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Archive for Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ruling angers some lawmakers at state levels

June 26, 2008

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The efforts of nearly a dozen states to execute child rapists were derailed Wednesday by a Supreme Court decision that incensed supporters of such punishment. Officials in at least two states said they weren't ready to give up.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called the ruling "a clear abuse of judicial authority" and vowed state officials will "evaluate ways to amend our statute to maintain death as a penalty for this horrific crime." In Oklahoma, state Sen. Jay Paul Gumm promised similar efforts. "We will certainly look at what options we have," Gumm said. "I think the people of Oklahoma have spoken loudly that this is one of the most heinous of crimes."

Five states have laws that explicitly permit such executions. At issue before the high court was a Louisiana case involving Patrick Kennedy, sentenced to die for raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter in her bed in 1998, an assault so severe she required surgery.

In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled the death penalty a disproportionate punishment for raping children under the age of 12, despite the horrendous nature of such acts.

Justices made a similar ruling in 1977, when they said the death penalty was unconstitutional punishment for a Georgia man convicted of raping a teenager who was an adult under the law.

Louisiana's law, passed in 1995, is the broadest in the country. It also makes first-time offenders eligible for the death penalty, unlike Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Montana - which required at least one previous conviction for child rape. Following Wednesday's ruling, all become unconstitutional.

Several states, including Missouri, Alabama and Colorado had been considering similar laws. Supporters there were incensed by Wednesday's ruling.

"Anybody in the country who cares about children should be outraged that we have a Supreme Court that would issue a decision like this," said Alabama Attorney General Troy King, who represented one of nine states that filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Louisiana on the grounds that child rape represented "manifest evil."

Justices are "creating a situation where the country is a less safe place to grow up," King said.

Comments

sfjayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Leftist judges? Take a look at the make up of the supreme court parkay, it could hardly be described as leftist/

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Steve Jacob 5 years, 10 months ago

I do agree with the decision. I just can't see giving the death penalty for anything else then murder. And why give the child rapists another reason to kill the child if they have nothing to lose.

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Ray Parker 5 years, 10 months ago

Nobody says every rapist needs to be executed. But I want my elected state legislators deciding maximum penalties for heinous crimes, not some leftist, activist, Washington, DC judge with fruitcake ideas that the U.S. Constitution means what he says are the evolving, marshmallowed standards for cruel punishment, rather than what it said when it was written.I want stiff penalties for child rapists, not cruel and unusual punishment for our children.

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acg 5 years, 10 months ago

Ya'll know, by now, how I feel about child rapists and molesters. I was so mad when I saw this on the news last night that I swear to God I almost popped a vein in my head. What in the world is the matter with these damn judges? This particular activity, in all its forms, must stop and we must do whatever we have to do as a society to ensure that happens. Taking this scum off the planet is the only logically choice. There is no reason to house them in prison forever, they will never be rehabilitated. They should be dead! Every single last one of them, regardless of the severity of the sexual offense against a child. If someone is capable of being sexually turned on by a child, then that person is always a danger to our kids and they have absolutely no intrinsic value to society, and never will.

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Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

These childrens' lives are ruined. These perverts don't deserve the chance to live.

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75x55 5 years, 10 months ago

Life for a life - to expand the death penalty for offenses that did not result in another's death is a scary expansion of the penalty. Now, if they had been considering deportation to an island prison/work colony for life...

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SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 10 months ago

A victory for the North American Man Boy Love Association and their filthy defendants, the ACLU.

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Baille 5 years, 10 months ago

As is the cold-blooded, premeditated killing of a human being whether it be with the sanction of the state or without.

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