Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Court Rejects Death Penalty for Raping Children

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court outlawed executions of people convicted of raping a child. They overruled on a Louisiana law that allows the death penalty to be imposed on child rape convictions. They claim that the sentence 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.
Not surprisingly his four liberal colleagues joined him, while the four more conservative justices dissented.

The are many things that can be considered cruel and unusual. The most obvious is the actual rape of a child. I really cannot think of any crime more heinous. Death of the child might be better. That child must live with that event or series of events forever.
Justice Alito denounced the court's "sweeping conclusion" that the death penalty is inappropriate "no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted and no matter how heinous the perpetrator's criminal record may be."
In general, I am not an ardent supporter of the death penalty, but there seems to exist certain conditions where the death penalty is warranted, not necessarily as a deterrent but as an appropriate punishment.

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