Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/17/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Should children convicted of murder spend the rest of their life in prison?

Some say that their sentences were cruel and unusual. Evan Miller and Kuntrell Jackson have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for their part in murders committed while both were only 14 years of age. Their supporters are now taking their cases before the Supreme Court. 

Evan Miller, white shirt was a troubled teen living in a trailer park in Alabama in 2003 when he and a 16-year-old friend fought with a drunken neighbor and bludgeoned 52-year-old Cole Cannon with a baseball bat. The two then set his home on fire, leaving the man to die in the blaze.

Evan Miller, white shirt was a troubled teen living in a trailer park in Alabama in 2003 when he and a 16-year-old friend fought with a drunken neighbor and bludgeoned 52-year-old Cole Cannon with a baseball bat. The two then set his home on fire, leaving the man to die in the blaze.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/17/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Teen offenders, murders, life sentences, Supreme Court


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in their cases. The high court's ruling could have far-reaching effects. More than 2,200 people nationwide have been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles, which is defined as 17 years of age or younger.

The Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., a civil rights group, is representing Miller and Jackson. They hope the companion cases will be another victory for juvenile criminals, who have found some relief before the Supreme Court over the past seven years.

In 2005, the court halted executions for juvenile offenders. Two years ago, the court ruled that it is unconstitutional to impose life sentences on juveniles convicted of crimes that do not involve homicide.

Lawyers for Miller, who is now 23, and Jackson, who is now 26, contend that juveniles are works in progress and will argue that forensic evidence shows adolescent brains are not fully developed.

"Condemning an immature, vulnerable, and not-yet-fully-formed adolescent to life in prison - no matter the crime - is constitutionally a disproportionate punishment," they say in their petition to the court.

Miller was a troubled teen living in a trailer park in Alabama in 2003 when he and a 16-year-old friend fought with a drunken neighbor and bludgeoned 52-year-old Cole Cannon with a baseball bat. The two then set his home on fire, leaving the man to die in the blaze.

Cannon's daughter, Candy Cheatham says she is convinced Miller is a ruthless killer. "My father had nine broken ribs and blunt-force trauma to his head," Cheatham told msnbc.com. "We could not have an open casket at his funeral because of the condition of his body -- it was charred."
 
Kuntrell Jackson was convicted of taking part in a murder during the robbery of a video store. Another youth shot the clerk.

The Equal Justice Initiative has declined to make Miller and Jackson available for interviews ahead of the court hearing.

Kim Taylor-Thompson, a professor of clinical law at the New York University School of Law, has studied juvenile offenders for nearly a decade and agrees with the group. "No one is excusing the fact of what happened," she said. "What we are saying is: Did these two young men engage in thought processes that would make us say today they're the type of individuals who can never be rehabilitated, never change and be locked up to never see the light of day?

"We believe that they deserve a second look."

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


Should Americans have job preference over unskilled-illegal immigrants? President Obama doesn't think so Watch

Image of New polls are showing that Americans are tired of illegal immigrants getting benefits at the expense of citizens and legal immigrants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to the Associated Press: "one of the more popular requests among business and family groups is a change in the way green cards are counted," which would "essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter