St. Louis Public Radio News
11:54 am
Tue March 4, 2003

Mo. Sup. Ct. Will Hear Arguments on Executing Minors

St. Louis, MO – A Missouri death row inmate who committed murder when he was a juvenile will have another chance to make his case in court.

Wednesday, the Missouri Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Christopher Simmons, who was 17 when he murdered Jefferson County resident Shirley Crook in 1993.

Simmons' attorney argues that it's unlawful to execute juveniles, saying a juvenile's brain is not as developed as an adult's. But Scott Holste with the Missouri Attorney General's office says the state believes that's not a valid argument.

Simmons' attorney says she's basing her argument on a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision barring executions of the mentally retarded.