Applications of Mens Rea and Juvenile Culpability

Provide a 4 pages analysis while answering the following question: Applications of Mens Rea and Juvenile Culpability: Roper v. Simmons (2005) & Atkins v. Virginia (2002). Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. In juvenile criminal law, developments in the cases of Atkins v. Virginia (2002), Roper v. Simmons (2005) and Stanford v. Kentucky (1989) provide different perspectives on the decisions made regarding juvenile mens rea amidst age restriction considerations.

Kevin Stanford was 17 years of age in 1981 when he shot and killed Barbel Poore before committing other criminal offenses on the diseased in the company of an accomplice which included robbery, rape and sodomy. It was held that the sensitivity of the crimes warranted the transfer of the trial out a juvenile court and the accused was convicted of murder and other first degree crimes as committed. Stanford was found guilty and sentenced to a death sentence as well as extra 45 years of imprisonment. The Kentucky Supreme Court withheld the earlier court death sentence despite the unordinary conviction as an adult while he was still a minor during the commission of the crime. In the decision, the court cited the correctness of the court hearing the original case in trying the juvenile appellant as an adult due to the lack of demonstration that there was chance of rehabilitation in the juvenile justice system. The gravity of the offenses defied the age of the offender and the mens rea factor formed the conviction of the courts’ decisions amidst contestations from groups citing violation of the Eight Amendment barring cruel and unusual punishment (Champion, 2005).

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Daryl Atkins was 18 years old in 1996 when under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, he committed a murder and other criminal offenses in the company of an accomplice. The accused juveniles abducted Eric Nesbitt before murdering him with an intention of stealing from him but on finding that he only a little money in his wallet, they forced him to an ATM to withdraw more money.

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