Are there violations of the 8th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution in the execution of minor citizens?
- 8th Amendment to the Constitution.
- 14th Amendment
- Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)
Conclusion of Atkins v. Virginia on the impossibility of executing the mentally disabled, combined with constitutional principles prohibiting cruel or unusual punishment, were used as material to the case. The Missouri court also examined the dynamics of public opinion to ascertain public attitudes toward juveniles’ execution.
Yes, by the standards of modern society, juvenile children’s execution reflects cruel and unusual punishment, attitudes toward which have changed dramatically since the 1993 court verdict.
What is most surprising about this court case is how much public opinion affects the structure of life: recognizing the execution of juveniles was constitutional in the view of the 1980-1990 generation, but ten years later, it is no longer perceived as something natural. I think this is how a deep democracy should work, having an impact on all branches of government.