Brett Kavanaugh Declares Children Deserve Life Sentences

Illustration for article titled Brett Kavanaugh Declares Children Deserve Life Sentences
Image: Melina Mara-Pool (Getty Images)

While most of us have tried unsuccessfully to forget Brett Kavanaugh’s little crybaby tantrum over the fact that a woman attempted to hold him accountable for allegedly sexually assaulting her at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, I’m afraid I must call his ruddy little possum face and spit-caked mouth as he moodily chalked his behavior up to teenage poor judgment. Because, you see, using the Supreme Court vote he was granted by the Senate after his little fit, Kavanaugh has now decided every other kid can piss off to a life sentence without parole.

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Kavanaugh—the man who once said “If we want to sit here and talk about whether a Supreme Court nomination should be based on a high school yearbook page, I think that’s taken us to a new level of absurdity”—is now writing the decision for the majority in a 6-3 Supreme Court decision that judges do not have to find “permanent incorrigibility” before sentencing a juvenile to life without parole. Kavanaugh now appears to believe that crimes committed by minors (at least those who are not him) should be punished no differently than crimes committed by adults:

“As this case again demonstrates, any homicide, and particularly a homicide committed by an individual under 18, is a horrific tragedy for all involved and for all affected,” Kavanaugh wrote.

The case in question is that of Brett Jones, sentenced to life without parole after stabbing his grandfather to death during an argument over his girlfriend that occurred when he was 15. According to reports Jones had a history of physical abuse from his stepfather and was living with his grandfather, who reports say was also physically threatening Jones during the fight in which Jones stabbed him, for his own protection. In previous years, the Supreme Court has rethought its position on harsh sentences for juveniles, according to NPR, so this decision is an indicator of a sea change in Court stance due to the Trump-era additions of Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett:

“Over the past two decades, the law on juvenile sentencing has changed significantly. The Supreme Court — primed by research that shows the brains of juveniles are not fully developed, and that they are likely to lack impulse control — has issued a half dozen opinions holding that juveniles are less culpable than adults for their acts. And the court has also ruled that some of the harshest punishments for acts committed by children are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.”

So I guess when it’s Brett Kavanaugh’s beer-addled teenage brain, we’ve got to understand that it’s absurd to hold adults accountable for things that happened when they were kids, but when it’s a different kid who is not Brett Kavanaugh, then the official legal opinion is “Fuck that kid.” Got it. Can’t wait to see what other wisdom Trump’s picks have to pass down.

DISCUSSION

sorvex
Sorely Vexed

I guess Kavanaugh's Federalist Society paymasters must have figured out that the school-to-prison pipeline could be made much more profitable by eliminating the school part.