The Supreme Penalty for Rape

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case about whether—for the first time in decades—a criminal can be executed for a crime that isn't murder. Patrick Kennedy was convicted in 2004 for the rape of a child, his 8-year-old stepdaughter, and the state of Louisiana contends that his crime is tantamount to murder and worthy of death. Nobody in this country has actually been executed for anything other than murder since 1964, although five states, including Louisiana, have laws on their books permitting capital punishment for the rape of young children. Several others are considering broadening their laws to do the same. So the court must determine, in Kennedy v. Louisiana, whether the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment bars the execution of someone who didn't commit a murder, but did violate a young child..........................

http://www.newsweek.com/id/131773

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i don't think a person should be put to death for rape, even of a child. yes, it's an AWFUL crime, that a victim has to deal with for the rest of their life. i also feel if they allowed it, then it starts going down a slippery slope. then there would be questions if molest, and other crimes would be punishable by death. i was physically, sexually and mentally abused for 15 years, and i would not want the person to be put to death because of it. punished yes, but killing someone is not the answer. of course, i'm not sure what i would think if this happened to one of my kids. i would like to think my opinion would stay the same, but i don't know, and i pray i will never have to find out..

One of the biggest problems with child molesters is that they are never truely safe to be around and the whole issue of keeping an eye on them, tracking them would be eliminated the death penalty. Sex offender lists are not fool proof nor are they protection from these sicko's.
I'm sorry but I have no sympathy or compassion for child molesters, male, female, black white orange or purple I don't care who they are. If they are dead you don't have to worry about them reoffending, the victim will never have to have one minute of fear that the person might come back to harm them. Life in prison won't do because they don't deserve three hots and a cot plus free medical care on our tax dime.
Maybe they should think about bringing back court house hangings.
Or maybe some quality time alone with the childs loved ones.
I'm talking about "real" child molesters, not 18 year old boys with 16 year old girlfriends. Sicko's who snatch children off the street and abuse them.
I'm talking about adults who rape two year olds or ten year olds, our babies.

They can't be trusted to be "rehabilitated".

even if you kill these people the damage is done. you can't reverse the harmful affects and flashbacks that go along with offenses of this nature. trust me, the person that abused me killed himself over it after it came out. i can't say i feel any better, and it fixed all my problems. yeah, i know my kids are safer, but the scars are still there, and there are more people out there.

there needs to be tougher laws and a solid tracking system to try and prevent any further episodes. we also need to keep a good eye on our kids, trust our guts and really know who is around our kids.

SCOTUS won't be ruling on whether or not child rapist should be put to death. They are ruling on whether or not it's cruel and unusual punishment for rape. There's a subtle difference, but one that is very important. I think they could very easily rule that capital punishment for rape is constitutional because they've already ruled that capital punishment for murder is constitutional. How can capital punishment for murder be constitutional while capital punishment for rape is not? It's the same punishment either way. If it's cruel and unusual for one crime then it would be cruel and unusual for the other. Also, just because something is constitutional doesn't mean it should be done. That is ultimately up to the legislatures of the 50 states of the Union.

they are also discussing the 3 drugs they used in lethal injections. correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't veterinarians not use the drugs any more because it's too painful for the animals. when i put my dog down they only used one drug. i have no idea what, wasn't important at the time.

I never understood why the states stopped using either a bullet or hanging. Either seems to be a very humane and quick method of dispatching someone if done properly. The Chinese government executes by a single bullet fired into the back of the head. This is a quick -and cheap- method. They even ask the condemned to open his mouth so the bullet will pass out his mouth and not disfigure his face. The family gets a relatively whole corpse for burial.

The problem with the death penelty for child molesters, is that slippery slope that follow - where do you draw the line, and what is the next crime that will get you the death penelty? Elderly women? Boys aged 17 having had sex with 16 yr old girls? I don't understand why simple castration for the first offense is never suggested. One 'fell swoop' as it were, and the problem of future abuses is gone - whack that whanker off.

