San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


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When children kill, as they always have and probably always will, the state must juggle two distinct and oftentimes conflicting concerns: its police power and its parens patriae interest. These concerns are not, however, mutually exclusive. There is a delicate balance that must be maintained. Clearly, the state must incapacitate and punish children who commit serious criminal acts, but, as Simmons says, that does not mean that minors can be executed, nor, as the Authors maintain, be consigned to living death behind bars without any hope of respite. The legal system must somehow be adjusted for children.

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