Pages

Friday, March 02, 2007

Constitional Problems with Death Penalty Provision in "Jessica Laws"

Rep Riddle has claimed that the odds of the U.S. Supreme Court finding the death penalty unconstitutional for repeat offenders who commit sexual assault against children (as proposed in HB 8) to be "one in a million". This is an absurd and apparently purposefully misleading claim.

She was told by a UT law professor during the committee hearing on HB 8 that there were severe constitutional problems with the bill, but she apparently chose to ignore that testimony.

For a discussion on the constitutional questions, here is a link to an article that lays out the constitutional problems in the issue. Below is a paragraph from the conclusion of the article:

Even without looking to international opinion, capital child-rape statutes are clearly unconstitutional. First, there is a strong national consensus against imposing the death penalty for child rape. In addition, the death penalty is a disproportionate punishment for the crime of rape, regardless of the age of the victim, because it does not cause death. Moreover, imposing the death penalty for child rape would fail to serve, and would likely inhibit, the retribution and deterrence functions of the U.S. penal system.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: