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MTAFFI
04-16-2008, 08:16 PM
Seemingly divided court considers death for child rapists

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 53 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Proponents and opponents of imposing the death penalty for rape of a child underwent intense questioning Wednesday from a seemingly divided Supreme Court.

The hour-long argument came in the case of inmate Patrick Kennedy, sentenced to death for raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

Kennedy's lawyer, Jeffrey L. Fisher, told the court the death penalty for child rape under Louisiana law violates the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia challenged Fisher's position that the Louisiana law is too broad and that not enough states have enacted the death penalty for child rape to justify the Supreme Court's support for it.

"The trend has been more and more states are imposing the death penalty," said Roberts.

Louisiana is among five states that have imposed the death penalty for child rape since 1995.

The case represents a potentially different direction for a court that in recent years has narrowed the death penalty, overturning it for murderers who are juveniles or are mentally retarded.

Kennedy is "exquisitely culpable" and he has committed a crime that is "just unspeakable," Texas Solicitor General R. Ted Cruz told the court.

Louisiana prosecutor Juliet Clark described the injuries of Kennedy's stepdaughter, which required surgery, arguing that a crime of such savagery warrants Kennedy's execution.

Justice Stephen Breyer expressed concern that "suddenly we will be in the business" of broadening the death penalty for crimes other than murder.

"I am not a moralist, I am a judge," said Breyer.

Kennedy is one of only two people, both in Louisiana, on death row in the United States for raping a child without also killing the victim.

No one has been executed for anything other than murder in 44 years. In 1977, the court ruled out executions for rapists whose victims are adults.

It left open the issue of whether raping a child could lead to death.

Arguments in the Louisiana case came on the same day the high court settled an issue that had put executions across the nation on hold for months. The justices turned back a challenge to procedures for execution by lethal injection in Kentucky. Similar methods are used by roughly three dozen states.

Besides Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas also allow executions of someone convicted of child rape, although the latter four states never have applied the death penalty to child rapists. Missouri, led by Gov. Matt Blunt, is considering a similar law.

Those states say there is a trend toward toughening penalties for people who victimize children and contend that death is an appropriate punishment for so horrific a crime as the rape of a child.

Kennedy's lawyers say more states have rejected the death penalty for child rapists and that the reasoning of the court's 1977 decision — that death is an excessive penalty for a rapist who does not also kill — should apply even when the victim is a child.

Groups that work to prevent sexual violence also have sided with Kennedy. They say victims often know their attacker — a relative or family friend — and that more rapes will go unreported if children have to worry that their words might lead to an execution.

The other inmate, Richard Davis, was sentenced to death in the Shreveport area in December. He has just begun appealing his conviction and sentence.

The case is Kennedy v. Louisiana, 07-343.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080416/...tus_child_rape

In many cases similar to this in the US the evidence is overwhelming and easily proves beyond any doubt that the defendant is guilty of said crime, I believe in this case and I know in many others that the defendants actually admit to the crime because of the evidence and the fact there is no way around what they did.

That said, many times on this forum the subject of the death penalty is brought up. There are always those who make the case against the death penalty since it is irreversible, my question to those people is what about cases like this one? The defendant admits guilt, committed a treacherous unforgivable act against a defenseless child.... Should tax dollars be paid to keep this man alive and those like him, just so he can get out and do it again in 15-25 years? Or should we kill him..
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Keltoi
04-17-2008, 11:29 AM
I suppose it is an unwritten law that only those that commit murder can be executed? I think that was a creation of the more liberal Supreme Court that included O'Connor. If you ask me to think of the most horrible crime I can think of it would be child rape and murder...take the murder out of it and you still have child rape. Of course if you send a child rapist to prison, chances are they won't make it out alive anyway.
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KAding
04-17-2008, 12:36 PM
That said, many times on this forum the subject of the death penalty is brought up. There are always those who make the case against the death penalty since it is irreversible, my question to those people is what about cases like this one?
I am not against the death penalty per se. However, the problem is that it never is just about "cases like this one". In practice there will always be mistakes. The whole problem is where to draw that line. So the argument is to just do be on the safe side and don't bother with the death penalty.

This whole argument resembles the 'ticking bomb terrorist' pro-torture argument. There is simply a considerable chance of slippage.
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MTAFFI
04-17-2008, 12:49 PM
Originally Posted by KAding
I am not against the death penalty per se. However, the problem is that it never is just about "cases like this one". In practice there will always be mistakes. The whole problem is where to draw that line. So the argument is to just do be on the safe side and don't bother with the death penalty.

