Texas school shooting: accused will not face death penalty
Here’s why the teenager who killed 10 people inside a school premises will be given a lesser sentence.
In another brutal school shooting incident, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot down 10 people including students and teachers at Santa Fe High School.
While he was successfully taken into custody and questioned about the crime, his attorney Robert Barfield revealed that the boy will not be given the death penalty within the current legal framework.
As reported by CNN, Barfield revealed that Pagourtzis will be spared from the death penalty owing to the fact that he is a juvenile.
According to him, the maximum sentence he can receive is life imprisonment, in which parole is an admissible possibility.
The US Supreme Court rulings have followed specific legal guidelines when it came to cases involving juveniles since there are laws regarding the sentencing of criminals below 18 years of age.
There have been two juvenile Supreme Court cases that have paved the way for these restrictions.
In 2005, the case of Roper v. Simmons resulted in a ban on death penalty for juveniles by a dramatic 5-4 vote.
With the help of the voting, it was declared that capital punishment was an extraordinarily cruel punishment for an underage offender, and it was a violation of the 8th amendment of the American constitution.
The sentence of life without parole was also deemed unfit for juvenile offenders, as declared in the 2012 case of Miller v. Alabama.
Another important factor that would dictate the sentence given to Pagourtzis is the legal framework in Texas.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center spokesperson Robert Dunham, a Texas juvenile offender who has committed capital murder is given the life sentence with the permission to apply for parole after 40 years.
Given these restrictions, Pagourtzis’ lawyer stated that it was too early to discuss the legal strategy for the case in terms of parole.
The teenager is in custody for capital murder and aggravated assault on a public servant. The boy walked into the school with a shotgun and killed 2 teachers, 8 students and injured 13 other people in the premises.