Edward Lai Harner, Edward Harner
Andrea Harner
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June 25, 2008

Supreme Court rejects death penalty for raping children

Thank goodness.


The Supreme Court has struck down a Louisiana law that allows the execution of people convicted of a raping a child.

In a 5-4 vote, the court says the law allowing the death penalty to be imposed in cases of child rape 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.


I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic or not, but i was shocked to see that Obama came out against this decision.

AH.com: I wasn't being sarcastic and are you sure he did? I will look into that.

Posted by: Eric Buth at June 26, 2008 1:43 AM

I agree with the supreme court. We should not be expanding the death penalty. It is already misused and abused by prosecutors. I'm certain any expansion of it would lead to more wrongful executions. It would also put children in greater danger because a child predator might think that they should now kill the victim in order to get rid of any witness. I am in favor of flogging child predators though.

AH.com: Agreed!!

Posted by: JohnfromDowntown at June 26, 2008 10:56 AM

I agree, the death penalty is not used equitably, and should not be used in these cases,but to suggest that the death penalty is wrong because it is cruel or unusual?? What's more cruel and unusual than raping babies?!

I say put them in the general pop with their reputation and let mother nature do the rest....

Posted by: JohnG at June 26, 2008 4:06 PM

I was really conflicted on this. One one hand, any rape, especially child rape, is just as horrible as murder, in my opinion. However, I don't believe in the death penalty because of racism, the inevitable margin of error that results in innocent people dying, etc. However, it all comes down to the fact that the death penalty does not deter crime (according to various studies). Maybe this has changed (I haven't really read about the death penalty in years). However, reading the comments here have really helped me. Especially the part about how a death penalty option would put more children in danger of being murdered. Unfortunately, no matter what they do, too many children will be raped today, tomorrow, and next year...and that is incredibly painful.

Posted by: Cassidy at June 27, 2008 4:05 AM
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