Decisions on Very Controversial Issues


 To support your work, use your course and text readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment by the end of the week.

You are a judge in the fictitious state of Barbieland. As a judge, you are called on to make decisions on very controversial issues. Based on the laws of Barbieland, juveniles are considered adults at the age of 16. The first controversial issue you must deal with is a convicted juvenile sex offender. In your state, juveniles can be sentenced to death for sexually based offenses. Shortly after his conviction, the Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons, to abolish the death penalty for offenders less than 18 years of age.

If you agree with the decision or if you support the dissenters, Justices O’Connor and Scalia, respectively, then explain your reasons for the same.

  • Analyze the majority opinions and explain the factors on which the rulings are based. Analyze the dissents and explain the factors on which the dissents are based.
  • Explain the ethical principles that underlie your opinion about this Supreme Court decision.

To view the Roper v. Simmons case, please complete a “key word” search using the search engine of your choice for: Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)

The death penalty has now been abolished and the offender’s sentence has been commuted to a ten-year sentence in prison with the possibility of early release if he completes all mandated requirements including a sexual rehabilitation program to prevent further sexual aggression.

  • If the offender is released early, what form of deterrence should be imposed and why?

Support your discussion with analysis of recidivism rates, imposed deterrence, and other trends related to sex offenders.


                                       Decisions on Very Controversial Issues

The Court underlined the need to consider the changing norms of decency that mark the growth of developing society in determining which punishments are excessively unusual and cruel. The Court viewed the constitutionality of executing juvenile offenders as similar to that of execution of mentally disabled people, regarding that the latter constitutes an unusual and cruel punishment (Leavitt, 2014). Mentally retarded people often understand right from wrong and are capable of standing trial, but they have limited abilities to process and comprehend information, abstract from mistakes and learn from past experiences, communicate, control impulses, engage in logical reasoning, and understand how others react. As Benekos and Merlo (2019) states, their deficiencies do not demonstrate an exemption of criminal penalties, but they do reduce their personal culpability. Similarly, juvenile offenders are considered less culpable and have less criminal responsibility than their adult counterparts especially due to immaturity. Thus executing juvenile offenders is viewed as a cruel and unusual punishment as well.

 In the Court’s view, society today considers adolescents as categorically less culpable than the ordinary offender, thus stating the national consensus objective evidence, as reflected by jury practices and legislative enactments, is the main basis for deciding whether a specific penalty breaches society’s growing norms of decency. The fact that the juvenile death penalty was prohibited in 30 states and 12 rejecting it altogether was significant to the majority opinion in the case (Leavitt, 2014).……………for help with this assignment contact us via email Address:

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