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Supreme Court decision

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080625/..._co/scotus_rdp


"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.
post #2 of 20
Those good ol' liberals! Always looking out for the well-being of their beloved criminals!
post #3 of 20
Trust me, a baby raper does not fare well in prison. Death would a welcome respite. After years of torture and abuse by other prisoners, someone will shank him. I think they should get life without parole.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2 View Post
Trust me, a baby raper does not fare well in prison. Death would a welcome respite. After years of torture and abuse by other prisoners, someone will shank him. I think they should get life without parole.

Very good point!
post #5 of 20
I think the decision may have been different had they been asked to decide on the other child rape/death penalty case. In this one, the girl changed her story and it was almost 2 years before she ID'ed the stepfather as the rapist. In the other case, the man was convicted of repeatedly raping a 5 year old. Much less to argue with on that one, IMO.

But I also agree with Rebecca - their life in prison is all but forfeit. They aren't put in general population, though. They are either housed with other pedophiles or put in isolation/solitary confinement for their entire sentence for their own protection. Pretty pathetic life, if you can call it that.
post #6 of 20
I agree with the decision, for three reasons.
1) A possible death penalty could encourage perpetrators not to leave a live victim, i.e., witness.
2) The death penalty sends the wrong message to the victim herself/himself, i.e., "This is such a heinous crime that society feels you have no chance of ever recovering from it." Before anybody argues that rape is "murder of the soul", please take note that I was raped the week I turned 18, and that's an argument I will only listen to if uttered by a fellow rape victim.
3) Rape at one time carried the death penalty in the U.S., but it was found that it was disproportionately imposed when the rapist was black and the victim white. Has society advanced enough to rule out that possibility?
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
1. Has it done the same for the crime of murder?
2. ?
3. Yes

Although I am more for life in prison, no parole.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
1. Has it done the same for the crime of murder?
2. ?
3. Yes

Although I am more for life in prison, no parole.
Re #2: My interpretation: Society thinks this crime is so heinous that the perp deserves the death penalty, and thus "equates" it with murder. Hence, the rape victim has been "murdered". You can't recover from murder, can you?
post #9 of 20
As much as I hate to say it because the thought of a child (or anyone) being raped sickens me, I have to agree with the court on this one. As heinous of a crime that rape is, I think the death penalty should only be applied in cases where the victim lost his/her life (and I'm a supporter of the death penalty).

While I'm here, I'm disappointed that the court reduced the amount of the damages that Exxon has to pay.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
I agree with the decision, for three reasons.
1) A possible death penalty could encourage perpetrators not to leave a live victim, i.e., witness.
2) The death penalty sends the wrong message to the victim herself/himself, i.e., "This is such a heinous crime that society feels you have no chance of ever recovering from it." Before anybody argues that rape is "murder of the soul", please take note that I was raped the week I turned 18, and that's an argument I will only listen to if uttered by a fellow rape victim.
3) Rape at one time carried the death penalty in the U.S., but it was found that it was disproportionately imposed when the rapist was black and the victim white. Has society advanced enough to rule out that possibility?
Wonderful insight and I agree with you here. Since you brought it up, I will admit this also. I was raped at 13, and most people would consider that age still a child. My soul was not murdered, nor would I ever expect or want the person that did it to get the death penalty. I've gotten over it, but this thread made me think more about it. If the person that raped me had gotten the death penalty, I would feel that it was a huge ordeal, and probably would be traumatized by it to this day. I don't think the death penalty fits the crime.
post #11 of 20
I'm not in favor of the death penalty for any reason.

From a purely practical standpoint, it costs more to execute a person than it does to incarcerate them for life. From a moral, legal and ethical standpoint, I'm not entirely convinced that the state has the right and authority to take life.
post #12 of 20
I found it interesting that child advocates supported the decision. They believe that the child would have a more difficult time coming forward if the perpetrator was known to him and would possibly be put to death.

