Death Sentence Ruled 'Cruel And Unusual' For Cruel, Unusual Minors
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the death penalty for anyone under the age of 18 could fall under the jurisdiction of the Eight Amendment -- which guarantees criminals protection from cruel and unusual punishment -- and should therefore be outlawed, a decision that has drawn great praise from young criminals currently on death row for committing cruel and unusual crimes.
"I'm very grateful that I was spared this old, barbaric punishment," said Richard Greer, who was on death row for crushing a woman's head with a rock when he was 15. "People should be given the right to life."
"Finally, the United States catches up with other industrialized countries -- I can finally say we're civilized!" said Donna Ramirez gleefully, before describing to us how she, as a 16 year-old, held a bum on some nearby train tracks until he was decapitated by the 5:00 to Newark.
Others praised the mentality behind the decision; Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his decision that the State "cannot extinguish [a minor's] life and his potential to attain a mature understanding of his own humanity."
"When I was 17, I was young and foolish, and didn't understand what I was doing," explained the murderer of a family of five and their dog. "In fact, I distinctly remember thinking, 'I'm sure this is the right thing to do, and I'll probably get an award or something.' Of course, the instant I turned 18, I realized all too well the folly of my ways."
Those directly affected by the decision aren't the only ones speaking positively about it, though; many high-ranking officials in America's legal community were also pleased.
"Sometimes, kids just have to get some killing and raping out of their system before they mature," chuckled Jonathan Salk, a district attorney from New Jersey. "Heck, I can remember being a pretty 'wild child' myself -- I even was planning on pushing this one girl in my class off a bridge a few days before my 18th birthday, and I was going to tell everyone it was some Mexicans who did it. But just a few days later, those thoughts cleared from my mind, replaced by dreams of being a district attorney."
Predictably, the decision has not met with universal approval, even among the Justices themselves.
"I predict crime will skyrocket out of control as a result of this decision," warned Justice Clarence Thomas. "Being killed is the only thing today's 'supercriminal' children understand."
"Death sentencing used to allow us to quickly and efficiently clear out our overcrowded prisons," said William Rehnquist. "Now, youth offenders will just sit in prisons for decades."
Most of the world, however, is applauding the decision, as the United States was the only country in the world besides Somalia that didn't ratify the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child, which bans the execution of minors.
"All of the EU welcomes this decision," read a statement from the EU's presidency in Luxembourg. "Maybe this was the thing that made U.S. crime rates so much higher than other industrialized nations."
Former President Jimmy Carter agreed.
"Now young criminals, realizing they won't be killed for their crimes no matter how severe, will almost certainly curtail their illegal activities," he said.