BEIJING, May 30 — Taking a deep drag on his cigarette while resting on the steering wheel of his truck, he looks like a parody of a middle-aged lorry driver.
But the image covers up a much more disturbing truth: At just the tender age of two, Ardi Rizal’s health has been so ruined by his 40-a-day habit that he now struggles to move by himself.
The four-stone Indonesia toddler is certainly far too unfit to run around with other children – and his condition is set to rapidly deteriorate.
His mother, Diana, 26, wept: “He’s totally addicted. If he doesn’t get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick.”
But, despite local officials’ offer to buy the Rizal family a new car if the boy quits, his parents feel unable to stop him because he throws massive tantrums if they don’t indulge him. Continue reading
Washington (CNN) — Sentencing juvenile criminals to life in prison without parole is “cruel and unusual” punishment, especially when their crime is not murder, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The justices, by a 6-3 vote, found such a sentence for a 16-year-old armed robber from Florida was unconstitutional.
The court concluded life behind bars without the chance of even being considered for possible release was not justified for those offenders who may lack full “culpability” for their actions because of their ages.
“A state need not guarantee the offender eventual release, but if it imposes a sentence of life it must provide him or her with some realistic opportunity to obtain release before the end of that term,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.
The appeal came from Terrance Graham, who was 16 and 17 when he took part in a series of violent home-invasion robberies while on parole for another felony.
The high court in 2005 said juvenile murderers cannot be executed, and Kennedy applied the same standards in this case, saying a “national consensus” had developed against life without parole sentences for those under 18 at the time of their crimes. Continue reading