guilty is Guilty, our court system has played the mind games now for decades such as "not guilty by means of insanity" etc. When a person is guilty, he or she should face severe consequences when the crime is severe. All the psycho-babble can be taken into account. But to have someone who commits murder in cold blood have the verdict, "not guilty by means of temporary insanity." When someone is guilty a Guilty verdict needs to be proclaimed. When it is not, an injustice occurs. But with all our progressivistic approaches, our reinventing and reworking the laws and rulings, it is really tough. We do neither society nor a young person justice by allowing them to be freed as adults for violent crimes they committed as youngsters. But the people who render these verdicts are never held accountable when rulings they render later cause innocent deaths and injury and often disaster for the ones they are supposedly showing compassion. It is tough.

July 2, 2012 at 10:40 a.m.
joneses said...

easy,

Screw you MF. You are just another pathetic fool who lacks the intellect to know he is being deceived by obastard. I am not whining I am stating facts you pathetic fool.

July 2, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses,

All you ever do is whine and you haven't stated a fact yet. I highly doubt you would know a fact or the truth if you read it. And keep up the constant attempts at cursing and making up names for Obama. It really shows how ignorant you truly are.

Keep crying little Joneses!

July 2, 2012 at 11:25 a.m.
dao1980 said...

I wonder how much spittle flies out of joneses mouth each time he types "MF" to fellow posters on this site..

Do ya think he yells aloud angrily as he types? Could he be skilled enough to "hollar" and type at the same time?...

July 2, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.
joneses said...

You are a lying POS easy. All you do is sit on your fat azz and monitor this site. You piss and moan more than anyone I have ever met. Keep showing how stupid and gullible you are and how you lack basic intellect to know you are being deceived to by obastard. If you and your other foolish buddy dao do not like my post then why do both read and comment on them stupid? You and do show us everyday how stupid you are by supporting a fool who has been a complete failure. Keep showing how stupid you are by supporting obastard.

July 2, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses,

LOL! WHINE! WHINE! WHINE!

July 2, 2012 at 12:05 p.m.
joneses said...

easy,

go eat another twinkie fat azz. LOL

July 2, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses,

Your misguided view of reality is amusing. Keep it up though. I always like a good laugh, especially from reading your posts.

July 2, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.
dao1980 said...

joneses, what have I ever lied to you about? (second time I've asked)

Also, when have I ever stated that I support Obama?

I know, two whole questions may be a bit much to digest..

July 2, 2012 at 12:43 p.m.

Hmm, apparently they deleted the posts with comments.

I still want to know if they read the opinion where it states their reasoning and if they disagree with John Marshall to the point of demanding direct democracy without judicial oversight.

Livn4life, you do know that insanity verdicts are minimal in terms of actual numbers, right? Besides, why don't we hold you accountable for the suffering and abuse that comes out of your vengeful desire for severity? Oh wait, that is because you think they deserve what they get, so you can't feel guilt over it.

Thank you for being an example of why this ruling is justice.

July 2, 2012 at 12:54 p.m.
LibDem said...

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Are we saying this sentence should be deleted because it calls for interpretation?

July 2, 2012 at 2:29 p.m.
rogerdodger said...

Hey Easy here is all your wonderful leader knows how to do. But I am sure you can fins some way to say it is false. President Obama has spent more time raising money than any of his predecessors in recent history, crisscrossing the country on Air Force One to 175 re-election fundraisers so far in his first term. http://news.yahoo.com/obamas-air-force-one-call-donors-reveals-money-151549168--abc-news-politics.html

July 2, 2012 at 8:47 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Roger,

Obama is fundraising. Romney is doing the same thing. What is your point?

July 2, 2012 at 9:01 p.m.
rogerdodger said...

Well let's see. BHO is "suppose" to be the president running this country & yet has spent as much time fund raising and playing golf than time in the White House. Doing this all on the backs of tax payers. You know the same people that are now getting the L:ARGEST tax increase in history. How can anyone be ok with that?

July 3, 2012 at 6:09 a.m.
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