The US bowed to international and domestic pressure yesterday, becoming the last country in the world officially to abolish the death penalty for offenders who were under 18 when they committed murder.

The supreme court ruling will spare up to 70 inmates who are on death row for committing murders while aged 16 or 17, and it removes a source of friction between the US and Europe. The EU welcomed the decision, but said it "opposes capital punishment under all circumstances".
The former American president Jimmy Carter said that with the ruling the US had joined "the community of nations".

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