Another Stand-Alone Newsbite:
In a Colorado town in 1996, Verle Mangum bludgeoned Janet and Jennifer Davis to death.
Janet, a 42-year-old nurse’s aide, had come home from work and discovered Mangum, then 17, having sex with her 11-year-old daughter, Jennifer.
Eleven year old daughter...
When Janet reached for the phone to call the police, Mangum picked up a baseball bat and fatally bashed her with it.
He then used the bat to murder Jennifer as she cowered in the bedroom.
A jury eventually convicted Mangum of both murders. Under Colorado law he was given a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
In a sane world he'd be executed...
In 2007, when the convictions were upheld on appeal, the prosecutor expressed relief. “This was one of the most heinous crimes in the history of our community,” District Attorney Pete Hautzinger told the Grand Junction Free Press. “It is very gratifying to know for sure that he will be staying in prison for the rest of his life.”
But that’s no longer a sure thing — not after the Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 ruling in Miller v. Alabama last month that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishments” does not allow states to mandate life without parole for murderers who were minors when they committed their crime.
Yet another absurd, anti-constitutional ruling by out of control Justices who view themselves as above the Constitution... unencumbered by the Rule of Law...
Folks... such sentencing - and even beyond... a sentence of death - was not uncommon in the era the Constitution became our Supreme Law of the Land. Therefore, ipso facto, such punishment is not unconstitutional. If "evolving standards" lead a minority - or even a majority - of Americans to believe such punishment should be outlawed, then the proper remedy is to seek a new constitutional amendment.
The decision of the Court in Miller v. Alabama is wholly illegitimate.
Mangum, like some 2,000 other juvenile killers serving mandatory life terms, including 60 in Massachusetts, will now have to be resentenced.
The families of murder victims nationwide have now lost the reassurance that their loved ones’ killers would never be turned loose.
But worse... the Constitution... the Rule of Law... has suffered yet another body blow imparted by those who are sworn to uphold rather than tear down the Constitution!
District Attorney Hautzinger, outraged by the decision, said its impact would be “inhuman.”
Keep reading, folks... and prepare to be disgusted...
[W]hen Mitt Romney held a town-hall meeting in Grand Junction last week the Hautzinger showed up and asked him to comment on what the Supreme Court had done. Romney sidestepped.
Romney said only that he would “look at the particular case,” and that he favors “swift and severe punishment” for serious crimes.
Yep. That's Romney. That's the GOP presidential nominee. That's the man I'll vote for in November... though I'll have to be drunk as a skunk... disgusted by my own actions in pulling the lever for this piece of garbage based upon my belief that I have no choice.
What Romney should have said was that the court’s ruling was illogical and indefensible — a textbook case of justices turning personal preferences into constitutional commands.
There is nothing uncommon about laws requiring life without parole for juvenile murderers, so such punishment can hardly be barred by the Eighth Amendment.
But, folks... again... even were it otherwise, the only legitimate constitutional grounds for the Court to declare government action unconstitutional is a finding that said action was unconstitutional from the moment the Constitution or one of its various Amendments became the Law of the Land!
As Justice Elena Kagan’s majority opinion concedes, legislators in 28 states plus the federal government have enacted laws mandating that penalty. Liberals may disapprove of mandatory “true life,” but it plainly isn’t unusual. By definition, therefore, it isn’t “cruel and unusual.”
The Miller case marks the third time in recent years that the Supreme Court has invoked “evolving standards of decency” to rationalize a new constitutional barrier to punishing minors convicted of terrible crimes. In Roper v. Simmons(2005), the court outlawed the death penalty for any criminal who was under 18 at the time of his offense. At the time, the majority observed that “life imprisonment without the possibility of parole” would remain an option. Yet now the court tells states they may not insist on that option.
In Graham v. Florida (2010), the court prohibited sentencing juvenile offenders to a lifetime behind bars for any crime but homicide, no matter how violent. But now five justices declare that mandatory life sentences are unconstitutional for youthful killers too. And it’s only a matter of time, they hint broadly, until even discretionary life-without-parole is struck down.
What's so sad... so pathetic... so disheartening... is that while the author of this piece - Mr. Jacoby - clearly understands basic constitutional law, and while I - your humble bloghost - rant, rave, and rail against judicial overreach constantly... Mitt Romney has nothing of substance to say. The GOP as a party largely refuses - outright refuses - to condemn the anti-constitutionists and via their cowardice they enable the Left to falsely implant the notion that wrong is right into the public mind.
My friends... we have met the enemy and he is... us.