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Posted: September 4th, 2023

Evolving standards of decency

the term ″evolving standards of decency″ is coined in describing the Supreme Court′s legal foundation on the question of executions of juveniles and life sentences without parole. After reading each of the seven Supreme Court penalty cases, do you agree or disagree with the Court′s most current rulings as to juveniles? Would you agree that the Court′s position on the death penalty and life sentences without parole is an ″evolving standard of decency?″ If not, what term would you propose?
== an objective analysis of the Supreme Court’s rulings on the question of executions of juveniles and life sentences without parole.

In the seven Supreme Court penalty cases, the Court has gradually shifted its position on the constitutionality of imposing the death penalty or life sentences without parole on juveniles. The Court’s most recent rulings have held that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment prohibits the imposition of the death penalty on juveniles and mandates that juveniles convicted of non-homicide crimes cannot be sentenced to life without parole.

The Court’s position on the death penalty and life sentences without parole can be characterized as an “evolving standard of decency,” as the Court has gradually refined and clarified its interpretation of the Eighth Amendment over time. The Court has recognized that the evolving standards of decency in society may require a reevaluation of previous legal precedent, particularly in light of advances in science and a greater understanding of the nature of juvenile offenders.

In conclusion, I agree with the Court’s most current rulings as to juveniles and consider the Court’s position on the death penalty and life sentences without parole to be an evolving standard of decency. It reflects a growing recognition that juveniles are less culpable than adults and should not be subject to the harshest penalties reserved for the worst adult offenders.

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