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Switch to Forum Live View United States Supreme 5 to 4 Decision- against the DP for child rape.
6 years ago  ::  Jun 26, 2008 - 11:21AM #1
divalicious
Posts: 363
I thought I would be outraged- actually I am just numbed. It is times like this that I miss Sandra Day O'Connor. She would have been the swing vote, that would never have allowed this travesty.

I realize that most of you are not in favor of the death penalty under any circumstances.
I am not posting this to pick a fight. All of you who are against the DP will feel a sense of relief at the high courts ruling. I cannot join you.

But I am heartened to know that my candidate for president (Obama) disagrees with the high courts ruling, and so does McCain the Republican nominee.

I think we will see some civil disobedience outside of court houses
during some of the most heinous trials.

There is just no place- no where, for the victim, or the victims family, to put
the emotional mess when their attacker gets to live.
I really believe knowing the attacker will die for the crime- provides closure.

I have stated this before, and I will again- for the weak spine-ed justices who allowed this crime to once again go unanswered in our society. If someone touches my daughter it will never come to your courtroom. It won't have time. The scumbag will be wearing a toe-tag by sundown. Because, that is the only justice you've left some of us with.

As for those of you in whole hearted disagreement with me.
I do understand your opinion. I will never agree with it.
I am great-full that we all have the right to our own opinions, and our own theory's.
I will never agree with you.

Here is a good link, that will take you to others involving the courts decision.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080625/ap_ … _rape_case

Respectfully Divalicious
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 9:03PM #2
bubbysmommy
Posts: 1,119
[COLOR="DarkRed"]This is a sad sad day for all of us.
I would like to say that while the person that raped our 5yr old son was a teenager & could not have possibly faced the DP (rightly so IMHO) I do believe that the crime warranted much more than the probation that he received. You did not misread, the punk that raped our 5yr old son, was given probation until he turned 18. 2yrs later, he called & threatened to kill our entire family. It was not until THEN that we were finally given a proper order of protection! All because this credent was a minor! There is something terribly wrong in our society when child rapists are allowed to walk around among us. Guess what? If I had so much as spoken a word of this to his neighbors, I could have been in trouble for violating HIS civil rights!!!!
This entire country has it's moral standard ass backwards![/COLOR]
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2008 - 9:49PM #3
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277
I have to say this is a good ruling.  No one is killed.  Even after rape, the child DOES live and, with counseling, can go on to live a normal life.
It's not a capitol offense, and shouldn't be.
James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2008 - 5:59AM #4
mindis1
Posts: 7,896
It’s always important to try to understand the reasoning behind a decision.  The decision in this case, Kennedy v. Louisiana, was correct according to the precedents.

First, Furman v. Georgia (1972) required that in order for a capital punishment statute to be consistent with the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments it must “be limited to those offenders who commit ‘a narrow category of the most serious crimes’ and whose extreme culpability makes them ‘the most deserving of execution.’ ”  Obviously one cannot claim that rape of a child, heinous as it is, qualifies as one of “a narrow category of the most serious crimes,” or that those convicted of child rape are “the most deserving of execution.”  Although being raped may inflict serious, long-term, or even permanent emotional, psychological and physical harm, rape victims, including children, can and often do go on, or continue, to lead their lives successfully and with varying degrees of self-satisfaction.  This is obviously not the case for the murder victim.  As the Court put it, for the victim of child rape, “life may not be nearly so happy as it was, but it is not over and normally is not beyond repair.”

Second, Trop v. Dallas (1958) established that what constitutes excessive or cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment “draw[s] its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”  Certainly the facts that currently only an extreme minority of states (5 states) have passed laws that allow the death penalty to be given for cases of child rape (in which there must also be aggravating factors), and only a minority of state (20 states) have ever found the death penalty appropriate for cases of child rape, indicate that the majority of elected legislatures do not consider the death penalty for child rape to be part of its “standards of decency,” and, moreover, fewer and fewer states over time have found it appropriate to impose the death penalty for child rape.

The Court further highlighted several important aspects of child rape that make for special considerations in the question of whether the death penalty should be applied, considerations that can sometimes rise to the level of Eighth Amendment violations (contrary to Alito’s dissent):

[QUOTE]It is not at all evident that the child rape victim’s hurt is lessened when the law permits the death of the perpetrator. Capital cases require a long-term commitment by those who testify for the prosecution, especially when guilt and sentencing determinations are in multiple proceedings. In cases like this the key testimony is not just from the family but from the victim herself. During formative years of her adolescence, made all the more daunting for having to come to terms with the brutality of her experience, L. H. [the victim] was required to discuss the case at length with law enforcement personnel. In a public trial she was required to recount once more all the details of the crime to a jury as the State pursued the death of her stepfather. Cf. G. Goodman et al., Testifying in Criminal Court: Emotional Effects on Child Sexual Assault Victims 50, 62, 72 (1992); Brief for National Association of Social Workers et al. as Amici Curiae 17–21. And in the end the State made L. H. a central figure in its decision to seek the death penalty, telling the jury in closing statements: “[L. H.] is asking you, asking you to set up a time and place when he dies.” Tr. 121 (Aug. 26, 2003).

