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Roper v. Simmons

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 543 U.S. 551, 125 S. Ct. 1183, 161 L. Ed. 2d 1, 2005 U.S.

Brief Fact Summary. Respondent committed murder when he was age 17. He was tried and sentenced to death after he turned 18.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. “The Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments forbid imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed.”

Facts. Respondent Simmons conspired to burglarize and murder a person with two friends. Only one fully participated. They entered the victim’s home, kidnapped her, bound her with duct tape and electrical cord, and threw her into a river. Respondent was 17 at the time. He subsequently bragged out the killing. He was taken into custody and confessed. He was put on trial as an adult, convicted, and sentenced to death.

Issue. “[W]hether it is permissible under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States to execute a juvenile offender who was older than 15 but younger than 18 when he committed a capital crime.”

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