Bans on Executions of the Mentally Retarded and Juveniles – Most Significant Sanctions

The United States Supreme Court in 2005 ruled in the case of Roper v. Simmons that executing the death penalty on criminals who were under the age of 18 years when they committed the crime was cruel and excessive. Therefore, the Supreme Court banned the execution for juveniles at that case by stating that juveniles are less mature than grownups and, no matter how monstrous their criminalities, they were not amongst the nastiest criminals who merit dying. However, the execution got also banned by global human rights regulation as articulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the American Convention on Human Rights, andthe U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. The reception of this ban is so widespread that it is extensively renowned as an authoritative rule of customary global act.

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On June 20, 2002, on the other hand, the Supreme Court alleged that execution on mentally retarded offender was unlawful. However, it decided this in light of the developing standards of decorum, that such a penalty was extreme (Robin, 2003). This conclusion got reached by observing that the exercise of executing the mentally retarded had become actually strange, and discovering that a state agreement had established against such an exercise. All the same, subsequent to this conclusion, eighteen countries and the national government banned the death penalty of the mentally retarded.

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The Supreme Court was right in banning the death penalty of members from both groups as the individualities of mental retardation and juveniles are comparable. Merely as the Court reflected common features of juveniles when embracing that execution is cruel and unusual penalty to impose them as a group, so also was it right that the Court utilized generalities about the mentally retarded to exempt them from execution.

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