Death Penalty for Crimes by Youths Is Halted

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 1, 2005 ( The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution forbids the execution of killers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes.

Such executions violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the court said today.

The 5-4 decision throws out the death sentences of about 70 juvenile murderers and bars states from seeking to execute minors for future crimes, according to the Associated Press.