Washington D.C., Jul 19, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Theodore Cardinal McCarrick has called on the United States Supreme Court to halt the execution of persons for crimes committed as juveniles.
"Just two years ago, the Court concluded that the execution of persons with mental retardation cannot be squared with the constitutional guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment," the archbishop of Washington said. "It is our hope that the Supreme Court will now extend the same moral wisdom and legal reasoning to the use of the death penalty against those who committed capital crimes as juveniles."
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and 29 other religious organizations filed a brief, asking the Federal Supreme Court to affirm a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that the execution of persons for crimes committed as juveniles violates the Constitution.
The case before the Court, Roper v. Simmons, involves a Missouri inmate, Christopher Simmons, who was sentenced to death for a murder committed when he was 17.