I'm probably not the best person to be rendering an opinion on the death penalty where kids are involved, as I am an unempathetic SOB who couldn't care less about how harsh is the punishment for guys who victimize children. That being said, as the rule stands now, a life has to be taken for the perp to be eligible for the death penalty.....as it turns out, not so much....
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court this week hears arguments about whether the death penalty can be imposed for child rape, taking up for the first time in more than 30 years whether a crime other than murder can be punished by execution.
The nation's highest court has set arguments on Wednesday on whether the death penalty for the crime of raping a child represents unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.
The case involved an appeal by Patrick Kennedy of Louisiana, who was convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter and sentenced to death.
The gut reaction of normal people is to think, "yeah, kill the guy. He raped a child", but is that Constitutional?
We know that the framers had Judeo-Christian morals in mind when they wrote the Constitution. So the concept of an-eye-for-an-eye was surely taken into account when they banned cruel and unusual punishment. So de we as a society have the right to impose the death penalty as punishment for a crime that most of us find more reprehensible than even murder, and it not be considered cruel or unusual? Frankly, I'm stunned that a lower court judge gave a jury the death penalty option for a rape, leading to a Supreme Court appeal.
The other, and possibly more important issue is this: if loss of life is no longer the standard for capital crime, then who's to say armed robbery, or simple assault, battery, bank-robbery...whatever, could at some point be grounds for the death penalty?
What do you think?