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Thread: Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

  1. #1
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    Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

    [url]http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Scotus-Child-Rape.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin[/url]


    [QUOTE]WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday outlawed executions of people convicted of raping a child.

    In a 5-4 vote, the court said the Louisiana law allowing the death penalty to be imposed in such cases violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

    ''The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child,'' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. His four liberal colleagues joined him, while the four more conservative justices dissented.

    There has not been an execution in the United States for a crime that did not also involve the death of the victim in 44 years.

    Patrick Kennedy, 43, was sentenced to death for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter in Louisiana. He is one of two people in the United States, both in Louisiana, who have been condemned to death for a rape that was not also accompanied by a killing.

    The Supreme Court banned executions for rape in 1977 in a case in which the victim was an adult woman.

    Forty-five states ban the death penalty for any kind of rape, and the other five states allow it for child rapists. Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas allow executions in such cases if the defendant had previously been convicted of raping a child.

    The court struggled over how to apply standards laid out in decisions barring executions for the mentally retarded and people younger than 18 when they committed murder. In those cases, the court cited trends in the states away from capital punishment.

    In this case, proponents of the Louisiana law said the trend was toward the death penalty, a point mentioned by Justice Samuel Alito in his dissent.

    ''The harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapists is grave,'' Alito wrote. ''It is the judgment of the Louisiana lawmakers and those in an increasing number of other states that these harms justify the death penalty.''[/QUOTE]

  2. #2
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    I'll bet any amount of money if it happened to one of the "Justices kids" they would quickly change their minds.

    Idiotic decision, what a bunch of BAFOONS.

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    terrible decision, however this is sure to turn into a political debate, I'll move it there

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    [QUOTE]The Supreme Court on Wednesday outlawed executions of people convicted of raping a child.

    In a 5-4 vote, the court said the Louisiana law allowing the death penalty to be imposed in such cases violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

    ''The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child,'' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. His four liberal colleagues joined him, while the four more conservative justices dissented.[/QUOTE]

    This is not a suprising decision in any form.

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    It's a heinous crime, to be sure, but what possible justification can there be for giving the death penalty to someone who didn't kill anyone?

    Lock the rapist up for life without possibility of parole. Believe me, in prison for life, he'll learn the meaning of "proportional response."

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    Is castration cruel and unusual punishment? Cause that is what should be done to this scumbag.

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    How is it a terrible decision? Raping a child is a reprehensible act, but it is not murder, which is what the death penalty is reserved for. Furthermore, if the interpretation of the law given by Alito, that the death penalty should apply where "the harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large ... is grave," then the death penalty should also be extended to other such situations, any situation where the victim is somehow "helpless" and scarred for life. We take particular affront to crimes committed against children, but rape is unilaterally traumatic and a situation in which the victim is made totally powerless and helpless, , placed into a situation of absolute subjection and forced to live with the scars and consequences, often times in a society that belittles the crime. So then shouldn't all rapists be put to death? And if it is a matter of a grave harm to society and victims, why not arsonists, or drug dealers? After all, can't watching your parent succumb to drugs have severely grave consequences for children and society?

    There is a slippery slope with the death penalty...

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    [QUOTE=WJGC;2600708]Is castration cruel and unusual punishment? Cause that is what should be done to this scumbag.[/QUOTE]

    I wondered the same thing.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2600703]It's a heinous crime, to be sure, but what possible justification can there be for giving the death penalty to someone who didn't kill anyone?

    Lock the rapist up for life without possibility of parole. Believe me, in prison for life, he'll learn the meaning of "proportional response."[/QUOTE]

    Stick him in gen pop in a high security prison. After being sodomized a couple times, the person can know what it feels like.

    More likely than not, he'll be killed within a year or 2, and we won't have to pay for it.

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    [QUOTE=SDJETS;2600711]How is it a terrible decision? Raping a child is a reprehensible act, but it is not murder, which is what the death penalty is reserved for. Furthermore, if the interpretation of the law given by Alito, that the death penalty should apply where "the harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large ... is grave," then the death penalty should also be extended to other such situations, any situation where the victim is somehow "helpless" and scarred for life. We take particular affront to crimes committed against children, but rape is unilaterally traumatic and a situation in which the victim is made totally powerless and helpless, , placed into a situation of absolute subjection and forced to live with the scars and consequences, often times in a society that belittles the crime. So then shouldn't all rapists be put to death? And if it is a matter of a grave harm to society and victims, why not arsonists, or drug dealers? After all, can't watching your parent succumb to drugs have severely grave consequences for children and society?

    There is a slippery slope with the death penalty...[/QUOTE]

    If someone ever raped one of my children, I think I would go insane with rage and grief an try to kill that person myself. If I couldn't get to them, and they went to jail, I would happily pay someone in the prison to kill him for me.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2600703]It's a heinous crime, to be sure, but what possible justification can there be for giving the death penalty to someone who didn't kill anyone?

    [/QUOTE]


    Let's ask the Rosenbergs.

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    [QUOTE=chirorob;2600746]If someone ever raped one of my children, I think I would go insane with rage and grief an try to kill that person myself. If I couldn't get to them, and they went to jail, I would happily pay someone in the prison to kill him for me.[/QUOTE]

    I would, too. And I'm pretty sure the ban on cruel and unusual punishment would make would I'd like to do to the guy illegal.

    I just don't think the murderous rage of a parent out of their mind with grief/anger is the standard we ought to be applying.

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    [QUOTE=Phoenixx;2600752]Let's ask the Rosenbergs.[/QUOTE]

    Or the Salem witches.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2600776]Or the Salem witches.[/QUOTE]

    great analogy...witches and child rapists

  15. #15
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    Its good to see we are so worried about protecting the "rights" of child rapists.

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    I'm not a big fan of Rush Limbaugh's, but he's right about one thing, maybe its time we just shut down the Congress, tell the President to Go home, shut down state legislatures while we're at it, and just send every issue directly to the Supreme Court .. they're making all of these decisions anyway, so we might as well put them on the fast-track

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    [QUOTE=jetswin;2600791]great analogy...witches and child rapists[/QUOTE]

    Wasn't making the analogy of the crime, just the dates.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=FF2;2600815]Its good to see we are so worried about protecting the "rights" of child rapists.[/QUOTE]

    It has nothing to do with the "rights of child rapists" and everything to do with upholding the standard of the law and ensuring that the government can't simply put to death whomever they want. If you start drawing different lines in the sand, they can just as easily be erased...

    But, as for the "rights," it is the beauty and problem of this republic and the values it supposedly upholds that even child rapists and Pats fans are afforded the same rights as everyone else, and that the government is mandated to fight for those rights as they would anyone else.

  19. #19
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    It's obvious people who agree with this either do not have kids or have never had it happen to them.

    You rape a kid you die...great deterant and hey thats one less whacko on the streets that maybe decides next time he will rape and kill.

    These people need to be put down as well as people who agree or defend thier acts.

  20. #20
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    As the article states:

    [QUOTE]There has not been an execution in the United States for a crime that did not also involve the death of the victim [B]in 44 years[/B].[/QUOTE]

    So the Supreme Court's decision changed the law on the books, it did not change the law in practice.

    We can debate the merits of the decision, but it is still striking that for more than 4 decades no non-murderer has been executed so the decision continues with that.

    Oh, by the way, I'm not saying I agree with the decision.

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