Child Rapist avoids death sentence

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by hapaboy, Jun 25, 2008.

Should child rapists be executed?

  1. Absolutely.

    8 vote(s)
  2. Absolutely not.

    9 vote(s)
  3. Only in certain cases.

    2 vote(s)
  1. Another scumbag allowed to live despite raping a child:

    Child rapists can't be executed, Supreme Court rules

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday that child rapists cannot be executed, concluding capital punishment can be applied only against murderers.

    The ruling stemmed from the case of Patrick Kennedy, who appealed the 2003 death sentence he received in Louisiana after being convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that execution in this case would violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, citing "evolving standards of decency" in the United States.

    Such standards, the justice wrote, forbid capital punishment for any crime other than murder.

    "We conclude that, in determining whether the death penalty is excessive, there is a distinction between intentional first-degree murder on the one hand and nonhomicide crimes against individual persons, even including child rape, on the other," wrote Anthony Kennedy, who is of no relation to the convicted rapist. Watch how Wednesday's ruling will have a wide reach »

    Patrick Kennedy, 43, would have been the first convicted rapist since 1964 to be executed in a case in which the victim was not killed.

    Kennedy was convicted of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in her bed. The attack caused internal injuries and bleeding to the child, requiring extensive surgery, as well as severe emotional trauma, Louisiana prosecutors said.

    In the majority opinion, Anthony Kennedy acknowledged "the victim's fright, the sense of betrayal, and the nature of her injuries caused more prolonged physical and mental suffering than, say, a sudden killing by an unseen assassin."

    But the justice -- supported by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer -- wrote that when determining what punishment the Eighth Amendment prohibits, "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society" must be taken into account.

    "The rule of evolving standards of decency ... means that resort to the [death] penalty must be reserved for the worst of crimes and limited in its instances of application," the opinion read.

    After a review of the "history of the death penalty for this and other nonhomicide crimes, current state statutes and new enactments, and the number of executions since 1964, we conclude there is a national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape," Anthony Kennedy wrote.

    Attorneys at the Capital Appeals Project who represent Patrick Kennedy issued a statement applauding the ruling.

    "Given the court's decision, we can only hope that the money that Louisiana has been spending drafting and defending this anomalous and unconstitutional statute will be reallocated to efforts at treatment for victims of sexual abuse and for measures that actually reduce the risk of such abuse in our communities," attorney Ben Cohen said in the statement.

    Justice Samuel Alito wrote the dissent, saying, "The harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapist is grave." He was supported by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

    Alito also wrote that the majority ruled against the death penalty "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."

    Wednesday's ruling will affect six states that allow the death penalty for rape, including Louisiana, where Patrick Kennedy was recently joined on death row by another convicted child rapist, Richard Davis.

    Davis' sentence, along with Kennedy's, will be commuted by Wednesday's ruling. Each will automatically be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Capital Appeals Project said.

    "Mr. Kennedy, who has consistently maintained his innocence, plans to continue to pursue his appeals in state and federal court," the appeals project said.

    Florida, Montana, Oklahoma and South Carolina have death-penalty laws for rape, but have not applied them in decades. Texas enacted a version a year ago, but no defendant has been designated death-eligible for child rape in any state but Louisiana.

    U.S. Supreme Court rulings in 1976 and 1977 barred capital punishment for rape -- and by implication any other crime except murder. But Louisiana in 1995 passed a law allowing execution for the sexual violation of a child under 12. State lawmakers argued that the earlier high court cases pertained only to "adult women."

    Supporters of Louisiana's law say that besides murder, no crime is more deserving of the death penalty than child rape, and the punishment would be used only in the most heinous of circumstances.

    "A lot of people think there should not be a death penalty because the child survives," sex crimes prosecutor Kat Bartholomew said. "In my opinion, the rape of a child is more heinous and more hideous than a homicide."

    She said a sexual assault on a child "takes away their innocence. It takes away their childhood. It mutilates their spirit. It kills their soul. They're never the same after these things happen."

    Death penalty opponents contend, among other things, that it could give attackers a reason to murder their victims. In Wednesday's ruling, Anthony Kennedy agreed, writing: "A state that punishes child rape by death may remove a strong incentive for the rapist not to kill the victim."

    After the ruling, Lynn, a cousin of the victim said: "Just knowing the kind of man [Patrick Kennedy] is, we'll never be comfortable." CNN is not using the cousin's last name to avoid identifying the victim.

    The high court has in recent years banned execution for the mentally retarded, underage killers and those deemed to have had an inadequate defense at trial.

    No one has been executed for rape in the United States since 1964. Other state and federal crimes theoretically eligible for execution include treason, aggravated kidnapping, drug trafficking, aircraft hijacking and espionage. None of these crimes have been prosecuted as a capital offense in decades, if ever.
  2. But, but, but...the children are the future. This is what you'll hear from the same nitwits that support this idiocy. If there is a crime, any crime, which warrants the death penalty, it's sexual crimes against children.
  3. Yeah, but to the moonbat libs, we need to study those child rapists because of course what they did wasn't their fault. There have to be reasons why they did what they did. They couldn't just be evil motherfuckers who took advantage of helpless children....
  4. I started to watch an interview w/a man whose child was raped. They wanted to ask his opinion on the ruling, which is a stupid question.

    I just couldn't watch. The ppor man. What a nightmare. What a nightmare.

    They'll probably accomodate the rapist in prison, and do what the State can't do. I hope they don't eat him after they kill him. That would be so, so wrong.
  5. That is what the child rapist is hapaboy, evil like you say. They choose children becasue they are small, weaker, and can not defend themselves. It is no match. Those people should not be given the priviledge of life.
  6. One can only hope that he is treated very badly in prison. Sometimes I wonder if the old adage about rapists being pariahs in prison is true anymore. I mean, there must be thousands locked up now...

    Why should our taxpayer money be going to keep pieces of shit like this alive in the first place? And forget those stupid lethal injections that cost $1 million apiece if not more. Just shoot the animal in the back of the head or hang him.
  7. Lucrum


    I think it may still be true, at least according to one of those prison documentaries I saw recently.

    I agree.
  8. You are reacting on cue. What you think is happening and what is actually happening are vastly dissociated phenomena.

  9. You would prefer that they just be "evil motherfuckers" who take advantage of helpless children? Isn't that like saying "I prefer that there must be demons, really evil ones, and we must somehow imprison them all, preferably before they act like demons, and certainly afterwards, forever."?

    If there was a "reason", however unreasonable, wouldn't you want to learn how to deal with it so that this is no longer an experience for any mind? How much energy would that require, relative to building more prisons?

    Fact is, all this is in your mind, along with the solution. The mere fact that you see this, hear this, read about this or experience this indicates that this is what you want. The order of perception goes like this: Choosing>>wishing>>believing>>seeing>>believing..reacting>>more choosing. It's rather circular, and hides the fact that this is a choice. The other choice is to return your mind to reality, no longer using it's power to see what is not real.

    Till then, it's like going to a horror movie and then suing the director for upsetting you. All the world is a stage. Should actors be prosectuted for acting?

  10. Mister Jesus, this is real, not actors. You say try to understand what caused it. This has been done already. Then when rehabilitaiton is over and the child rapist is free to go, they almost always repeat the offense. If they were not free to go, then it would not have happened again. Why so much sympathy for a person who preys on children?
    I understand when a person can be wrongly accused, but DNA is a powerful tool to find the truth. So you say life in prison with no parole?
    #10     Jun 27, 2008