Society’s desire to inflict the death penalty for child rape by enlisting the child victim to assist it over the course of years in asking for capital punishment forces a moral choice on the child, who is not of mature age to make that choice. The way the death penalty here involves the child victim in its enforcement can compromise a decent legal system; and this is but a subset of fundamental difficulties capital punishment can cause in the administration and enforcement of laws proscribing child rape.

There are, moreover, serious systemic concerns in prosecuting the crime of child rape that are relevant to the constitutionality of making it a capital offense. The problem of unreliable, induced, and even imagined child testimony means there is a “special risk of wrongful execution” in some child rape cases. Atkins, supra, at 321. See also Brief for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers et al. as Amici Curiae 5–17. This undermines, at least to some degree, the meaningful contribution of the death penalty to legitimate goals of punishment. Studies conclude that children are highly susceptible to suggestive questioning techniques like repetition, guided imagery, and selective reinforcement. See Ceci & Friedman, The Suggestibility of Children: Scientific Research and Legal Implications, 86 Cornell L. Rev. 33, 47 (2000) (there is “strong evidence that children, especially young children, are suggestible to a significant degree—even on abuse related questions”); Gross, Jacoby, Matheson, Montgomery, & Patil, Exonerations in the United States 1989 Through 2003, 95 J. Crim. L. & C. 523, 539 (2005) (discussing allegations of abuse at the Little Rascals Day Care Center); see also Quas, Davis, Goodman, & Myers, Repeated Questions, Deception, and Children’s True and False Reports of Body Touch, 12 Child Maltreatment 60, 61–66 (2007) (finding that 4- to 7-year-olds “were able to maintain [a] lie about body touch fairly effectively when asked repeated, direct questions during a mock forensic interview”).

Similar criticisms pertain to other cases involving child witnesses; but child rape cases present heightened concerns because the central narrative and account of the crime often comes from the child herself. She and the accused are, in most instances, the only ones present when the crime was committed. See Pennsylvania v. Ritchie, 480 U. S. 39, 60 (1987). Cf. Goodman, Testifying in Criminal Court, at 118. And the question in a capital case is not just the fact of the crime, including, say, proof of rape as distinct from abuse short of rape, but details bearing upon brutality in its commission. These matters are subject to fabrication or exaggeration, or both. See Ceci and Friedman, supra; Quas, supra. Although capital punishment does bring retribution, and the legislature here has chosen to use it for this end, its judgment must be weighed, in deciding the constitutional question, against the special risks of unreliable testimony with respect to this crime.

With respect to deterrence, if the death penalty adds to the risk of non-reporting, that, too, diminishes the penalty’s objectives. Underreporting is a common problem with respect to child sexual abuse. See Hanson, Resnick, Saunders, Kilpatrick, & Best, Factors Related to the Reporting of Childhood Rape, 23 Child Abuse & Neglect 559, 564 (1999) (finding that about 88% of female rape victims under the age of 18 did not disclose their abuse to authorities); Smith et al., Delay in Disclosure of Childhood Rape: Results From A National Survey, 24 Child Abuse & Neglect 273, 278–279 (2000) (finding that 72% of women raped as children disclosed their abuse to someone, but that only 12% of the victims reported the rape to authorities). Although we know little about what differentiates those who report from those who do not report, see Hanson, supra, at 561, one of the most commonly cited reasons for nondisclosure is fear of negative consequences for the perpetrator, a concern that has special force where the abuser is a family member, see Goodman-Brown, Edelstein, Goodman, Jones, & Gordon, Why Children Tell: A Model of Children’s Disclosure of Sexual Abuse, 27 Child Abuse & Neglect 525, 527–528 (2003); Smith, supra, at 283–284 (finding that, where there was a relationship between perpetrator and victim, the victim was likely to keep the abuse a secret for a longer period of time, perhaps because of a “greater sense of loyalty or emotional bond”); Hanson, supra, at 565–566, and Table 3 (finding that a “significantly greater proportion of reported than nonreported cases involved a stranger”); see also Ritchie, supra, at 60. The experience of the amici who work with child victims indicates that, when the punishment is death, both the victim and the victim’s family members may be more likely to shield the perpetrator from discovery, thus increasing underreporting. See Brief for National Association of Social Workers et al. as Amici Curiae 11–13. As a result, punishment by death may not result in more deterrence or more effective enforcement.