This whole argument resembles the 'ticking bomb terrorist' pro-torture argument. There is simply a considerable chance of slippage.
disregarding all other cases other than this one, or any case where the defendant admits guilt, all evidence points to the guilt and a little 8 year old girl who know longer has her innocence because of this disgusting demon... What do you suggest we do with him? Do you still maintain the safe side and what is safe about that side? Do you take responsibility for this man if he is only locked up and released in 10-20? Will you answer to the next 8 year old who doesnt understand why she wont ever be able to have children or why she shouldnt cower and quiver every time a man walks past her in public or why chances are she will have developed a psychological disorder that she will likely never recover from...
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tomtomsmom
04-17-2008, 02:10 PM
I don't think he should get lethal injection. Simply, it is more humane than the ******* deserves. I think they should get a rope and the closest tree.

The 8th ammendment is crap in this case. Cruel and unusual punishment my foot! I am sure this man made no effort to see that his 8 year old victim was "comfortable" while having her insides tore up. Why should we pay to make him comfortable at any level. I think the opposite. If my tax money is going to go to such a person, I want it to be paying for every second being as uncomfortable as possible. He may not have murdered her body, but her spirit, her childhood, any resemblance of a normal life, is forever lost. For that, he should have to pay. He was her step-father. She was supposed to be safe with him. Be able to trust this man. How do you fix that?


I know I sound a bit harsh but please keep in mind I am a very hormonal mother of a 10 week old baby GIRL!!!!!
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MTAFFI
04-17-2008, 02:32 PM
Originally Posted by tomtomsmom
I don't think he should get lethal injection. Simply, it is more humane than the ******* deserves. I think they should get a rope and the closest tree.

The 8th ammendment is crap in this case. Cruel and unusual punishment my foot! I am sure this man made no effort to see that his 8 year old victim was "comfortable" while having her insides tore up. Why should we pay to make him comfortable at any level. I think the opposite. If my tax money is going to go to such a person, I want it to be paying for every second being as uncomfortable as possible. He may not have murdered her body, but her spirit, her childhood, any resemblance of a normal life, is forever lost. For that, he should have to pay. He was her step-father. She was supposed to be safe with him. Be able to trust this man. How do you fix that?


I know I sound a bit harsh but please keep in mind I am a very hormonal mother of a 10 week old baby GIRL!!!!!
I agree with you 100%.. Congrats on your baby and good luck :)
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Trumble
04-17-2008, 08:48 PM
Originally Posted by MTAFFI
disregarding all other cases other than this one, or any case where the defendant admits guilt, all evidence points to the guilt and a little 8 year old girl who know longer has her innocence because of this disgusting demon... What do you suggest we do with him? Do you still maintain the safe side and what is safe about that side? Do you take responsibility for this man if he is only locked up and released in 10-20?
There is no reason why he should be released at all, there is no reason 'life' should not mean 'life-long' in such cases.

The trouble with the "defendant admits this, all evidence points to, video evidence," etc., etc. 'argument' is that ultimately it is only paraphrasing "beyond reasonable doubt". If a case cannot be proved beyond reasonable doubt the defendent should never be convicted, let alone executed. You are effectively creating a situation where you will be saying to a defendant "well, we think you are probably guilty but as we can't quite be sure we'll sentence you to life without parole rather than death just to be on the safe side", which is utterly ludicrous.

Whenever and whenever the death penalty exists sooner or later an innocent person will be executed. You either think that's a price worth paying or you don't. I don't.
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Roasted Cashew
04-18-2008, 03:25 AM
Originally Posted by tomtomsmom

The 8th ammendment is crap in this case. Cruel and unusual punishment my foot!
Looks like you will find a friend in Sharia Law, lolz
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MTAFFI
04-18-2008, 01:21 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
There is no reason why he should be released at all, there is no reason 'life' should not mean 'life-long' in such cases.
why should people like myself have to pay an exorbitant amount in taxes to keep some disgusting pedophile like this alive though? Not only that but then also what about the crowded prisons? I suppose we simply differ in opinions, I know I am not going to magically change your view on the subject, it is just a little frustrating that because of this view these people get away with so much...
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Keltoi
04-18-2008, 05:53 PM
I think the U.S. in particular is really starting to take child rape and abuse much more seriously than it once did. Not that average people didn't take it seriously, but the courts and justice system seemed to think the kid selling weed on the corner was more dangerous than a pedophile. I think that is changing to a large degree. I'm not a violent person, I don't find anything enjoyable in the death of another, but if there is any crime that deserves the death penalty it is child rape.
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