25 June 2008

u.s. supremes strike down louisiana state supremes on death penalty for raping children

patrick kennedy v. louisiana
click here to download 65 page .pdf

today, the united states supreme court struck down that portion of la. r.s. 14:42 -- louisiana's aggravated rape law -- which provided for the death penalty for the rape of a child under the age of thirteen years.

naturally, piyush is 'outraged' and released a statement which says in part:
"The Supreme Court is dead wrong.

"It is fundamentally improper for the Supreme Court to base an important decision like this on its 'independent judgment' about a perceived 'national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape.' The opinion reads more like an out-of-control legislative debate than a constitutional analysis." ~ read the complete statement
however, if you read the louisiana supreme court's opinion from page thirty-eight where they discuss and then reject the eighth amendment, you will see that it was they who perceived a national consensus calling for the death penalty for child rape.

the united states supreme court pointed this out too:
The state court next asked whether “child rapists rank among the worst offenders.” Id., at 788. It noted the severity of the crime; that the execution of child rapists would serve the goals of deterrence and retribution; and that, unlike in Atkins and Roper, there were no characteristics of petitioner that tended to mitigate his moral culpability.Id., at 788–789.

It concluded: “[S]hort of first-degree murder, we can think of no other non-homicide crime more deserving [of capital punishment].” Id., at 789.

On this reasoning the Supreme Court of Louisiana rejected petitioner’s argument that the death penalty for the rape of a child under 12 years is disproportionate and upheld the constitutionality of the statute.

Chief Justice Calogero dissented. Coker, supra, and Eberheart v. Georgia, 433 U. S. 917 (1977), in his view, “set out a bright-line and easily administered rule” that the Eighth Amendment precludes capital punishment for any offense that does not involve the death of the victim. 957 So. 2d, at 794.
what is clear, is that the louisiana supreme court, less chief justice calagero in this case, are far more interested in playing politics even when it involves someones life than they are in arriving at proper opinions and judgments within the law.

the death penalty provision part of r.s. 14:42 was added in 1995 and the state legislature website only goes back to 1997 so we cant find out who the legislator was who authored the unconstitutional bill - or the voting record supporting it either.

so dont be angry with the united states supreme court when they are called on to clean up a mess made by our own state supreme court, legislature and governor.

click here to download 128 page .pdf

what "they" ought to do is print out the louisiana supreme court opinion which recounts the gruesomeness of the crime as well as how mr. kennedy tried to frame a neighborhood kid with the rape and give it to his cellies.