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High Court Asked to End Child Executions -Carter, Gorbachev, AMA, 48 natio

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:54 AM
Original message
High Court Asked to End Child Executions -Carter, Gorbachev, AMA, 48 natio
WASHINGTON - Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, the American Medical Association and 48 nations are among those who lobbied the Supreme Court Monday to end the execution of killers who committed their crimes before age 18.

The United States is among only a handful of nations that allow the practice. The high court will reconsider this fall whether such executions are constitutional.

"By continuing to execute child offenders in violation of international norms, the United States is not just leaving itself open to charges of hypocrisy, but is also endangering the rights of many around the world," said a friend of the court filing Monday on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize winners, including former President Carter and former Soviet President Gorbachev.

"Countries whose human rights records are criticized by the United States have no incentive to improve their records when the United States fails to meet the most fundamental, baseline standards," it said.

The 25-nation European Union (news - web sites), plus Mexico, Canada and other nations argued that execution of juvenile killers "violates widely accepted human rights norms and the minimum standards of human rights set forth by the United Nations (news - web sites)."

Mexico noted separately that three of the 73 current death row inmates condemned for killings that took place before they were 18 are Mexican nationals. The American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and other medical and mental health groups also told the court they oppose execution of teen killers, as did the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.MORE.............

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/2004...
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 12:00 AM
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1. kick
:kick:
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 12:23 AM
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2. How many of them are in Texas?
Maybe the problem ought to be in the locales where the people are imprisoned...Bet most of 'em are in Texas...
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. Kick!
:dem:
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 04:44 AM
Response to Original message
4. Why is the court determining if these executions are "constitutional"?
Wouldn't it be better to consider whether they're moral / the right thing to do / acceptable in a modern society?

F*ck the legal technicalities of it, and just get on and ban it (like everybody wants them to do).

P.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 05:06 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Probably goes to interpretation of "cruel and unusual punishment"...
...clause in the US Constitution. It was designed to outlaw torture and excruciating forms of death. British and Europeans historically (Middle Ages, Renaissance, etc.) had developed some ingenious techniques of execution like drawing and quartering, burning at the stake; punishments like ham-stringing that crippled for life; many techniques to elicit confessions, such as the rack and the boot....

The Framers of the Constitution were men of the Enlightenment who believed human beings were actually making progress -- and would continue to make progress -- in this area as in others. They left this clause open to re-interpretation in the future.

However, the Bushites and Dominionists hark back to pre-Revolutionary and pre-Constitutional days -- to the days of fiery Calvinist preachers who believed that to spare the rod was to spoil the child and that beating was good for the little heathens because they were all born sinful. Those early Calvinists had no use for mollycoddling disobedient children -- and this extended to threats of death for disobedience (Biblically based of course). The "age of reason" was seven years old, past which you were supposed to know how to behave. Actual crime -- don't go there.

This mode of thinking has at least one staunch ally on the Supreme Court: Antonin Scalia. One of our DUers uses a Scalia quote in his sig line--something to the effect that if an innocent person is condemned to death using correct procedural methods that there is no bar in the law to stop the execution. I'm sure someone will post the whole thing shortly.

Anyhow, I'm glad that Jimmy Carter (God bless his sweet Baptist heart) has many allies in his plea to the Supremes for mercy and common sense. I wish them all the luck in the world, because they're going to need it.

Hekate
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KDLarsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 05:22 AM
Response to Original message
6. Nice spin..
The United States is among only a handful of nations that allow the practice.

They're one of two countries! IIRC Rwanda is the only other country in the world that allows execution of children under the age of 18. I think Moore had this bit in the "Stupid White Men.." book.
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