By a vote of five to four the United States Supreme Court has barred Louisiana and five other states from executing child rapists.

Between 1930 and 1964, 455 people in the United States were put to death by the states for rapes of adults or children. Apparently none of the executed was a white man who raped a black woman or child.

Justice Samuel Alito, writing in dissent in favour of the death penalty for child-rape, wrote: « The harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapists is grave…. With respect to the question of moral depravity, is it really true that every person who is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death is more morally depraved than a child rapist? »

But it seems to me there are several problems to a policy of executing criminals for the rape of children. First, there is the potential for wrongful executions, given unreliable or induced testimony from children. Second, the child victims would often have been obliged to testify, in effect to bring about the death of a criminal who might also be a close relative. Third the death penalty would remove the rapist’s incentive not to kill his victim. And fourth, rape within families would be even less likely to be reported than it is now.

What is most disturbing here is the U.S. Supreme Court came within one vote of joining the brutality of state-sanctioned murder to the brutality of child rape?

Do you agree?



  1. 1

    They may deserve the death penalty, but their deserving it doesn’t mean it should be done. I’m against the death penalty altogether, particularly in today’s world, and especially given the terrifying power of the modern nation-state.

  2. 2
    Chimera Says:

    First, we have to define « child. »

    Then we have to make it absolutely clear to the entire world that rape is not about sex, but about power over and control of and physical torture of a person who has no capacity for resistance to force.

    Then we have to stop comparing and equivocating and second-guessing whether or not the punishment of one offender will affect the actions of another, yet unknown, future offender. We have to deal with each one on an individual level and stop trying to go for future effect (using one offender as an example to others).

    But why only children? Why not everyone?

  3. 3

    The Supreme Court also upheld the right to bear arms by a narrow vote.,0,6879164.story

  4. 4
    ray Says:

    It’s too bad that Mark Dean Schwab in Florida just didn’t dismember little Junny. If he hadn’t have killed him, then he would not have been executed. So, for all you child rapists out there, just take it as close to death as possible, but don’t cross this line. Remember, you have to be a child murder to get the death penalty. So, just don’t kill anyone, maiming is okay. Then, you can hang out in prison, and maybe be back in business with the help of a nice parole board.

    • 5
      Kan-Altai Says:

      I’ve always wondered why did Mark kill Junny.

      It doesn’t look that the murder itself was one of his sexual desires. At least, he did in no way intend to kill several boys that he has raped before. And the doctors also said that he was fixates on sex, not on murder.

      The most easily explained scenario is that he wanted to hide his crime. But in that case he was a total idiot, given that he was familiar to the family and he was on probation. By the way, what was his IQ?

      Another factor that may have added to the decision to kill was that he envied junny for having a good and rather well-off family. Experts said that he did envy.

      Anyhow, closer to the original topic, I think that the punishment for rape and murder should be as much further from each other as they can be. In other case rapists will leave more dead bodies. Just compare the number of kids killed in the USA to the number killed in Western Europe.

  5. 6
    Margaret Murphy Says:

    All rape is terrible but child rape is even more terrible because of the brutal violation of innocence.Rape is an act of subjugation, power over and control of the victim committed by individuals who in respect of other areas in their own lives have no power.It is an act committed in cold anger and often premeditated.The rapist is usually someone who is ineffectual, has poor self esteem and isolated from the mainstream.All of the aforementioned may lead some to think that the perpetrator is someone to be pitied,not so.Those who rape once will more than likely rape again.Unfortunately, each time an offence is committed the violence involved becomes progressively worse.The psychology of such offending is well documented.Most sex offenders will deny culpability and will seek to mitigate their actions. They may even seek to portray themselves as the victim. The alacrity with which they do so is mindboggling.They reinterpret events to absolve themselves of responsibility, they can always find some « reason » for their actions, even when there can be none.Treatment has limited results and once released from custody these perpetrators need to be closely monitored.This however is preferable to the imposition of the death penalty.An eye for an eye is not something that I would advocate and sanctioned state murder is another.Hitler and his cohorts would have obliterated every misfit in society together with all the other races that did’nt fit their idea of a perfect people; in doing so they failed to recognise their own extreme shortcomings and that is putting it mildly.A society that deals brutally with its violent offenders is as barbaric as they are.Do we really want to see ourselves as such and if so, what then is the legacy we leave to our children? May God help us all if we can’t do better than that!

  6. 7
    Samuel Says:

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  7. 8
    james Says:

    each and everyone of those child raping people deserves to die and i hope they all burn i hell forever

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