A bipartisan measure to eliminate the juvenile death penalty in Florida has passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and is now on its way to the full Senate for consideration. The measure was introduced by Republican Senator Victor Crist, a death penalty supporter who notes that young people are different because they don’t have the same understanding of consequences as an adult. .The bill also has support from the state’s top law enforcement officers, Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Guy Tunnel. “You need to show some compassion, but you can’t forget the needs of victims. I’m a proponent of capital punishment but I think, generally speaking, this is a good thing,” said Tunnel of the bill. Earlier this year, Wyoming and South Dakota eliminated the juvenile death penalty, and the U.S. Supreme Court will decide this fall whether the practice is unconstitutional. The federal government and 19 states prohibit the death penalty for offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time of their crime, and 12 additional states do not have capital punishment. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 14, 2004) See Juveniles: Roper v. Simmons. See also, New Voices.