Canada ended Capital Punishment decades ago.
Yesterday the US Supreme Court ruled that the ‘Death Penalty’ for rapists of children was not [[proportional]] for the crime. Legislatures vowed they would continue to pass and enact laws that would bring the Death Penalty to those who raped children. A test of wills it seems, between those who are elected, and those who are appointed.
“Anybody in the country who cares about children should be outraged that we have a Supreme Court that would issue a decision like this,” said Alabama Attorney General Troy King, a Republican. The justices, he said, are “creating a situation where the country is a less safe place to grow up.” (source – CNN News)
The issue is simple, and yet complex. If someone commits a crime where the death of the victim does not happen, should a life be taken?
In the ruling, it appears that basically unless one commits Treason, Espionage, or Murder, the Court says society cannot take a life in [[retribution]]. And there lies the rationale, as far as I can see it. Frankly I am not sure how I feel, personally, on having a Death Penalty or Not.
There is the obvious emotional issue here, that endangering a child, such as Rape, irrespective of the age, is a topic that will push many buttons. I firmly believe that Children are our greatest treasure, greatest resource, and that they need protection, but my hesitancy at wanting the Death Penalty for abusers, rapists, of children is tempered by the fact, we as adults have some screwing notions of what is and what isn’t. We parse words so much, are so inundated by SPIN, that I wonder if we aren’t rushing to judgement?
To begin with, what is the definition of a Child?
Seriously, because there are Rape Laws in place that claim that if an 18 year old has consensual sex with a 17 year old, it is still RAPE. Look at the case where a college bound Senior, seventeen, got a blow job from his Fifteen Year Old Girlfriend, got caught on Video, and was sentenced to TEN YEARS IN PRISON. That is the reality of today’s world. He was charged with ‘aggravated sexual assault’ or such, which makes you wonder, would he be one of those eligible for the Death Penalty?
There has to be some form of protection from malicious prosecution. When you KILL SOMEONE, you can’t undo your mistake. If a person is convicted of such a crime, and is LEGALLY MURDERED, and it is found later they didn’t do it, who pays?
I know, that is the basic mantra by most who Oppose the Death Penalty. Yet, it isn’t that far fetched, now is it? I mean while we have major advances in DNA and such, ERRORS HAPPEN. I mean take a look at the Pathologist up here, who screwed up a ton of cases. IT HAPPENS! Does anyone really want someone’s life to depend on that? And how do we know, until it is possibly too late?
While on the surface, the case that was ruled on was indeed horrible. Heinous is the word I believe many have used, and while it appears the person’s guilt is not in question, the simple fact is, that IT COULD BE. As much as the child will suffer trauma, DEATH IS FINAL. And it does bring up some interesting double standards as well.
Abortion being one.
Sam Brownback and some other leading Conservatives, had the opinion that NO ABORTION SHOULD BE ALLOWED. Only exception I believe was if the life of the Mother was at risk. However, the issue was that even if a person was RAPED, and became Pregnant, they would NOT BE GRANTED AN ABORTION. Yet these same people DEMAND DEATH for someone who RAPES A CHILD. I mean, either a life is important no matter whose life it is, or it isn’t. That is what confuses me, I think.
So many who support the Death Penalty, are the same folks who oppose Abortion on the grounds that it is State Sanctioned Murder. So, killing a convicted criminal is somehow different?
What the Supreme Court did in it’s ruling against the Death Penalty for Child Rapists, is it took out the emotional aspect, and rendered a cold ruling, based on the words of the Constitution. If someone steals a loaf of bread, to feed a child, is that Theft? YES, but does it warrant the same penalty as someone who robs a bank, or steals your car to go for a joy ride, or to sell the parts?
It is why MANDATORY SENTENCING is as wrong as perhaps the Death Penalty is, specially for those who haven’t taken a life. That is why Justices need to be APPOINTED rather than ELECTED. IT is also why POLITICS needs to be REMOVED FROM CHOOSING JUDGES. Society like ours, is supposed to be based on a set of morals, of codes, on the Rule of Law. Morals change, and Emotions always change. As much as the crime that brought about this decision was horrible, the fact is should a life be taken, when a life is NOT TAKEN.
The US Supreme Court says NO.