Law and Inequality
The Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons 1 prohibited states from executing offenders for murders committed when younger than eighteen years of age. Roper found a national consensus existed against executing adolescents based on state statutes and jury practices. 2 The Justices also conducted an independent proportionality analysis and concluded that youths' immature judgment, susceptibility to negative peer influences, and transitory personality development reduced their culpability and precluded the most severe sentence. 3
Barry C. Feld, Adolescent Criminal Responsibility, Proportionality, and Sentencing Policy: Roper, Graham, Miller/Jackson, and the Youth Discount, 31 Law & Ineq. 263 (2013), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/296.