June 30, 2008
One more comment about the Supreme Court decisions announced last week before the Court’s summer recess. This one is about the Louisiana death penalty law for child rape, which was ruled unconstitutional because the Court decided 5-4 it is cruel and unusual punishment
What is cruel and unusual punishment is child rape.
I was especially interested in Justice Kennedy’s position that taking the life of a child rapist is disproportionate to the crime. He suggested that the death penalty can only be invoked to redress the taking of another life and in cases of treason against the United States. But wait, treason doesn’t always take a life, so he has made an exception to his own rule.
Since Justice Kennedy has voted to uphold Roe vs. Wade, where is the proportionality in taking the life of an innocent child? Oh, that’s right, an unborn child is not fully human, or a person, until it takes its first breath after birth. Well, then, let’s declare a child rapist subhuman and we can execute him. Wouldn’t this fit the court’s “evolving standards of decency” position?
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.