As to the death penalty, I doubt it is effective other than making sure that the condemned won't do another crime. Right now, Colorado has the death penalty and a handful of people on have received it, but very rarely is the sentence carried out. There is no measurable difference between life without parole and those on death row except for the expense of the appeals process.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I'm not in favor of the death penalty for any reason.

From a purely practical standpoint, it costs more to execute a person than it does to incarcerate them for life. From a moral, legal and ethical standpoint, I'm not entirely convinced that the state has the right and authority to take life.
Just curious, but how does it cost more to execute than to keep them in prison until they die? I'm not arguing, I just figured it would cost more to feed, house and cloth them for 30,40,50 years rather than just put them to death.

But, even thought I would personally like to strangle all child rapists, I do think the courts made the right decision. Death is too easy for them. I say throw them into general population in the prison and let them feel the fear, pain and humiliation their victums felt.

I never really thought about how the child would feel if her rapist was put to death. The guilt would probably be worse than the rape itself because she might feel she caused it. Especially a very young child that didn't understand what was being done to her in the first place.

The whole subject just makes me sick.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calico2222
Just curious, but how does it cost more to execute than to keep them in prison until they die? I'm not arguing, I just figured it would cost more to feed, house and cloth them for 30,40,50 years rather than just put them to death.
Doesn't someone on death row usually sit there for 20, 30, 40 years while they run through the appeals process? I don't my tax dollars going to pay for some scumbag to sit there for years and years until they stick a needle in the low life.
post #15 of 20
Yep, it's the legal process. All those lawyers.
post #16 of 20
Because the death penalty cannot be undone if the person was found innocent later, the Supreme court has mandated that the legal process is much more intensive and lengthy.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
I found it interesting that child advocates supported the decision. They believe that the child would have a more difficult time coming forward if the perpetrator was known to him and would possibly be put to death.

As to the death penalty, I doubt it is effective other than making sure that the condemned won't do another crime. Right now, Colorado has the death penalty and a handful of people on have received it, but very rarely is the sentence carried out. There is no measurable difference between life without parole and those on death row except for the expense of the appeals process.
That's the entire reason I agree with this decision. In most cases of child rape the perpetrator is a family member, and it's hard enough to have the child come forward. Think about putting the life of a man in the hands of a five year old. That combination just doesn't sit right with me.
post #18 of 20
Barrack Obama actually disagrees with this court decision. Can't believe I actually agree with him on something....
post #19 of 20
I don't agree with the supreme court decision. I think the death penalty should be an option. An option for the victims family.
I know I would have no problem putting a bullet in someone's head if they molested my child.

Really while I think the death penalty is too humane because I would like to see baby rapers in prison getting what's coming to them. However, I still think that the victim needs the death penalty as an option.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
1. Has it done the same for the crime of murder?
This doesn't make sense in refuting jcat's #1. Obviously, in a murder, no witnesses are left already... people don't murder someone more so there's no witnesses to the murder.

I will take on number 2, though. It's a valid argument to say that this tells survivors that what happened to them is so bad the perpetrator deserves the death penalty. However, it wasn't a mandatory death penalty, it just left open the possibility of that being a punishment. In some cases, it isn't an individual crime that is so bad, but someone's tenth, eleventh, twelfth offense of raping children. People are generally more in favor of the death penalty for serial killers, so I'd imagine the same would apply here. Frankly, I believe the men who raped me before I even hit puberty did not deserve to live (and I was not the first, or the last). Sadly, none of us ever reported them, so it wouldn't much help now.

I agree it isn't a "murder of the soul." It can cause as much damage to a family as the loss of a child though. It isn't about equivocating it to murder, just saying that this crime also deserves the death penalty.

However. I don't think we should have a death penalty at all, for anything. We do, though, and in states where people can be put to death for any crime bad enough, I think it qualifies as bad enough. Not the same as murder, but in the same "seriousness of the crime" category.
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