As for the people on death row - to hell with 3 drugs being 'inhumane'. They didn't care about being 'humane' to their victims, and more often than not, the killers die easier than the victims did. My gripe about death row, is there is a standard wait time of at least 10 years to sit on death row - waiting - for freaking what? While the state supports them.

Castration won't stop them from using another object to rape their victim.

The execution of these scumbags is the only way to ensure that they never hurt anyone again.

I would hope that their death would bring comfort to the victim but even if it doesn't it would save someone, maybe many someones, from being their next victim/

"Castration won't stop them from using another object to rape their victim."

they would not get the full affect if they were castrated. i like the idea. i agree with you starling, it starts to go down a slippery slope.

what do the guys think?

one Black & Decker BeltSander® with really aggressive grit

or

hot tongs

tied to a raging bull

slammed repeatedly in a door then lopped off with a paper cutter

hooked to a 220 volt line then twist off

high high powered pressure washer with a zero degree tip

brian, you made me squirm and i'm not a guy! :)

especially by raping them is " tantamount to murder and worthy of death. " Absolutely!

For almost all time, women and children have been considered lessor beings in society. When someone rapes a child, they destroy that child for life. In my mind, an adult murdering an adult doesn't even touch the tip of this most foul crime. A child's soul is irreversibly damaged and every moment of their life from that event forward is tainted and damaged.

There has yet to be a cruel enough death for the perps of this kind of crime. Mostly because you cannot kill someone twice. As far as I'm concerned, the people that rape/kill a child should be shot in the head and throw to rabid dogs for a meal. (Not necessarily in that order)

The only problem that I would have with the death penalty for a rapist (child or otherwise) is the fear of executing the wrong person.

If, in theory, it were possible to know with 100% accuracy that a person was truly a child molestor/pedophile, then I'd be all for it. I personally don't believe that a true pedophile can ever be "cured," and I'm all for keeping kids safe.

But I also hear about these decades old rape convictions that get overturned on DNA evidence and think about how awful it would be to execute someone who actually was innocent of the crime he/she was convicted of. :(

Aside from that, I have no problem with the idea of executing known serial pedophiles. (Or even enacting a little vigilante justice.)

one parent coaches the child to say the other parent molested them so the first parent gets custody.

THAT parent gets stoned to the death.

Government-authorized murder of a person, no matter how despicable his or her crime, is an abomination. Permanent incarceration is sometimes needed. And that's easily done. But killing the killer only reduces the sanctity of the life of the killer's victim. In a mostly Christian nation, a nation where most profess a belief in God, we should not be shooting deathly drugs into the veins of criminals, no matter their crimes. Keep them locked up, but give them the chance for the holy redemption that so many of us claim is available to us when we gather at our places of worship.

Patience is a great virtue.

then hell, let's "WATERBOARD" these assholes!

brian, do you have any personal experiences with abuse or rape? just wondering why you seem to be getting so hostile. i realize this is a tense subject, but i'm not bitter at all and i was abused. i suffer from post traumatic stress, battle depression and have a huge fear of drugs as a result of it. i'm not bitter about it, and have forgiven him. i'm not attacking you or anything, just was curious about why you feel this way. no comments from el whatever/ lone ranger, i asked brian.

Don, I will use a very personal life experience to show you and others why your belief system on the Death Penalty is flawed and non-effective in the case of Child Rape and Torture. While I understand your opinion, I respectfully disagree. I'm not trying to change any one's mind, I'm just going to lay out the facts and everyone can make their own judgement.

The facts are simple, children are treated as 2nd class citizens and are considered lessor beings by the court system in the case of rape, molestation, horrific child abuse and torture. Even when convicted, the sentences are short, almost laughable, and without true understanding of the damage inflicted on the child. Even if the child lives, their soul has been devastated for the balance of their life. Every thing they do, everything they think, every relationship they have is forever altered and no matter the psychiatric care, the faith based care, the loving and nurturing aftercare, they are forever damaged and unable to live their life in total freedom, joy and peace. No, they carry it with them everywhere, at all times and it more often than not, makes life very difficult for them to navigate.

