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Graham v. Florida, a Footnote


In Graham v. Florida, decided a year ago next month, five Justices of the Supreme Court took the view that it is always cruel and unusual punishment to impose LWOP on a person under eighteen years of age for a non-homicide offense, no matter what it is.  Chief Justice Roberts believed that the punishment in Graham's particular case was cruel and unusual, but would not have established a per se rule.  Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alitio dissented.

I noted here that the decision had some ominous language for the death penalty.  Today, MSNBC brings us the news of a fellow, said to be 14 (although he doesn't look 14 to me) who brings his own perspective to the Jusitces' paean to teenage criminality.

The problem in Graham, as in other instances of high-minded judicial meandering, is that it sleepwalks its way past the fact that future victims are no less real, and no less deserving of the law's protection, than today's hoodlum, juvenile though he may be. 


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