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Supreme Court Review

Criminal Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Aggravating Youth: Roper V Simmons And Age Discrimination, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2005

Aggravating Youth: Roper V Simmons And Age Discrimination, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

In Roper v. Simmons, the Supreme Court confronted a difficult question: Given that being younger than eighteen is merely a proxy for diminished culpability, why not let jurors decide whether youth mitigates the culpability of an individual sixteen- or seventeen-year-old offender? The Court's subtle answer draws on psychological literature about the differences between juveniles and adults, but ultimately depends as much on concerns about the mind of the adult juror as on the distinctive traits of juveniles. Read in its best light, Kennedy's opinion seems to turn on the insight that while age-based classifications are rational – they are ...


"Twisting Slowly In The Wind": A Search For Constitutional Limits On Coercion Of The Criminal Defendant, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1980

"Twisting Slowly In The Wind": A Search For Constitutional Limits On Coercion Of The Criminal Defendant, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In the corridor outside Courtroom Four, Foster Clark approached the prosecutor. "I was wondering," he said, "are we really going to have to try this case?"

"Well," the prosecutor said, "that depends. He's dead on and gone to heaven, if that's what you mean. He doesn't have a prayer."

"I was wondering if we could work something out," Clark said. "I haven't really had a chance to talk with him, but I was wondering."

"So talk to him," the prosecutor said. "Find out where he stands, and call me."

* * *

"Look," the prosecutor said, "you know I ...