Thursday, October 14, 2004

In the past two days the Supreme Court has agreed to review cases on two highly contentious issues: the place of religion in public life, and the death penalty as it applies to 16- and 17-year-olds.

On Tuesday, October 12, the High Court accepted two cases about displaying the Ten Commandments on government property: in one, a Texas court ruled that displaying the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol was constitutional; and in the other, a Kentucky case, two counties were ordered to remove copies of the Ten Commandments that were displayed on the walls of the respective courthouses.

And on Wednesday, SCOTUS agreed to review an appeal by Missouri of a state Supreme Court decision that the sentencing of a young man to die for a murder committed when he was 17 constituted "cruel and unusual punishment" and thus was a violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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