Morning Bell: Adult Time for Adult Crimes

Conn Carroll /

This fall the Supreme Court will hear two cases from Florida challenging a state’s ability to sentence violent juvenile offenders to life without the possibility of parole. Long unquestioned, life without parole for the very worst juvenile offenders only recently came under fire after Justice Anthony M. Kennedy reasoned in the majority opinion in Roper v Simmons that since teenagers are susceptible to negative influences, including peer pressure, capital punishment violated their 8th Amendment rights. Leftist activists have seized on this language, and are mounting a coordinated misinformation campaign to expand Roper’s juvenile death penalty ban to life without parole sentences.

At the heart of this campaign are self-published “studies” containing highly questionable assertions and gross misrepresentation of facts. For example, the Equal Justice Initiative’s 2007 report spotlights the case of Ashley Jones as a case of injustice that cries out for reform. This is how EJI describes the facts of Jones’s case: “At 14, Ashley tried to escape the violence and abuse by running away with an older boyfriend who shot and killed her grandfather and aunt. Her grandmother and sister who were injured during the offense, want Ashley to come home.” Those are the “facts” according to leftist activists. Now here is just a portion of the judge’s actual finding of facts in the case (warning this is not for the faint of heart): (more…)