'If we ever forget we're one nation under God we shall be a nation gone under."
Kennedy v. Louisiana, forgetting the child of rape:
In the landmark case Kennedy v. Louisiana in 2008, the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty too harsh a penalty for those who commit the crime of rape. An excerpt from the trial is below.
Patrick O. Kennedy, a man from suburban New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced to death after being convicted of raping his eight-year-old stepdaughter. The rape was uncommonly brutal: it tore the victim's perineum "from her vaginal opening to her anal opening. [It] tore her vagina on the interior such that it separated partially from her cervix and allowed her rectum to protrude into her vagina. Invasive emergency surgery was required to repair these injuries.". Kennedy maintained that the assault was committed by two neighborhood boys, and refused to plead guilty when a deal was offered to spare him from a death sentence. Nevertheless, he was convicted and sentenced under a 1995 Louisiana law that allows the death penalty for the rape of a child under the age of 12.
On appeal, Kennedy challenged the constitutionality of executing a person solely for child rape, and the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected the challenge on the grounds that the death penalty was not too harsh for such a heinous offense. The court distinguished the U.S. Supreme Court's plurality decision in Coker v. Georgia (1977), concluding that Coker's rejection of death as punishment for rape of an adult woman did not apply when the victim was a child. Rather, the Louisiana Supreme Court applied a balancing test set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in more recent death penalty cases, Atkins v. Virginia and Roper v. Simmons, first examining whether there is a national consensus on the punishment and then considering whether the court would find the punishment excessive. The Louisiana Supreme Court concluded that the adoption of similar laws in five other states, coupled with the unique vulnerability of children, satisfied Atkins and Roper.Whether or not you agree with this conclusion, this ruling was passed knowing that the legendary Roe v. Wade ruling was already made--which made it okay for the product of that rape, the child, to be 'aborted' just minutes from being born. Is this not a contradiction?
Dissenting opinion from Justice Byron White:
The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand
The scales were completely swung in the opposite direction in Roe v. Wade, given 0% rights to the unborn while 100% rights to the mother of that child. A recent 180 movie documentary, which you can watch below asks the question, "When is it okay to kill a baby in the womb?" The answer of course to any sane mind is of course no. This question really begs the real question, which is "When does life begin?" Is it when you cut the umbilical cord? or when you cut the cord? When the babies head is outside of the womb? or only half outside the womb? For anyone who has listened to their conscience, seen a babies heart beating on an ultra sound at week 6, or held a new born baby in their arms, one cannot but value life. Life begins when all life begins--at the beginning, at conception.
Presidential candidate recently brought this up a town hall event in Iowa:
Thus, as it stands in America at the 21st century: Rapists are not allowed to be given the death penalty, but the product of that rape is.