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March 1, 2005

More evidence of the death of death?

The Supreme Court's ruling in Roper only has a direct impact on a very small number of cases, since very few juveniles are sentenced to death even in those states which had permitted the practice.  But the ruling is of grand symbolic importance, and may provide additional evidence to support my prior speculation here that the punishment of death may itself be dying a slow death.  (Consider also that, with only five executions in the first two months of 2005, this year is on pace for the fewest executions in the United States in over a decade.)  Though I do not expect complete abolition any time soon, opponents of the death penalty are surely to be encouraged by the direction of recent capital sentencing developments.

March 1, 2005 at 12:32 PM | Permalink


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