I'm not going to go and dig up all the studies, but I think everyone has heard of the common ground that in the case of child rape/ severe abuse, once that child has been through it, a piece of them is gone and simply cannot be recovered. Not just innocence, not just virginity, no, a piece of their very core is raped away and it's a significant portion of their ability to carry on in life under what is considered "normal".

Don, this you should appreciate, it takes away a lot of their ability to have faith in God. Especially true if it's a supposedly christian person that does it.

The case in summary is my own experience and that of my family along with several other individuals that have been harmed forever by the same man that harmed me. I have a 40 year background on it so I will do it in summary.

A man that became involved with and eventually married my mother near the time of my birth, spent 6 years abusing me, my Mother and later in life his own children conceived in that marriage. At 18 months he beat me black and blue from head to toe while babysitting me for 1 hour. This became a pattern that would include beating, sadistic torture and as I aged included rape and attempted murder(3 times). He tried to smother me with a pillow, stuff steel jacks down my throat(Jacks are those little game pieces that you drop the rubber ball and pick up) and the last, but not least attempt was to use a knife to kill me. Thankfully, the attempts were unsuccessful and the last attempt was on Christmas eve when I was 6 years old.

This man shared his rage with more than I. He used his vicious ability to attack and rape my mother, put cigarettes out on her and punched her in the stomach, then threw her down the basement stairs while she was pregnant with my late sister. As a result of his abuse of my mother, my sister was born with severe handicaps and dies the size of a 5 year old at the age of 23. She was never able to speak, eat through her mouth, walk, play or any other typical child activity. She was in 24 hour a day care until she died. She had 1 more child with this man and he also abused this child in a similar manner as to me, but it was shorter in duration and by this time, the jailing helped stave off, but did not prevent him from sexually and physically abusing my youngest sibling.

Sure he got caught, convicted and sent to jail for a few weeks/months to a couple of years at a time, but he always got out and always returned to the same activity. Because he was the biological parent to my younger 2 siblings, he was awarded visitation over and over again. It stopped for me at 7, but for my younger brother, and now late sister, it continued until she died and he reached 18. The law protected his rights over ours every time.

After his marriage to my mother was ended, he took up with another sucker of a woman that had a child from a earlier marriage and that child went through exactly the same as I did. For him, life has turned out very differently, he grew up and became a criminal and has spent most of his adult life behind bars. He was unable to get out of the situation and didn't have the aftercare I did and thus, unable to carry on in life without this trouble. They(the woman and he) had a child together, he also went through it and he too has several problems getting along in society and has had serious trouble with the law, drugs, booze etc.

The man spent several years in prison for attacking yet another woman and was released last fall. Just a couple of months ago he attacked another woman, nearly killing her from what I understand and has been returned for another vacation in prison.

This is 5 children and 5 women that are reported and convicted cases. This does not include the potentially dozens of others that went unreported and convicted. We're talking about a span of 40 years here and these are just the ones I know about. We're talking about over 10 million dollars in court and related prison costs and it didn't protect anyone. Cost of a bullet to the head.. $1

Had he been executed for what he did to me and my mother, 8 other lives would have been spared the nightmare that will never go away. (8 that I know of). The 4 other children and myself will never have a normal life, we are forever sentenced to live with what he has done to us. Yep, he's back in prison for now, but he will be out again in no time and he will do it again and again and again.

Don, you can say our court/justice system can and should be changed to prevent this, but that is not going to happen as evidenced by the decades long history of it not changing. This is just 1 case and there are hundreds/thousands of cases just like it throughout the nation. Prison doesn't work and the people that think it does/will are just as guilty of the crime against the children as the cretins that attack the children. The only sure way to protect children from this abuse is to execute the perps and I believe God is in agreement with this. It is not revenge killing, it is protective killing and that is not murder.

chad,

i thank you for telling us that story, as i can see this is also a sensative issue with you.

