Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Death Penalty Case on Supreme Court Docket

The U.S. State Supreme Court will hear the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana today.

Louisiana would like to execute a man for raping his 8-year old stepdaughter, a horrific crime but one the Court previously banned under the Eighth Amendment due to the"unique...severity and irrevocability" of execution in the case of raping an adult.

In an op-ed this morning, The New York Times notes the Court previously ruled that death was an "excessive penalty for the rapist who, as such, [did] not take human life.” In other words, it would exceed the 'eye for eye' dictum.

Since then, the court has repeatedly interpreted Coker as holding that the death penalty cannot be applied in cases of person-on-person violence other than murder or reckless disregard for life.
It seems Colorado wants to join the hall of shame and add rape to their list of crimes punishable by death. Talk Left has an excellent post with links on the subject. But as the Times observes, "If the court allows the death penalty for child rape, it would be opening the door for the same punishment to be extended to other crimes."
That would be wrong, particularly now, when the growing number of cases of innocent people being freed from death row is turning popular opinion against capital punishment. The court should reverse Mr. Kennedy’s unconstitutional sentence.
Amen! Just today Texas released one more person wrongfully convicted of rape. Thomas Clifford McGowan is the "16th Dallas County inmate...cleared through DNA" and served 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?