Jason Court of The United States of America
Jason AcostaMrs. Perez2nd Period12/18/17Roperv SimmonsIn the Court case Roper v Simmons, ChristopherSimmons was sentenced to death for a murder he committed even though he wasunder the age of eighteen. The Supreme Court of The United States of Americaheld that Capital Punishment under the age of eighteen was unconstitutional. In early September 1993, ChristopherSimmons, Charlie Benjamin, and John Tessmer, were discussing a possible plan tocommitting a burglary and murdering that person after the burglary. Simmonswould repeatedly plan his crime, he would find someone to rob, he would tie thatperson up, and push them off the bridge.
Simmons thought he could get away withthe crime because of his age, he also told this to his friends because theywere also under the age of eighteen. Simmons apparently believed that a “voodooman” who used to live in a close trailer park would be the best person to kidnap.People said that the voodoo man ownedhotels and motels and had lots of money despite him living in a trailer park(Missourideathrow).On September 8, 1993, Simmons met with theother boys around two a.m.
The next morning, they would carry out the plan thatthey made. They met up at the house of Brian Moomey, Moomey was twenty-nine andwas a convicted felon who allowed teens to hang out at his house. Simmons andBenjamin left Moomey’s house and went to Shirly Crooks house, a neighbor ofSimmons. The two found a brokenback window open at the rear of Crook’s home. They opened the window, unlockedthe back door, and entered Mrs.
Crooks house. Moving throughout Mrs. Crookshouse, Simmons turned on a light that awoke Mrs. Crooks from her sleep. She satup in bed and asked, “Who’s there?” Simmons opened the door to her bedroom andrecognized the women with whom he had previously had a car crash with before.Mrs.
Crook apparently also remembered Simmons face. After, she was tied up shewas taken to a railroad trestle and she was thrown in to the river. The nextday Simmons was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of ShirleyCrooks. The Roper v. Simmons trial took placeon January 26th of 2004. Christopher Simmons started the Supreme Court casebecause he felt that the initial sentence of death was in violation of his 8thAmendment Right. This Amendment to the United States Constitution providesprotection against punishments that are cruel and unusual. In the Supreme Courtthe vote was 5-4, this means that more people voted on saying that CapitalPunishment under the age of eighteen was unconstitutional.
I would agree too onthis because even though he and his friend did a gruesome murder, there stillunder age and still need time to realize their mistakes they did or crimes theycommitted. They voted in the court and in a 4-3 vote to change his deathsentence, Judge Stith sentenced Simmons with life without parole instead of thedeath sentence, which is what I would have sentenced him to if I was the judge. In my Opinion I do think this case was fairlysettled because as I said on the paragraph above, the people that committedtheir crimes need to realize their mistake.
I would have sentenced him to thesame sentence because it was a gruesome murder, but I still think a lot ofpeople would have wanted the death sentence not only because of the murder butbecause he bragged. After Simmons committed the crime he continued to bragabout it to other people and friends of his crime which was just one way hedidn’t show remorse. Simmons was abused when he was a child, his family wasbroken apart, his mother and father were divorced and then re-married.
Simmonsmostly lived with his mother, Cheryl Hayes and his stepfather, Bob Hayes.Simmons was very attached with his father, when his mother got re-married, hernew husband would abuse Simmons, but Bob’s children did not get abused. Thiscould have been a big reason for the murder but that’s not it. Simmons had drugand alcohol problems too.
His family did have history of psychiatric illnessesand substance abuse which was said by his family. When Simmons was a teenagerhe used to drink every day, do a bunch drugs such as, weed, LSD, and shrooms.He didn’t decide to drink and to do drugs, his family had no support for himthat’s why he started doing all this harmful stuff, it was a way for him toreduce anxiety and get rid of all the bad thoughts he had in his head at thetime. The fact that he was abused by his step-dad is a key factor in this,before the abuse, the drugs, and the alcohol he had no prior history ofviolence and no criminal record.
If all thisevidence was presented in court to a defense attorney, Simmons would have beencharged with a less harsh charge, and if more people have heard about this sideof the story more people would want Simmons stepfather to be in jail and notSimmons himself because it’s outrageous.This case has so many messed up parts and somany good parts. If his stepfather was not married his mother’s he would’ve notdone drugs or alcohol or whatever he used to do, even better he may have nevereven thought of committing this crime, because he never had any problems withthe police. Mrs. Crooks life may have been saved if it wasn’t for hisstepfather.
Since Simmons has already been charged with life without parole wecan’t do anything to help him, but he can thank his defense attorney that hesaved him from being executed, thank him that he took it to the Supreme Courtto claim Capital Punishment under the age of 18 is unconstitutional breakingthe eight amendment.