"Even if the child lives, their soul has been devastated for the balance of their life. Every thing they do, everything they think, every relationship they have is forever altered and no matter the psychiatric care, the faith based care, the loving and nurturing aftercare, they are forever damaged and unable to live their life in total freedom, joy and peace. No, they carry it with them everywhere, at all times and it more often than not, makes life very difficult for them to navigate."

i disagree with you on this, a person can be helped to live a normal productive life after a abuse or rape. yes, it is VERY challenging to do, and takes years, a good therapist, willing patient, and faith in God. my faith was strengthened through my experiences, and i don't walk around letting it get me down. yes, it has affected parts of my life. for example, i have a fear of pain killers and any drug that alters my abilities. i gave birth naturally because i was so afraid of the pain killers, something i would not recommend. i don't dwell on that, and when there are times in my life i need these kind of drugs i hold on to my faith and husband and i get through it. i believe if a person has faith they can overcome anything, and turn their experiences into learning lessons. they might not live their life the same way a person who has not been abused would, but we all have scars, we all have wounds that need to heal, but we all can get through it with faith.

chad, thanks again for sharing, God bless you. :)

I admire your stance and I too have moved beyond the past a long time ago. We are unique for the most part as many, many never get off of start, little own make a go of it. There are a few such as you and I, but we are the minority and I am grateful for the release. I have encountered hundreds of people with similar histories in my journey and most are in varying states of distress. Drugs, alcohol, crime, even doing unto others as was done unto them. This is the average outcome. More often than not, depression, suicide, dysfunctional relationships, social and economic retardation, failures in school, home and the workplace. Of of this is in varying degrees and some get all the symptoms, some get few to none.

Red...just looking over your posts on this thread, you mentioned your own abuse in 3 of 7 posts. So I'd say it comes to mind more than a few times in your life. I don't dwell on mine either, but I'd be lying to say it doesn't cross my mind at least once a week, sometimes more. It comes to mind with every media story I see related to child abuse, every tv show, talk radio, whenever child abuse is mentioned anywhere. Not always a direct flashback, but I think you'll understand this when I say that I know when I look into a child's eyes if they too share something ghastly with me. I can also see it on an adults face, though this is often masked with a charade. I can also tell by sight when I see someone that has/does commit the crime..and that's even more disturbing.

For those of us that have found a way through, a way to find some level of peace and some amount of joy, it's still not quite the same now is it? I went through 15 years of treatment to stave off the effects of 61/2 years of abuse. It's a constant work in progress and if there's anything I resent and am still angry about, it's that I have had to spend my teens and most of my adult life dealing with what should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. 10 times our number never get half as far as we have in their lifetime. God has been good to me and if there's anything to be thankful for in it, it's that I have a gruesome knowledge that once in a while, helps someone else get a little further on the life path, but that's little consolation all things considered.

Moreover, the issue is if they should be removed from life to protect both the current victims and any potential future victims. Absolutely. Prison is not a permanent solution, execution is.

"I can also tell by sight when I see someone that has/does commit the crime..and that's even more disturbing."

chad, i figured you too had this ability. it does come in handy.
i'm not going to debate with you on how you feel and if killing someone is justified, it would be a pointless argument. i respect your view even though i disagree.

I respect yours and other's opinions as well. What is right to me and what is right to someone else may not always be the same. What I have noticed is that even where there is a difference of opinion on something, there's still a lot of common ground.

I'm not bitter about my childhood, not happy about it but not bitter either. Took a long time to get here, but I have allowed forgiveness as much as I am currently capable of. In my limited human capacity, that's all anyone can ask.

