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Thread: Proposals to execute pedophiles make headway in US

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Jul 2006

    Default Proposals to execute pedophiles make headway in US

    Proposals to execute pedophiles make headway in US - Yahoo! News
    The idea of executing child rapists, even when there in no loss of life, is making headway in the United States.
    The Louisiana Supreme Court last week upheld the death sentence for a pedophile, and the governor of Texas is soon to sign into law legislation to that effect.
    In 1995, Louisiana was the first state to adopt legislation authorizing the death penalty for child rapists.
    Ten years later, the movement to make pedophilia punishable by death really picked up steam after nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford was raped and buried alive in Florida by a man with a prior conviction for sex crimes.
    Various versions of the "Jessica Law" sprang up all over in the country, imposing in most cases a minimum 25 year jail sentence and the wearing of an ankle bracelet for life for raping a child aged 12 or younger.
    But in some states, elected officials amended their versions of the "Jessica Law" by adding the possibility of condemning a pedophile to death.
    They include Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia and Montana.
    An overwhelming majority of lawmakers in Texas chose to join the list. Texas is responsible for a third of all executions carried out in the United States in the past 30 years and for two-thirds of those conducted so far this year.
    The draft law is now on the desk of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has promised to sign it.
    The idea seems to go against the grain in the rest of the country, where the death penalty is losing ground because of grave judicial errors and botched executions.
    Organizations defending the rights of crime victims have differing views on the proposals.
    "We are very concerned that this may reduce reporting of sexual assault, since most child abuse is made by someone close to the child," said Karen Rugaard, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.
    "It is already difficult to report about a father, an uncle, a family friend ... It will be worse when the child knows they can spend a very long time in jail or be sentenced to death," she said.
    "We are worried that legislators did nothing to help prevent the violence," Rugaard added, expressing regret that the draft law does not call for any preventive measures.
    Moreover, it is uncertain that executing non-murderers will comply with the US constitutional mandate barring "cruel and unusual" punishment.
    The only man among more than 3,300 prisoners on death row who stands to lose his life under the new law is 42-year-old Patrick Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), who was sentenced to death in Louisiana in 2003 for raping his companion's eight-year-old daughter.
    In 1977, the US Supreme Court invalidated the death sentence of a rapist, arguing the punishment was disproportionate to the crime.

    Later, evoking "evolving standards of decency," the court also rejected the death penalty for criminals who were minors or mentally retarded at the time they committed their crimes.
    But on Tuesday, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the death penalty for Kennedy.
    It argued that "given the appalling nature of the crime, the severity of the harm inflicted upon the victim, and the harm imposed on society, the death penalty is not an excessive penalty for the crime of rape when the victim is a child under the age of 12 years old." The US Supreme Court could rule on the case next year.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    Good for them! And if I was kin to one I would most definitely want the MF put down!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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