Today, the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty is an unconstitutional crime for child rapists. Barack Obama came forward and said that although he normally disagrees with the death penalty, he disagrees with the Court’s ruling here.
Obama told reporters, “I have said repeatedly I think the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances, for the most egregious of crimes. I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime, and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well defined circumstances, the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that does not violate our Constitution. Had the Supreme Court said, ‘We want to constrain the ability of states to do this, to make sure it’s done in a careful and appropriate way,’ that would have been one thing. But it basically had a blanket prohibition.”
Again, this came as a surprise to me, since he has said before that the death penalty “does little to deter crime.” He has, however, said that some crimes are “so beyond the pale [that] the ultimate punishment” is due. Obama has been an advocate for preventing wrongful convictions and wrongful death sentences. And I agree with him there – although I support the death penalty (ultimately, I’d just lock murderers up for life, but we don’t have prison room), we need to make sure that we’re not killing up innocent people (or even sending innocent people to jail).
I do commend Obama for coming out against this ruling, since I’m sure that it’s going to make a lot of Democrats a little displeased with him. I know that McCain opposes today’s ruling, but I’m going to try to find some quotes on it.
Tags: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Child Rape, Child Rapist, Death, Death penalty, Democrat, Election, John McCain, Kennedy v. Louisiana, Politics, Rape, Republican, Sex, Sexual Assault, Supreme Court, Unconstitutional