These days I am far more concerned with the health and safety of the children now exposed to an even more vicious kind of monster. As society has evolved(for lack of a better term), things have gotten far worse, more extreme, and the knowledge has gone global with the advent of technology. Not only do we hear about it from all corners of the world, we get to watch it unfold, see pictures, video, hear the gory details. Society has been so desensitized to it, it's almost an accepted part of life. This desensitizing covers a lot more than just the abuse of children, it goes over almost every sort of demonic activity on Earth.

I agree, some are falsely accused, convicted, though in far fewer numbers in modern times. If a person in found to be guilty 100% without a doubt, they should at the very least, spend the rest of their natural life in an isolation cell fed peanut butter and oatmeal with very minimal care. The only human contact they should ever have is from a member of the clergy of their choice and a guard that shoves their food under the door. While I firmly believe they should all be executed, I could live with this.

Forgiveness is not a ticket to physical freedom. The only alternative I can accept as possibly workable is permanent, isolated confinement. The only way out of that dark, dank cell is in a box.

I was married to an abuser - so it's different than child abuse. I've known quite a few successful people in my life (I rate success in a very strange way though - happy as in healthy family, loving relationships living in a home with laughter :-) only to find out later that they were child abuser survivors.

One man told me that he came to a crossroads in his life and his faith saved him and made him determined to have the family he had been deprived of. And he did :-)

In my own instance I know the before and after of abuse. I know that I used to feel safe and I can't remember how it works anymore. And I know I can't ever undo it - but I believe that I'm making ground on overcoming it. And my children are happy and healthy and there is much laughter in this house :-)

With God all things are possible. I believe this because my life has shown it to be true.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I am for the death penalty for child rapists/abusers - as long as DNA or whatever, can prove 100 percent that it is the correct person being put to death. Sarah is right - lots of innocent people in prison & on death row, by way of 'witness reports" that can be iffy at times, to say nothing of vindictive spouses, and memoires of children, often years after the fact.

I still say castration for first offense is as start - it sends a powerful message, and the 'sex' isn't as good. Maybe death penatly for other offenses. With a caveat: The average time a person sits on death row is 10 -13 years, waste of time & money to house them. I say there should be a requirement that they be put to death within 12 months of sentencing. (or less).

Our country has more people in prison per capita than any other industrialized country in the world. Prisons are huge business/money makers, and the expense of housing/feeding/medical care for these inmates is insane. Non-violent crimes shouldn't result in such long prison terms, and minor drug convictions maybe not at all.

And don't Christians hold the belief 'an eye for an eye'? (or is it 'turn the other cheek"?)

was Old Testament. There is an argument that the death penalty is supported in the New Testament - but the old ways went away with the advent of Christ's sacrifice. We hold to the ten commandments etc, but much of the Old Testament teachings went away.

You know, the way I feel about the death penalty has changed over the years. If I think about someone killing a family member of mine - I'm confirmed in my belief that they ought to get the death penalty. If I think about a baby or a young child being killed or raped - (The DSM delineating this distinction as at or below the age of 13).

My experience with true pedophiles - (psych studies) is that a consortium of experts label this behavior as incorrigible. And they have a voracious appetite, many molesting hundreds of children. And in my book - when an adult has sex with a child - it's rape.

However, with the advent of DNA there have been many death row inmates freed when DNA proved that they did not commit the crime.

I do not buy the line that the death penalty is not a deterrent. It surely is - dead men commit no crimes.

I only want to make sure that those who are given the death penalty are truly guilty though.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I agree kate. And I do not believe child molesters/rapists are 'curable' - ever. So why should society have to pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to keep them in prison? I say, first offense - castration. Zero tolerance (unless there is reasonable doubt whether they are the guilty party - their guilt would have to be proven 100 percent.) Second offense - death penalty with a 12 month leeway to do the deed (at most - this allows for appeal time).

I would like to see stiffer penalties on anybody who abuses children. That baby that was put into the microwave oven - I am furious who could do such a thing to a baby????? (or animal). I don't remember what the mother's sentence was - but it wasn't enough.

when they cannot or will not protect their most fragile and needy members.

