Roper V. Simmons Case Study

805 Words 4 Pages
In the Supreme Court case, Roper v. Simmons, Christopher Simmons at the age 17 while in junior in high school murdered a Fenton, Missouri woman Shirley Crook. (Roper v. Simmons, 2005) Simmons committed burglary and murder by breaking and entering, the Crook’s residence and tying up victim Shirley Crook, and throwing her body off a bridge. (Roper v. Simmons, 2005) Simmons advised is accomplice Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer, that they could "get away with it" because they were minors. (Roper v. Simmons, 2005) The Fenton police after receiving information of Simmons' involvement, arrested Simmons at his junior high school and took him to the police station. The Fenton’s police read Simmons his Miranda rights; however, Simmons waived his right …show more content…
Simmons, 2005) Did the police officer inform Simmons that he could refuse to answer any questions and leave whenever he felt the need? During an almost two hours of interrogation, Simmons confessed to the murder and agreed to perform a videotaped reenactment at the crime scene. (Roper v. Simmons, 2005) "Simmons was outside the criminal jurisdiction of Missouri's juvenile court system" (Roper v. Simmons, 2005, p. 1). Therefore, the state charged Simmons with burglary, kidnapping, stealing, and murder in the first degree. After, Simmons' confession and the videotaped reenactment of the crime, Simmons was tried as an adult. Before trial Simmons discussed the crime in advance and bragged about it later. Therefore, the state called no witnesses and sought the death penalty. However, “the state called Shirley Crook's husband, daughter, and two sisters, who presented moving evidence of the devastation her death had brought to their lives” (Roper v. Simmons, 2005, p. …show more content…
Simmons filed an appeal and subsequent petitions for state and federal post-conviction relief, which were rejected. “The Court held, in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U. S. 304, that the Eighth Amendment, applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits the execution of a mentally retarded person” (Roper v. Simmons, 2005, para. 1). Therefore, Simmons filed a new petition for state post-conviction relief, arguing that Atkins’ reasoning established that the Constitution prohibits the execution of a juvenile who was under 18 when he committed his crime” (Roper v. Simmons, 2005, para. 1). Simmons had no prior convictions in juvenile court; therefore, the prosecutor and defense counsel addressed Simmons' age, which the trial judge had instructed the jurors they could consider as a mitigating factor. (Roper v. Simmons, 2005) The Eighth Amendment may not guarantee pretrial release; however, it forbids cruel and unusual punishment and determines that cruel and unusual relationship to the standards that society sets. The Eighth Amendment right takes a back seat to society's interest in the supervision and control of juveniles. (Elrod & Ryder, 2014) “The Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments forbid the execution of offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed” (Justia, 2005, para. 1). Juveniles are more vulnerable to police interrogation due to their extreme “immaturity and inexperience,” which

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