MO Supreme Court Overturns Juvenile Death Sentence
Jefferson City, MO – A divided Missouri Supreme Court today
set aside the death sentence of convicted killer Christopher Simmons, because he was younger than 18 at the time of his crime.
The state's highest court based its decision on a US Supreme Court ruling. The justices say a national consensus had developed against the execution of juveniles -- and 18 states now probhibit
The high court in Jefferson City also said in its 4-to-3 decision that a US Supreme Court decision last year prohibiting
the execution of the mentally retarded should apply to juveniles.
Simmons is now 26. He was eight months shy of his 18th birthday when he broke into a woman's home, kidnapped her and pushed her to her death off a train trestle into the Meramec River. He was sentenced in 1994.