At least for juveniles...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2005, 12:26pm PT  

Good news from the Supreme Court for a change. America may be entering into the community of civilized countries...Though it's been a long and slow process, and we've still got a ways to go.

According to The NY Times...

The Supreme Court ruled today, in one of the most closely watched capital punishment cases in years, that imposing the death penalty on convicted murderers who were younger than 18 at the time of their crimes is unconstitutional.

The 5-to-4 decision, arising from a Missouri case, holds that executing young killers violates "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society," and that American society has come to regard juveniles as less culpable than adult criminals.

The ruling, which acknowledged "the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty," erases the death sentences imposed on about 70 defendants who were juveniles at the time they killed. Although 19 states nominally permit the execution of juvenile murderers, only Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma have executed any in the past decade.

Well, good for us. For once.

And on "International Death Penalty Abolition Day" of all days! Details on that and more at fine organizations here and here.