Thursday, July 19, 2012

"The decisions came in the context of accumulating scientific evidence"

Above is from George Will of all people, acknowledging that juvenile criminal defendants have different brains and different levels of culpability than adults:
This [Supreme Court] ruling extends two others, one holding that the Eighth Amendment bars capital punishment for children under 18, the other that it bars life without parole for a juvenile convicted of a non-homicide offense. These decisions held that regarding culpability, and hence sentencing, children are constitutionally unlike adults. The decisions came in the context of accumulating scientific evidence about increased impulsivity and diminished responsibility because of adolescent brain development.
I vacillate between wanting to react with snarkiness versus simply welcoming sanity when I find it coming from an unexpected person.  I sure wish he'd replicate his interest in accumulation of scientific evidence to the far more conclusive area of climate change.  Or better yet, I'd like to know why a person like Will can think reasonably in some regards (this isn't the first time for him) and fall so short in others.

Anyway, thanks for the sanity, George.  Consider expanding it.