Washington, D.C. (JusticeNewsFlash.com – News Report) It all began when Patrick Kennedy was charged for the rape of his innocent 8-year old stepdaughter. Prosecutors of the case said that she endured emotional trauma, internal injuries and bleeding which required major surgeries, so why was he not executed?
Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that if he had granted Patrick Kennedy’s execution, it would have violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and that to grant capital punishment for any crime other than murder would be wrong on his part. If this were not so, Kennedy would have been the ‘first convicted rapist in the United States since 1964 to be executed in a case in which the victim was not killed.’
Yet sadly, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that child rapists cannot be executed; the new rule now interfering with the six states in the nation that permit the death penalty when rape is the crime. Instead of being executed, Kennedy will be sentenced to life in prison with no hope of an appeal. Those who support the decision state that it helps save more lives, for if the rapist knew he would definitely face the death penalty, he would have a greater incentive to simply kill his victim.
But is this punishment and ability to stay alive slightly better than the death penalty? Is it an easy way out? Or would it be more justifiably harsh to condemn him to death? And although other crimes such as treason, kidnapping, drug trafficking, aircraft hijacking and espionage are all, in theory, eligible for execution, rape is not? Many believe that raping a child is actually worse than committing a homicide; however numerous people contest that execution is not the proper response because the victim lives, and even Justice Byron R. White wrote, “in terms of moral depravity and of the injury to the person and to the public, it (rape) does not compare with murder, which does involve the unjustified taking of human life.” But with such heartache and shame rape brings, especially upon a child…how can that be justified as truly living?
Jana Simard is a contributing writer for Justice News Flash with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Born in Canada, but raised in sunny south Florida, Jana had an early passion for writing. During her high school and college years she interned at a Florida Congressman's office as well as a Rhode Island Governor and Senator's office. While in her last two years of college, Jana spent six months in Salamanca, Spain where she truly discovered her passion for writing and had her articles published in her school's newspaper. Her experience in two Providence high profile law firms has equipped her with the ability to write for Justice News Flash as a Legal Reporter.