In addition, by in effect making the punishment for child rape and murder equivalent, a State that punishes child rape by death may remove a strong incentive for the rapist not to kill the victim. Assuming the offender behaves in a rational way, as one must to justify the penalty on grounds of deterrence, the penalty in some respects gives less protection, not more, to the victim, who is often the sole witness to the crime. See Rayburn, Better Dead Than R(ap)ed?: The Patriarchal Rhetoric Driving Capital Rape Statutes, 78 St. John’s L. Rev. 1119, 1159–1160 (2004). It might be argued that, even if the death penalty results in a marginal increase in the incentive to kill, this is counterbalanced by a marginally increased deterrent to commit the crime at all. Whatever balance the legislature strikes, however, uncertainty on the point makes the argument for the penalty less compelling than for homicide crimes.[/QUOTE]
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2008 - 6:21AM #5
mindis1
Posts: 7,896
There is another odd problem with the statute in question in the Kennedy v. Louisiana case, not mentioned in the decision.  It’s a problem of definition.  While the Louisiana statute referred to the crime specifically as “rape,” by the time of the Court’s ruling, it had added a category of “oral intercourse” to this statute.  What exactly is “oral intercourse,” I don’t know; the statute undoubtedly defined it.  Many states do not have a specific crime of “rape” on the books.  Quite often, a state will have a rather broad category that it might call “deviant sexual intercourse,” or “sexual assault” or any variety of other terms that include a variety of particular acts.  So, if the Court had upheld the Louisiana law, exactly what acts does it include that can warrant the death penalty?  It wouldn’t be clear to any court attempting to subsequently rule on the constitutionality of a statute.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2008 - 12:08PM #6
mindis1
Posts: 7,896
[QUOTE=Tolerant Sis;595848]Even pro-DP supporters should laud this decision, since it is far more likely to leave witnesses alive ... that is, the child victims.

If a perpetrator is facing the death penalty either way, why on earth would he leave the only witness to his crime alive?[/QUOTE]

I think this is such an interesting and important point for our feverishly punitive society these days.  That death penalty sentences remove the incentive to not kill a witness/victim is, of course, a good argument against the death penalty for any non-homicide crime.  That three-strikes laws also remove the incentive to not commit a worse crime the third time is also a good argument against these laws:  under a three-strikes law, someone who already has two convictions and is merely robbing a store or is in even a minor confrontation with a police officer might as well kill any witnesses, or ram any and all cars in one’s relentless attempt to get away, etc., etc.--the criminal has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It merely illustrates how these draconian, purely punitive measures are not the answer.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 01, 2008 - 8:50PM #7
bubbysmommy
Posts: 1,119
[COLOR="Purple"]As much as I absolutely loathe child rape, I still truly feel that the DP should be reserved for a very select few that are guilty of premeditated murder. I mean truly guilty beyond any doubt. As heinous as the rape of child is, the child is after all still alive to heal. And they do heal. It may not be easy, but they do get past this. If we execute everyone for crimes that do not involve the death of an innocent, the DP loses it's teeth & simply is not effective.[/COLOR]
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2008 - 9:32AM #8
mindis1
Posts: 7,896
[QUOTE=bubbysmommy;599212][COLOR="Purple"] If we execute everyone for crimes that do not involve the death of an innocent, the DP loses it's teeth & simply is not effective.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Therein lies the problem with the death penalty.  It isn’t effective for doing anything that benefits society; it's mere retribution by the state.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2008 - 10:00AM #9
bubbysmommy
Posts: 1,119
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]It is the way that it is currently being used. I firmly believe that there are a few, very rare cases when the DP should be utilized. The rape of a child just isn't one of them. Should the monster ever see the light of day again? Hell no! My dilemma is this.
I want the DP to remain intact, but revamped so that only those that are guilty beyond ANY doubt are executes. I want to make sure that there is no possibility that an innocent person is executed. There can be no room for mistakes here when we are talking about taking a human life. After all, regardless of how many he/she killed, or how heinous the crime, they are still human on some level. It is because of this that I want to reserve the DP for the killers that area absolutely guilty of a premeditated murder, or rape/murder.  [/COLOR]
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2008 - 11:19AM #10
divalicious
Posts: 363
[QUOTE=Tmarie64;595185]I have to say this is a good ruling.  No one is killed.  Even after rape, the child DOES live and, with counseling, can go on to live a normal life.
It's not a capitol offense, and shouldn't be.[/QUOTE]

Try not to sound so caviler. Some of us were raped as children, and some of us (if you read this thread) have had children raped. Yesterday, here in Florida the death sentence was carried out at 6:03 PM for a child murdering/pedophile. I for one, cried. Never for the criminal...I cried for the innocence of the child that was stolen. I cried over the brutality of his final moments.

I understand that surviving has it's benefits, but they are always shadowed, always tainted, and that no amount of healing brings a sense of trust in humanity -ever again. So, don't act like you know TMarie- unless you do. It is an insult to all of us who really know.

- After I wiped away the tears, I prayed for the family of the child, I prayed that this monsters death will offer them some solace, some closure, and some relief form the heart splitting pain.

Throughout the night I wondered did the monster feel fear? And, did he feel pain?

I hope he did. I hope he felt both.
I hope he's born into the next life- a slave, and beaten daily.



bubbysmommy, Your the only one here, in the morality forums, that I can relate to. I respect your view even though I could never agree with it. I respect your opinion, because at least you do understand the rage... And, that my work in this life time, my passion, is for protecting women and children.


I think your the only one here that has ever shown my view any respect.

As always, I wish you well, and pray for your sons continued healing.

Blessed Be, Divalicious
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