Roper Vs. Simmons Case Study

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In the case of Roper versus Simmons, the question at hand is whether the execution of a human being who was17 years old when he committed a murder violated the Eight and Fourteenth Amendments pertaining to cruel and unusual punishment (Elrod and Ryder, 2014). These Amendments forbid the obligation of the death penalty for those who suffered from a mental disability and who were insane should be prohibited from a sentence of capital punishment (Elrod and Ryder, 2014). According to the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, it was lawful to execute a juvenile delinquent who was 15 years older but younger than 18 when he committed a capital crime (Elrod and Ryder, 2014). Roper versus Simmons paved the way in the judicial …show more content…
Simmons conspired with John Tessmer and Charles Benjamin to burglarize, murder, tie up and toss the body of a victim off of a bridge (Legal Information Institute, 2017). Tessmer later refused to engage in the crime. Simmons and Benjamin still carried out the conspiracy. Afterward, Simmons proudly bragged about the killing (Legal Information Institute, 2017). Simmons was apprehended and later confessed to the crime. A videotaped was recorded of the reenactment at the crime scene. Testifying against Simmons, Tessmer's testimony justified premeditation. Simmons was exonerated as an adult, convicted, and sentenced to the death penalty (Legal Information Institute, 2017). He was convicted as a minor for a crime that was classified on an adult level. After turning 18, Simmons’ sentence was upgraded to the death penalty. His attorney filed a subsequent petition and direct appeal for state and federal post-conviction relief (Legal Information Institute, 2017). These appeals were rejected. On behalf of The Missouri Supreme Court, Simmons received a stay (Legal Information Institute, …show more content…
In reference to Atkins versus Georgia, The Supreme Court eventually ruled that by executing the mental challenge did violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments pertaining to cruel and unusual punishment (Legal Information Institute, 2017). Simmons’s counsel argued that the Constitution forbids the execution of a juvenile who is under the age of 18 when a crime was committed. Simmons filed a new petition for a state post-conviction relief, arguing that Atkins’ established reasoning that the Constitution forbids the execution of a youth who was under the age of 18 when they committed a crime (FindLaw, 2017). Nine years later, the Missouri Supreme Court finally reviewed Simmons’ case in 2003 (Legal Information Institute, 2017). The Missouri Supreme Court acknowledged and reversed Simmons’ death sentence to life imprisonment without the eligibility of parole (FinbLaw, 2017). Simmon's death sentence was overturned on grounds that the opinions of the public and national learned organizations reflect a consensus that would not support such executions (FindLaw, 2017). They acknowledged that the execution of juveniles violated the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment based on the standards of decency test. The state of Missouri appealed the ruling upholding that the death penalty for crimes committed by 16

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