Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

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Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

Postby evolution8 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:01 am

[size=18px]Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape[/size]
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: June 25, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday outlawed executions of people convicted of raping a child.

In a 5-4 vote, the court said the Louisiana law allowing the death penalty to be imposed in such cases 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.

Patrick Kennedy, 43, was sentenced to death for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter in Louisiana. He is one of two people in the United States, both in Louisiana, who have been condemned to death for a rape that was not also accompanied by a killing.

The Supreme Court banned executions for rape in 1977 in a case in which the victim was an adult woman.

Forty-five states ban the death penalty for any kind of rape, and the other five states allow it for child rapists. Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas allow executions in such cases if the defendant had previously been convicted of raping a child.

The court struggled over how to apply standards laid out in decisions barring executions for the mentally retarded and people younger than 18 when they committed murder. In those cases, the court cited trends in the states away from capital punishment.
Continued...
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Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

Postby Banned_from_FD » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:29 am

well, its a good thing we do not have the death penalty, because this innocent man might be dead

fresh from todays headlines:

[size=18px]Acquittal sought in Bernardo confession case[/size]

A man who pleaded guilty to a knifepoint assault that serial killer Paul Bernardo later confessed to is seeking exoneration today before Ontario's highest court.

Anthony Hanemaayer pleaded guilty part way through his 1989 trial and was sentenced to two years less a day in jail.

He is now asking the Ontario Court of Appeal to withdraw his guilty pleas, set aside his convictions and enter acquittals. Entering court Wednesday, Hanemaayer said it was a big day for him.

Three Appeal Court justices are hearing the case.

In court filings, the Crown has already conceded the 40-year-old London, Ont., roofer should be exonerated of a 1987 knifepoint assault on a 15-year-old Toronto girl.

"The fresh evidence points to only one conclusion, Paul Bernardo committed this attack," Crown counsel Howard Leibovich said in a legal argument filed this week with the court.

"It is clearly in the interests of justice that the fresh evidence be admitted, the appeal allowed and the appellant's conviction(s) set aside."

In an affidavit filed with the court, Hanemaayer says he opted to plead guilty because he was "scared" and felt he would almost certainly be convicted.

In 2006, Bernardo approached police, through his lawyer, with a list of unsolved crimes he wanted to discuss – including the attack for which Hanemaayer had been convicted.

Upon learning of the Bernardo confession earlier this year, lawyers for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted took up his case. They complain Hanemaayer's case should have been reopened immediately after Bernardo's admission.


http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/449112

this is exactly the reason why I am against the death penalty

there is no way to reverse it if you get the wrong guy
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Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

Postby evolution8 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:24 pm

Check this out...

[size=24px]Obama disagrees with high court on child rape case[/size]
By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer
25 minutes ago
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080625/ap_ ... _rape_case

CHICAGO - Democrat Barack Obama said Wednesday he disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision outlawing executions of child rapists.

"I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes," Obama said at a news conference. "I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable that that does not violate our Constitution."

The court's 5-4 decision Wednesday struck down a Louisiana law that allows capital punishment for people convicted of raping children under 12, saying it violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The ruling spares the only people in the U.S. under sentence of death for that crime — two Louisiana men convicted of raping girls 5 and 8. It also invalidates laws on the books in five other states that allowed executions for child rape that does not result in the death of the victim.

Obama said that had the court "said we want to constrain the abilities of states to do this to make sure that it's done in a careful and appropriate way, that would have been one thing. But it basically had a blanket prohibition and I disagree with that decision."

Obama has long supported the death penalty while criticizing the way it is sometimes applied.

As an Illinois legislator, he helped rewrite the state's death penalty system to guard against innocent people being sentenced to die. The new safeguards included requiring police to videotape interrogations and giving the state Supreme Court more power to overturn unjust decisions.

He also opposed legislation making it easier to impose the death penalty for murders committed as part of gang activity. Obama argued the language was too vague and could be abused by authorities.

But Obama has never rejected the death penalty entirely. He supported death sentences for killing volunteers in community policing programs and for particularly cruel murders of elderly people.

"While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes — mass murder, the rape and murder of a child — so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment," he wrote in his book "The Audacity of Hope."
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Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape

Postby Bill Whatcott » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:17 am

This is one time I actually agree with Obama. I thought he would be opposed to executing murderers (most folks who support executing unborn children tend to want to protect murderers for some reason).
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Justices Bar Death Penalty for the Rape of a Child

Postby evolution8 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:00 am

[size=18px]Justices Bar Death Penalty for the Rape of a Child[/size]
By LINDA GREENHOUSE
Published: June 26, 2008

WASHINGTON — The death penalty is unconstitutional as a punishment for the rape of a child, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

The 5-to-4 decision overturned death penalty laws in Louisiana and five other states. The only two men in the country who have been sentenced to death for the crime of child rape, both in Louisiana, will receive new sentences of life without parole.

The court went beyond the question in the case to rule out the death penalty for any individual crime — as opposed to “offenses against the state,â€
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