The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
This decision might end up being more important than Heller in the long run, and in the Presidential election.
Because people with absolutely no interest in the D.C. gun ban, or with the typical media-informed "knowledge" of the situation certainly understanding the brutal rape and mutilation of an 8-year old.
And the uniformity of opinion what should happen to someone who does this, and then proceeds to calmly cover up the crime is about as close to universal as you'll find across the country on anything.
And the question of who will appoint justices more likely to allow legislatures to conduct their Constitutionally appointed jobs, or who's more likely to appoint more judges who make their own rules up as they see fit is going to come up. And there's no real debate on the answer.
Justice has not been served...yet.
I suspect that restricting the death penalty to cases of murder is a necessary consequence of the modern fusion of strict individualism with the belief that life is infinitely valuable.
If your life is infinitely valuable, and if you have the right to avoid obligations you do not personally incur, then your life can only be taken from you if you cause the infinite damage of taking another life.
I, as a non-believer in strict individualism, can believe that a just society has the right to assign any penalty necessary* to particular crimes, to mark their seriousness and prevent the decay of social order. Some infinities are larger than others.
Fry him. Twice.
(*For the society to be truly just, a careful treatment of this term "necessary" would be called for, of course.)
How would you deal then with the McMartin preschool case then? Overzealous counselors implanting false memories into kids?
Oh, this is just excellent, in my opinion.
It's just adding fuel to the smoldering heap of dung that is about to ignite in the country.
I have seen an argument from some LE types that by not allowing the death penalty in such a case, there's a better chance that the scum will not kill the victim. With the death penalty for rape, then they have no incentive to leave the child alive.
I've never seen any evidence to back that assertion, and I doubt such animals use much logic to game their choices in such a rational way. It they thought they were going to get caught, they probably wouldn't do it in the first place.
As the father of an 11 year old girl I'm with Kevin on an emotional level.
As for the scum in question. Fine. Give him life in prison. In the general population. Give my regards to Bubba, boy toy.
I'm with Randy.
To the extent that rapists are at all pragmatic - why give them any more incentive to kill their victims?
I'm opposed to a government-imposed death penalty for rape, for that reason and that reason alone. It's potentially a short-term way to offer the victim a chance to live.
But knowing children who have survived such trauma, and being an adult victim of rape, I have absolutely no moral difficulty with non-government vigilantism. Fire at will. Or, if you have the inclination, make the rest of their lives a living hell first.
While I certainly share the sentiment that some people just really, REALLY need to die; I still have a problem with the death penalty.
For those of you who scoff at this, I suggest you Google "Dr. Hayne, Mississippi" and peruse the blatant misapplication of 'justice' in that fine state. If that doesn't sway you, then rent "The Thin Blue Line". The simple truth is, government shouldn't be trusted with life-or-death decisions.
juris, to me that's precisely the point. It's bad enough trusting a *state* government with such decisions. The *Federal* government on no account should be trusted to make a blanket statement requiring or prohibiting death as punishment for any crime. It should not be left to me, 20 miles from the Louisiana state line, to have any say in to what degree that child's life was destroyed, and what punishment would therefore be just. It *sure as hell* shouldn't be left to a bunch of people over a thousand miles away who have no experience whatsoever of what it is to be a citizen of Louisiana.
Will there be miscarriages of justice? Certainly, always, no matter what we do. That's a consequence of justice being administered by humans, with human flaws. But I think you'll get the fewest errors if the decision is left to the individual judge and jury in a specific case. If there are limits imposed from above, they should concern themselves with what standard of proof is required before death as a punishment is permissible.
GOF - my point is I don't believe any govt is reliably competent to administer the death penalty. I'm comfortable with that being a national prohibition - local preferences (and prejudices) be damned.
I might be open to the death penalty on one condition - that the police or prosecutor are subject to it as well for malfeasance in their duty. You get someone the death penalty, and it turns out to be illegit, then YOU get it too. I think that might assure a suitable regard for the consequences to dissuade incompetent or corrupt public officials.