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.