Monday, we wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on life without parole for juvenile offenders and how Texas was actually more progressive on that issue than the Court

Today’s Rick Casey column in the Houston Chronicle, which is also about Texas being ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of life without parole for juvenile offenders, has a couple of interesting quotes. 

One is by Justice Clarence Thomas and the other by Williamson County DA John Bradley. Thomas comes across sounding not quite of sound mind, while John “The Wolf” Bradley sheds his persona as Rick Perry’s “cleaner” and actually sounds reasonable.

Casey’s Thomas Quote:

In his dissent to the Supreme Court’s ruling banning life without parole for juvenile offenders who do not kill, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote that life without parole “would not have offended the standards that prevailed at the founding” of our nation, and we are bound by the standards. At that time, as Justice John Paul Stevens pointed out, a 7-year-old could be sentenced to death for stealing $50.

Casey’s Bradley quote:

The bill (banning LWOP for juveniles) made its way through a very difficult legislative session with surprising ease. At a Senate committee hearing it was supported not only by the ACLU, but by Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, one of the state’s most aggressive prosecutors who has made a name for himself as the controversial new chairman of the Texas Forensic Science Commission.

“I was not a big supporter of life without parole,” Bradley testified. “I think even people who commit some of the most horrible crimes need an incentive to behave (in prison) and to rehabilitate and develop over a long period of time. I think that applies even greater when that person is a juvenile.”

Casey finishes up with a nice quote of his own making:

The majority, however, continued a long-standing practice of applying evolving societal norms.
Defense lawyers are already talking about asking the Supreme Court to bar life without parole for juveniles convicted of murder.
It’s not hard to imagine them arguing that if the Texas Legislature bans it, then it must be outside of societal norms.

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One Response to One Nutty Comment from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a Sane One from DA John Bradley

  1. Anonymous says:

    The reason Bradley wasn't a fan of Life Without Parole wasn't because people needed a reason to rehabilitate, it was because it makes it harder for a DA to get a death sentence in a capital case.

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