Roper V. Simmons

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  • Topic: Capital punishment, Roper v. Simmons, Crime
  • Pages : 2 (569 words )
  • Download(s) : 527
  • Published : October 17, 2010
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The Roper v. Simmons murder trial was decided on March 1, 2005. Around this time the Atkins v. Virginia trial was decided in favor of Atkins. Atkins filed for mental retardation and that influenced the court decision greatly. The social beliefs of this time period were if you commit murder, you should get the death penalty. This also greatly influenced the 1st court decision of Roper v. Simmons.

In 1993 a young man named Christopher Simmons planned a murder and burglary of Shirley Cook with a few of his friends. Christopher Simmons and his 2 friends met up at midnight, when one of his friends decided not to be part of the plan. That night Simmons and his 1 other friend broke into Shirley Cooks` house and tied her hands together, covered her eyes, and then threw her off a bridge. Once they were caught the case was put on trial.

When the case was in order the court had conclusive evidence that he was the murderer, so Simmons had no choice but to confess to the crime. The jury returned with a guilty verdict to the death penalty even factoring in his age and his clean record. Simmons moved the trial to lesser his death penalty by telling them to consider his troubling childhood, his addition to drugs, and him having an accomplice. The trial rejected his move and Simmons appealed. When hearing about the overturning of the death sentence in the Atkins v. Virginia due to the 8th amendment, Simmons filed for a new petition for the state. The 8th amendment talks about the prohibition of cruel and injustice punishments and this was a key part of the case.

The Supreme Court of Missouri had a national consensus and people were against the execution of the mentally ill. Simmons had challenged if it were really right to give capital punishment to those who commit crimes as juveniles. This case was argued on October 13, 2004 and was decided on March 1, 2005. Simmons received the punishment of life in prison with no chances for parole.

The majority of the court thought...
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