February 2, 2009
"Defining `Cruel and Unusual' When Offender is 13"
From today's New York Times:
"In 1989, someone raped a 72-year-old woman in Pensacola, Fla. Joe Sullivan was 13 at the time, and he admitted that he and two older friends had burglarized the woman’s home earlier that day. But he denied that he had returned to commit the rape.
. . . .
"The trial lasted a day and ended in conviction. Then Judge Nicholas Geeker, of the circuit court in Escambia County, sentenced Mr. Sullivan to life without the possibility of parole.
. . . .
"Mr. Sullivan is 33 now, and his lawyers have asked the United States Supreme Court to consider the question of whether the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment extends to sentencing someone who was barely a teenager to die in prison for a crime that did not involve a killing."
Read the rest of the story here [Mike Mannheimer]
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