It has come to pass that the Supreme Court of the United States is controlled by six people who are usually referred to as conservatives, though the defining feature of their characters is not “conservativism,” it’s a religiously-justified idealogical rigidity hostile to enlightened, liberal, compassionate ideals and attitudes.
That this is the case was conclusively revealed in the court’s recent 6-3 ruling, which ignored precedent in order to uphold the sentencing of a 31-year-old man to life in prison without even the possibility of parole for killing his grandfather when he was barely 15 years old.
This ruling will do nothing to deter juveniles from committing violent crimes. It denies the possibility of redemption. It denies the possibility that someone’s psychic state might change over the course of his life from what it was when he was an abused child. It denies noncontroversial findings of neuroscientists that the frontal cerebral cortex of human brains – the faculty responsible for exercising judgment – is slow to develop and far from fully formed in the brains of adolescents.
In rendering their decision, these six justices revealed their corrupted vision of human life, their shrunken-spiritedness and their ignorance of science. That they control the court is one of the tragedies of our times.
Edward Packard Durango