Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, January 4, 2008

If I was on the high court?

Chalk part of the reason for even opining on this subject up to insomnia, but the the US Supreme Court is taking up a case to determine whether the death penalty is warranted, and constitutional for a child rapist:

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether the Constitution allows the death penalty for the rape of a child.

The justices acted only three days before a scheduled argument in another important death penalty case, on the standard for judging whether chemicals used to administer lethal injections make that method of execution unconstitutionally cruel.

The new case, from Louisiana, is likely to be argued in April, meaning that during the course of its current term, the Supreme Court will be examining both the most common method of execution and a categorical question about which crimes are appropriate for the death penalty.

No one has been executed in the United States for a crime other than murder since 1964. Of some 3,300 inmates of death row today, only two are facing execution for an offense that did not involve a killing. Both are on Louisiana’s death row. The Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from one of them, Patrick Kennedy, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004 for raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

In 1977, as part of its wide-ranging re-examination of capital punishment, the Supreme Court prohibited the death penalty for rape. While that ruling, Coker v. Georgia, did not specifically discuss the rape of a child — the victim, although only 16, was a married woman who was raped at knifepoint — the decision has been widely understood as limiting the death penalty to the crime of murder.

In the principal opinion in the Coker case, Justice
Byron R. White wrote that “we have the abiding conviction that the death penalty, which is unique in its severity and irrevocability, is an excessive penalty for the rapist who, as such, does not take human life.”

But in recent years, a handful of states, responding to public outcries about sex crimes against children, have amended their death penalty statutes to make the rape of a child a capital offense. Louisiana was the first to do so, amending its death-penalty law in 1995 to apply to the rape of a child under the age of 12. The other states with similar provisions are Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Unlike Louisiana, most limit the death penalty to defendants who were previously convicted of sexual assault against a child.

The Louisiana Supreme Court rejected Mr. Kennedy’s appeal last year in a 64-page opinion that concluded that “rape of a child under the age of 12 years of age is like no other crime” and that death was not a disproportionate punishment. Taking note of the recent state laws, the court said there was “compelling” evidence of a national trend toward treating the crime as distinct from others.

The United States Supreme Court’s recent death penalty jurisprudence has paid close attention to evidence of whether contemporary society has reached a consensus on particular applications of capital punishment. The court relied on such an analysis to rule out the death penalty for mentally retarded defendants in 2002 and for juvenile killers in 2005. Louisiana is now invoking the same approach to argue that an application of the death penalty once widely deemed unconstitutional has become permissible.

Mr. Kennedy’s lawyers are arguing that any such “trend” is illusory. “By any objective measure,” their brief says, Mr. Kennedy’s sentence “is not only cruel and unusual; it is cruel and unique.”

As is his crime. Who wouldn't argue for the death of a child rapist. The recidivism rate for child molesters defies description. These people can't be helped. They can't be reformed, as the rates tend to show. I can honestly say that if this were my child that was raped, I'd want this bastard put down, too.

But I also have a part of me that abides by the rule of law. The law trumps all in my life, and I'll abide by it. But, the thought of declaring his sentence cruel and unusual punishment is a mediocrity to the high court, and I can't believe they're taking this case up.

Child molesters and child rapists prey on the the most innocent in life. these children have little or no concept of right and wrong. they don't understand this. That's why after such an incident, counselors have to coax such events out of them. The predator uses all sorts of mental tricks on them so they do their best to refuse admitting such incidents. But, after conviction, the guilty face one of two options: Life without possibility of parole (LWOPped, as the saying goes) or death. In the case of Louisiana, they chose the latter, and it's within their right.

As federalists, we have to respect the laws other states have. In the case of Roe, should it be overturned and sent back to the States, we'd abide by the particular State's declaration to approve/disapprove of abortion. the same goes for Louisiana in such a case. They have the inherent right to declare this crime -- the rape of a child -- to be punishable by death. Jurors weighed their evidence, found the defendant guilty. and the judge imposed sentence, by the guidelines outlined.

Should the US Supreme Court rule opposite, it could lead to a flood of new appeals from those looking at death's door through other crimes committed. For the record, both Marcie and I agree that the death penalty should be allowed not only in cases of murder, but also of child rape/molestation, and rape, in general. Those that perpetrate such crimes are beyond redemption; they are beyond being rehabilitated. The minor amounts of those that are are inconsequential to those that aren't. Statistical facts show this.

Let's hope the Supreme Court takes this into account as they would the State's right to create, invoke, and enforce a law on their books. This is something the Tenth Amendment was specifically designed to protect, and to prevent federal encroachment.

Publius II


Anonymous CresceNet said...

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January 6, 2008 at 4:19 AM  

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