Robert F. Glass

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In Roper v. Simmons, the United States Supreme Court held that executing a person under the age of eighteen constituted cruel and unusual punishment as prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Relying on support ranging from scientific and sociological studies to the laws of foreign countries, the Court reversed its 1989 ruling in Stanford v. Kentucky, which upheld the constitutionality of juvenile execution. This case is important because it (1) represents the Court's increasingly restrictive view with regard to permissible punishment under the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and (2) raises significant questions about the Supreme Court's use of international and foreign law to support its conclusions-as it did here-for future issues.