Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Supreme Court Bans Death Penalty for Child Rape

In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court ruled against dealth penalty for child rape. FYI, 6 states currently allowed the death penalty for this type of crime, although it has been 44 years since anyone in the US has been executed for a non-murder offense.

I have mixed feelings about this decision, because I think child rape is one of the most horrific crimes that can be perpetrated by any human being. However, I do think the court came to the right decision. The biggest argument for employing the dealth penalty in these situations would be to deter future heinous crimes by the violent and ill individual. However, these people are so mentally warped that I do not think any type of consequence will stop them from committing this type of violent crime.

The argument to execute the offender as a punishment for the crime does not hold water. The child is definitely scarred for life (as is the family), but the death of the perpetrator does nothing to rid the victim or their families of the terrible memories of this horrid event. It only gives a quick, one-time feeling of satification due to a false sense of redemtion.

Don't get me wrong, I do not think these people have a good chance at "rehabilitation". Data from multiple studies indicate that the recividism rate for these types of crimes is near 50% and often exceeds that, depsite psychiatric counseling. Thus, these people will always be a risk to society. However, because the risk of repeat crimes is not 100%, execution is not the answer. Instead, they should be locked up for life. And, from what I hear from my trainer at the gym (don't ask), these people get their "due" when they are incarcerated. To me, that's better punishment than peacefully dying from a potassium chloride injection.

Let us know what you think.

10 comments:

kath said...

I agree with you. It is an awful crime but I don't buy the eye-for-an-eye argument, anyway. And certainly death is excessive in the case of child rape.

What about chemical castration? Does that change anything? Is this a sexist question?

Bob said...

I agree that the death penalty is not the answer. However, a lifetime of tax payer support in a prison is not the answer either.

Cocameister said...

I hate tax payer money going to support these people, but it actually cost MORE tax payer to put someone to death (because of all of the appeals that occur).

Bob said...

Put them to work! Get something productive out of them besides sitting around watching TV and doing activities.

Don said...

I am not the biggest fan of the death penalty, just because I am uncomfortable letting the government decided who lives and who dies.

Still, I think this guy needs the harshest punishment we can devise. But, while Coca approves of the right to life bestowed upon this child rapist ..... why do I think his next post will be about how awful it is that criminals are not the only ones who can own guns in DC now?

julie said...

The biggest flaw with the death penalty for any crime is the possibility for executing an innocent person.

Anonymous said...

if someone pleads guilty and the evidence backs up the plea, well, then the death penalty should be considered when the crime warrants consideration. hammurabi set the precedent. babylon had less crime, was more socially tolerant and encourage partying on the weekends. it was a place to behold.

Cocameister said...

I want the guy to die as much as the next guy. However, my problem with the death penalty is the following:

1. Innocent person being killed
2. Dying via lethal injection is less of a punishment than a lifetime of confinement and torment

julie said...

There have been plenty of people who have said they committed a crime for a variety of reasons (a) they are crazy, b) they were "persuaded" by law enforcement) throughout history who did not actually commit a crime.

And it would be a ridiculous miscarriage of justice to create a law "death penalty ONLY for those who ADMIT they committed a heinous crime."

julie said...

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/how-the-supreme-court-misread-my-research-empirics-and-the-death-penalty/#more-2775

here is some relevant information.