Sunday, April 13, 2008

Supreme Decision

The Supreme Court will hear a case this week that could put a man to death for the rape of a child.

The state of Louisiana sees Patrick Kennedy's rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter as serious as murder and as a crime that deserves the death penalty. Louisiana isn't the only state to take this bold step, though, and that is why this week's case is so important.


"Nobody in this country has actually been executed for anything other than murder since 1964, although five states, including Louisiana, have laws on their books permitting capital punishment for the rape of young children. Several others are considering broadening their laws to do the same. So the court must determine, in Kennedy v. Louisiana, whether the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment bars the execution of someone who didn't commit a murder, but did violate a young child."

In 1977, the Supreme Court denied Georgia the legal authority to execute a man for raping a 16-year-old, because she was an adult and because they found it "'an excessive penalty for the rapist who, as such, does [sic] not take human life.'"

Sounds like an ill-informed and glib statement to me. But, times change, and while Kennedy's lawyers will probably argue the public desire to get rid of the death penalty and that it has been since 1964 that someone has been executed for rape, t
o me, Louisiana has the better argument:

"'The rape of a child under twelve is a crime like no other,' the Louisiana brief notes, because it results in devastating implications that last a lifetime. Louisiana also points out that state legislatures are trending toward making certain nonhomicide offenses a capital crime, with 38 percent of death-penalty states now punishing such crimes with the death penalty."

Crimes against children are heinous and should be treated as life-altering events for those children. It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles this one.

(H/T: Newsweek)

4 comments:

Maggie Mama said...

If these sick bastards had been perpetrating the EXACT same crimes against judges (rather than innocent, helpless children), THEY ALL WOULD HAVE BEEN STANDING IN FRONT OF FIRING SQUADS DECADES AGO!

Then we would have seen SWIFT JUSTICE.

USA_Admiral said...

I am a big fan of the death penalty. I believe that crimes such as this deserve the death penalty. The child, no matter how resilient will carry this the rest of her life, He should forfeit his.

fuzzys dad said...

These perverts must die. they shatter innocent lives.

RT said...

Maggie
You'd hate to think it's true, but it probably is.

Admiral
I watched an interview with a young man who was raped when he was a child. His dad murdered the man who did it (served community service for it). The young man said he was against the death penalty because it makes the victim feel like he/she is responsible for someone dying because he or she told. Which, if you look at things from a child's perspective, could be plausible. If this does happen, I hope the adults reinforce to this child that the scumbag was put to death because he was a bad man and not because she "told."

FD
That, they do.