Self-Defense & Violence Prevention Blog

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Death Penalty For Child Rape

Louisiana sentenced the 43-year-old Patrick Kennedy to death for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to review the case and decide whether a state can execute someone convicted of raping a child.

The United States constitution bans “cruel and unusual punishment.” In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that the constitution barred execution for the rape of a 16-year-old girl, referring to such an execution as “grossly disproportionate and excessive punishment” for that crime. However, Louisiana’s court apparently views child rape as a much more heinous crime than the rape of a 16-year-old.

I think we all view child rape as an especially horrible form of rape. I see it as more heinous than even most murders.

Federal Law provides for the death penalty for many homicide-related crimes, as well as espionage, treason, and trafficking large quantities of drugs. If the government will execute people for murder, treason, drug trafficking and espionage, then it must allow for the execution of people for child rape to remain consistent.

However, I question the use of the death penalty at all.

I support the defensive use of homicide to protect innocent people. However, I do not want to cause excess harm to violent criminals. If we have already arrested and detained them, then we can just lock them in prison rather than execute them.

I mainly fear the use of the death penalty because of the inability to rectify its misuse. Jails and prisons contain many falsely convicted criminals. For example, DNA regularly exonerates many convicted criminals, including murderers and rapists. We can release these falsely convicted people from prison, but we cannot revive executed people. In my opinion, any slight benefit gained from executing violent criminals, instead of just imprisoning them, does not make up for the execution of falsely convicted people.

Also, I have heard that the death penalty usually ends up financially costing more because of all the expensive judicial appeals involved.

I want to note that I have no interest in punishing anyone. I see vengeance as a fool’s goal. I want offensively violent behavior outlawed to protect innocent people not to punish guilty people. I want murders, rapists, and other violent criminals stopped and incarcerated to protect innocent people not to punish the criminals.

What do you think?

By | January 9th, 2008 | SHOW COMMENTS (6)

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I am the creator of this website, which I use to post about self-defense and violence prevention. I have two children who I love so much. I want them to be proud of me, and I hope what I do here contributes to that. Please let me know what you think about my posts by leaving a comment below. I am totally open to opposing viewpoints and a productive discussion. Follow me on Twitter: @scottmhughes

6 Responses

  1. Daniel Owen says

    Society has a right to take vengeance on the most horrible criminals. Should the Nazis at Nuremberg have been let off? If they’d captured Hitler, shouldn’t they have let him off? It wasn’t as if Hitler or his cohorts were any longer in a position to murder 6 million people again. But justice means like for like — an eye for an eye. Tit for tat. Take away the freedom or life of an innocent and you do not deserve your own.

  2. Linda says

    okay…i would have said that i share the same sentiments as susan but when i read the comments i realise what i am saying…i mean, can i really say that i have the right to end someone’s life?can i condone extermination? but then again, what do you do with such people?i’m still thinking about it…

  3. susan says

    Scott–

    I think BTK SHOULD BE TORTURED-

    some of these guys, John Wayne Gacy, had a great time before he was done with- sold his paintings- had pen pals- he loved his prison existence-

    Ted Bundy has a child out here- and it makes me happy to know he lost his bodily functions as he was being led to his death–

    evil needs to be done away with– some just don’t belong here- lol

  4. Scott says

    Lisa Smith,

    Thanks for your comments! I still would prefer the convict to be incarcerated permanently rather than executed. I see little to no added benefit in executing an admitted child rapist (or murderer for that matter) as opposed to incarcerating the convict, but I do see major risk, in that the death penalty could be misapplied.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  5. Lisa Smith says

    what do you think?

  6. Lisa Smith says

    I used to believe in the death penalty when I was younger. Now I realize all the fraud and mistakes that can go on in a legal case. However, when it is admitted or proven a person has committed rape of a child, I would agree the death penalty is warranted. Since it is said these people can not be rehabilitated. (sp)

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