Granting the premise "that adolescents are generally less blameworthy than adults who commit similar crimes," I wrote, it does not necessarily follow that all [juveniles]...are incapable of the moral culpability that would justify the imposition of capital punishment.That only three states have executed a juvenile in the past decade shows this, but the majority twists this to show an "emerging national consensus" (isn't it interesting that the twelve jurors in this case who recommended the death penalty were part of the apparent "anti-consensus?"). Isn't the facts that it is used so sparingly just as much evidence that establishes the reasoned judgment of prosecutors: only when faced with heinous, unspeakable crimes and a mature offender, will the prosecutors move for the death penalty. Admittedly, I am far away from this crime and know only the facts from the opinion, but Simmons himself might not have been the best vehicle for deciding that states and prosecutors can no longer use their reasoned judgment, but instead that minors are categorically excluded from the possibility of the death penalty (Should I also mention that in preparing his "plan", Simmons convinced an accomplice they could get away with it "because they were minors"). This decision maybe should not, then, present a lot of comfort to the Shirley Crook's of the country.
I realize this has been a somewhat normative analysis, and in my later points, I hope to take up more specific legal arguments about the manipulation of precedent, the overruling of himself by Justice Kennedy, the use of secondary materials and studies to lead to the conclusion that a national consensus exists, the apparent criteria for national consensus', why the Eighth Amendment is apparently "different" from other constitutional protections, and the use of subjective moralism in judging. Like I said, I have a lot to say about this opinion.