And as a PK - I always think about the Pastors, the cops and the E.R. people who have to help and be exposed to these horrifying experiences. And how it must feel when everybody does their job right and the Judge lets people off altogether or gives a 'light' sentence.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I have two former relations that molested kids, their own and others.

Both were middle aged men and both spent time in jail and neither ever committed another offense, after the jail term.

" both spent time in jail and neither ever committed another offense, after the jail term."

Aside from the jail part...how could you possibly know this to be true? Unless you've spent every minute with them, you can't know for sure.

Well, for starters, this is an obviously passionate issue for most.

It was and is for me, also, I am not given to doubting what people say, I tend to take what they say at face value and leave it at that.

The two that I refer too, where relations. This is a personal matter to me, and not one I am going to divulge names or relationships with me, suffice to say that I knew the people well and the family circle and support was strong, and that combined to what was done to them in jail, defecating in food for one, was enough to scare them straight.

And let me say, that it effected one of my own and when that happens, one tends to take steps to make sure it does not happen again, and I know it did not happen, and I do not have to justify what I say, about it.

Not every offender of every crime is the same, just as we all not the same, and have different experiences in life.

Some people do actually change and mend their ways, and when one has had it happen to them, it does tend to cloud the mind, but there are times where change does happen, and I saw it, in my case.

Well, for starters, this is an obviously passionate issue for most.

It was and is for me, also, I am not given to doubting what people say, I tend to take what they say at face value and leave it at that.

The two that I refer too, where relations. This is a personal matter to me, and not one I am going to divulge names or relationships with me, suffice to say that I knew the people well and the family circle and support was strong, and that combined to what was done to them in jail, defecating in food for one, was enough to scare them straight.

And let me say, that it effected one of my own and when that happens, one tends to take steps to make sure it does not happen again, and I know it did not happen, and I do not have to justify what I say, about it.

Not every offender of every crime is the same, just as we all are not the same, and have different experiences in life.

Some people do actually change and mend their ways, and when one has had it happen to them, it does tend to cloud the mind, but there are times where change does happen, and I saw it, in my case.

But would you leave your children (or grandchildren, applicable) alone with those 2 individuals?

There's believing/suspecting/hoping that a molestor has been rehabilitated...and then there's truly believing it enough to trust them with your child.

No matter how much proof of rehabilitation there was, I just can't imagine ever allowing a person who had molested children around my own children. Not a risk I'd be willing to take. Even if the person managed to function in general, in the back of my mind I'd always wonder if they could be tempted to relapse under the right circumstances.

I guess that's why I think that child molestors can't be fully rehabilitated - to be "fully rehabilitated" in my mind would mean that you could trust them to be around your kids again. I just can't imagine ever having enough confidence in a person's rehabilitation to take a chance like that with my children.

(That's sort of a rhetorical question - not something you have to feel like I'm pressuring you to answer. Its just the standard I'd use in general for myself - "would I trust my own child with that person?")

fair enough

"But would you leave your children (or grandchildren, applicable) alone with those 2 individuals?"

Well, not with out proper supervision, and that was the spouse of one.

Matter of fact, one person who was a victim wanted nothing to do with the other.

My kids were allowed to visit with the person, one of the two, the other I was not close with, again with proper supervision and under strict guidelines that we mandated, which reaffirmed the shaming.

"I just can't imagine ever having enough confidence in a person's rehabilitation to take a chance like that with my children."

Sure. It is personal to each of us, but I can say that after the experiences the two suffered in jail, they sure were changed to a large degree.

When the cycle of abuse is broken, we then can have the change we want, but too many remain silent and keep it a secret and without exposure the problem continues.

The cycle was broken in that family and there have been no more occurrences, and the two that abused, were also abused by their parents, and those before were and so on and so forth, and the children of the abusers have gone onto have stable life's and families.

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