The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Missouri Supreme Court case involving death penalty eligibility for minors. At issue was the case of Christopher Simmons, who was 17-years-old when he kidnapped neighbor Shirley Crook in 1993, tied her, and threw her off a bridge in St. Louis County. Prosecutors claimed Simmons had boasted that because of his age he could get away with killing the woman. Initially, Simmons was sentenced to death, but his attorneys argued he should not be executed because of his age at the time of the killing. The State Supreme Court agreed. It set aside Simmons’ death sentence and resentenced him to life in prison with no chance for probation or parole. The highest court in the land has now weighed in, saying the Missouri Supreme Court took the appropriate action. In making its ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has barred the death penalty for all killers throughout the country who were under the age of 18 when they committed their crimes.
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