Uncategorized

A truly amazing worldview

The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled today that sentencing laws which require children convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole are unconstitutional. It is a sign of our times that such a modest ruling — one that still allows kids to be sentenced to life in prison without parole and merely permits judges to consider mitigating facts before imposing such a sentence — would even be controversial.

But, hey, we live in a world in which a Supreme Court Justice — in this case the amazingly reactionary Samuel Alito — can write something like the following (as he did in dissent):

 “…it is hard not to feel sympathy for a 14-year-old sentenced to life without the possibility of release. But no one should be confused by the particulars of the two cases before us. The category of murderers that the Court delicately calls ‘children’ (murderers under the age of 18) consists overwhelmingly of young men who are fast approaching the legal age of adulthood.”

You got that? Sam Alito thinks it’s downright wimpy to think of 14-year olds as children because,well, hell, they’re big and mean and will be adults shortly…in four years.

Good grief — what planet is this man on?! Has he read anything about the way the human brain develops and how far it has to go in a 14-year old? Has he stopped to ponder the utter absurdity of thinking that we can “deter” troubled children like the ones described in the decision with such laws.

Bottom line: While the decision is a welcome one, it is also a sad commentary on just how far backwards the right’s sustained attack on the federal judiciary has taken the country. Before our courts can move into the 21st Century, it looks as if we’ll first have to figure a way to drag them out of the 19th.  

 

3 Comments


  1. Frank Burns

    June 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Criminal kids become criminal adults. I prefer to keep them off of the streets.

  2. david esmay

    June 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Stupid kids become conservative adults. I prefer them out of government and off the internet.

  3. Alex

    June 27, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Maladjusted kids become maladjusted adults who like to bully people on the internet !

Check Also

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

1. Free speech policy, controversial conservative academic on ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The UNC Board of Governors is holding its last meeting of 2017 Friday, where the latest of its many [...]

Just south of Candler off the Pisgah Highway is a lovely piece of property on Little Piney Mountain [...]

Veteran North Carolina education policy expert Kris Nordstrom has authored a new and vitally importa [...]

When Joni Robbins, a section chief in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, closes bidding next [...]

“All speech is free, but some speech is more free than others.” This seems to be the motto of the cu [...]

Trumpists prepare to raze another vital common good law It’s hard to keep up these days with the flo [...]

The post That’s how ‘Humbug’ is done appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

The solid citizens of Johnston County, N.C. – in a fateful quirk of geography – for several years ha [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more