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      06-25-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
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Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

By DAVID STOUT
Published: June 26, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, on Wednesday that sentencing someone to death for raping a child is unconstitutional, assuming that the victim is not killed.

“The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court. He was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.
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The dissenters were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., generally regarded as the conservative wing of the tribunal.
Justice Alito wrote a dissent lamenting that the majority had ruled out executing someone for raping a child “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 prior criminal record may be.” Not since 1964 has anyone been executed in the United States for a crime other than murder, and of about 3,300 inmates now on death row, only two are facing execution for an offense that did not involve a killing — and both of those inmates are in Louisiana. One is the man involved in the case the court decided, Patrick Kennedy, who was sentenced to death for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter and the other is Richard Davis, who was condemned for assaulting a 5-year-old girl...
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      06-25-2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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Matthew Franck, professor of constitutional law at Radford University, has what he calls the the Kennedy Rule and its corollary:
"Kennedy Rule": when the Court decides 5-4 that any government has done anything contrary to the Constitution, and Justice Kennedy was one of the five, the case was wrongly decided. And its corollary: if Justice Kennedy writes the opinion of the Court in such a case, it will be incoherently reasoned.
This decision does nothing to contradict either the rule or the corollary.
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      06-25-2008, 12:40 PM   #3
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Too bad, this would solve the problem of Catholic priest overstaffing.
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      06-25-2008, 01:02 PM   #4
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Rapists, especially child rapists have the hardest times in prison because of the persecution the inmates receive from the general public. More than likely he will be killed in prison.

Let him suffer for the rest of his life....the death penalty is the easy way out.
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      06-25-2008, 04:27 PM   #5
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They begin their service in hell with the remainder of their life in prison.
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      06-25-2008, 04:42 PM   #6
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speeders should be put to death. sending those to jail might be a more severe sentence to those, unless the sentence is "death by butt rape"
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      07-01-2008, 12:56 PM   #7
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McCain criticizes of Obama's high court favorites
37 minutes ago

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican John McCain said Tuesday that his Democratic rival's Supreme Court nominees would produce more decisions like the child rapist ruling that both presidential candidates have criticized.

Addressing the National Sheriff's Association, McCain acknowledged that Democrat Barack Obama had also disagreed with the decision that struck down a Louisiana law allowing capital punishment for people who rape children under 12. Obama said he believed carefully crafted state laws permitting execution of child rapists do not violate the Constitution.

Nevertheless, McCain asked: "Why is it that the majority includes the same justices he usually holds out as the models for future nominations?"

"My opponent may not care for this particular decision, but it was exactly the kind of opinion we could expect from an Obama court," the Arizona senator said.

When asked by CNN in May whether any current justices would be models for his nominees, Obama replied that he considered Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter to be sensible judges. All three voted in the majority in the child rape case, as did Justices Anthony Kennedy and John Paul Stevens.

McCain himself voted to confirm four of the five who voted in the majority. He was not in the Senate in 1975 when Stevens was confirmed.
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