Decisions on Very Controversial Issues

You are a judge in the fictitious state of Barbieland. As a judge, you are called on to make decisions on very controversial issues. Based on the laws of Barbieland, juveniles are considered adults at the age of 16. The first controversial issue you must deal with is a convicted juvenile sex offender. In your state, juveniles can be sentenced to death for sexually based offenses. Shortly after his conviction, the Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons, to abolish the death penalty for offenders less than 18 years of age.

If you agree with the decision or if you support the dissenters, Justices O’Connor and Scalia, respectively, then explain your reasons for the same.

  • Analyze the majority opinions and explain the factors on which the rulings are based. Analyze the dissents and explain the factors on which the dissents are based.
  • Explain the ethical principles that underlie your opinion about this Supreme Court decision.

To view the Roper v. Simmons case, please complete a “key word” search using the search engine of your choice for: Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005).

The death penalty has now been abolished and the offender’s sentence has been commuted to a ten year sentence in prison with the possibility of early release if he completes all mandated requirements including a sexual rehabilitation program to prevent further sexual aggression.

  • If the offender is released early, what form of deterrence should be imposed and why?

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