A prisoner on Missouri’s death row could have his life spared thanks to a ruling from the US Supreme Court. Justices stopped the execution of Daryl Atkins in Virginia, because Atkins is mentally retarded. The lawyer for Christopher Simmons, who sits on death row at the prison in Potosi, says the case might help her argument that Simmons shouldn’t be put to death because he was a juvenile when he murdered Shirley Crook of Fenton in 1993. Simmons was 17 at the time of the crime. Attorney Jennifer Brewer has argued that Simmons didn’t have full brain development at the time of the crime. She points out the state does not allowed juveniles to have certain rights, because they lack the brain development and maturity to handle them. Brewer plans to thoroughly review the Supreme Court ruling to see how it might apply to her client. She says her next move is to file with the Missouri Supreme Court to have Simmon’s execution stopped. The State Supreme Court has twice delayed the execution.
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