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LAW 4051 (31)
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Chapter 14

LAW 4051 Chapter 14: Roper

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LAW 4051

Roper: Facts • In Missouri 1993, Simmons and a friend broke into Shirley Crook’s home, tied her up, beat her, drove her to a state park and threw her over a bridge • Simmons had confessed to the murder, performed a videotaped reenactment at the crime scene, and there was testimony from Tessmer against him that showed premeditation
 Roper Chapter • precedent ◦ Coker: death penalty for aggravated rape of an adult victim was cruel and unusual under the 8th amendment ◦ Thompson and Stanford: it is not unconstitutional to give the death penalty for 16 and 17 year olds • the Roper case ◦ easily proved that he was guilty of first degree murder (his confession + witnesses who said he talked about committing such a crime before) ◦ defense offered age as mitigating, but the prosecution argued that it should not be (“Isn’t that scary?”) ◦ failed in proving ineffective counsel, who didn’t present the evidence of his troubled upbringing • Atkins precedent ◦ execution of mentally retarded offenders was cruel and unusual ◦ distinguished a societal change in views • Missouri SC reverses the sentence ◦ Justice Stith noted that the analysis in Atkins more closely resembled Thompson than that in Stanford, and that the opinion had pointed to a national consensus against the DP for juvenile offe
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