Louisiana vs. Kennedy Essay
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Louisiana vs. Kennedy was a request to the instance that involved a decease punishment that was imposed to a 42 twelvemonth adult male who had raped his stepdaughter. The request took topographic point on June 2008. It was a penalty that was sentenced to him by the Louisiana tribunal for holding been convicted of perpetrating the offense. In conformity to the jurisprudence. the slayings are supposed to be sentenced to decease but for the past three decennaries. merely two instances that did non affect slaying were registered one for Patrick Kennedy and another one.

He was sentenced to decease punishment by the Louisiana tribunal on 22nd May 2007 in a instance No 05-KA-1981 Louisiana vs. Kennedy. In 2008. Patrick Kennedy decided to dispute the determination by the Supreme Court that was reached in 2007 mentioning that the sentence was a misdemeanor of the 8th constitutional amendment which stated that depending on the rareness of the instance. decease punishment may non be imposed. Be it in order for the supreme tribunal of America to condemn to decease a measure male parent who raped his 8 twelvemonth old stepdaughter? This is what this research paper will discourse approximately.

Patrick Kennedy was sentenced to decease after he was convicted by the Supreme Court to hold raped his measure girl who was less than twelve old ages old. Initially the miss had refuted the claim that he was raped by his measure father but after farther probes were done. the miss changed her narrative and said that it was her measure male parent who raped her and told her to state it was the two male childs that were her neighbours. It was established that the victim was assaulted for three times but the last clip involved sexual intercourse.

Even blood discolorations that Patrick had tried to clean were seen in her “After constabulary were called to look into the colza of the miss on March 2. 1998. Kennedy’s stepdaughter ab initio told them that two vicinity male childs had raped her after dragging her from her garage to a side pace. Police. nevertheless. found grounds of blood in her sleeping room that Kennedy seemingly had tried to clean up. The stepdaughter testified later that Kennedy had raped her and urged her to associate a false history. ” ( The Supreme Court in the Kennedy instance. O7. 373. PDF )

Ever since the decease punishment was reinstated in US about 30 old ages ago. justnesss have been looking for ways to revoke the decease punishment on kid rapers which harmonizing to them was unconstitutionally imposed on Patrick Kennedy. Harmonizing to the Death Penalty Information Center. ( 2008 ) of approximately 3. 350 inmates in the decease row because of slaying. merely two instances were different and they involved colza. Patrick Kennedy could non understand which legislative acts were used to condemn him. In his statement. it was a misdemeanor of the 8th amendment of the fundamental law.

In another colza instance. Coker vs. Georgia. the wrongdoer was accused of ravishing a 16 twelvemonth old lady but on this instance. the Supreme Court ruled that this instance was non punishable by decease because the victim was more than twelve old ages old. In the visible radiation of the above opinion. it was asked if the stepfather who raped his stepdaughter but did non kill her was bound by the fundamental law to be sentenced to decease. ( Hamilton. 2008 ) Harmonizing to the Louisiana province. perpetrating such a offense was equal to killing and the lone appropriate sentence was decease punishment.

The bulk of the United States had non passed the jurisprudence but five of them viz. Montana. Texas. Oklahoma. Louisiana and South Carolina had already passed it and were in usage for illustration. it was the 1 that was used in Louisiana to condemn Patrick to decease. Though these Torahs existed in books. they were limited to individuals who were in the past convicted of perpetrating offense of assailing a minor but this merely applied to the four provinces with the exclusion of Louisiana. The other provinces were contemplating to widen the decease punishment to child rapers.

Harmonizing to the statistics given by the Death Penalty Information Center. decease sentence has been on the diminution in America for the past old ages. “The figure of executings has dropped steadily since. hitting a 10 twelvemonth depression of 53 in 2006. ” ( Lithwick. 2008 ) Harmonizing to a study that was done by Gallop in 2006 refering the penchant between decease punishment and life without word. it was established that more people prefer life sentence to decease sentence but this was due to a figure of factors for illustration. some people were sentenced to decease judging them on their race.

Despite this. bulk advocated for slayings to be sentenced to decease. The determination to reexamine the determination to enforce decease punishment on kid rapers was due to Patrick Kennedy’s instance and the force per unit area that was amounted by the National Association of Social Workers. the Louisiana Foundation against Sexual Assault. and the Texas Association Against sexual assault every bit good as the National Alliance to stop Sexual Violence. These organisations pressurized the supreme tribunal of America to reexamine its opinion on the instance.

In Patrick’s request. it was stated that Patrick. “is the lone individual in the United States who is on decease row for a non-homicide discourtesy. He has been sentenced to decease for the offense of colza. an discourtesy for which no individual has been executed in this state for over 40 old ages since Missouri executed Ronald Wolfe in 1964. ” ( Denniston. 2008 ) The statements that were put frontward by these organisations were that decease punishment for kid rapers worsen the job in that many instances of sexual maltreatment went unreported.

Second. they argued that no kid molester would go forth his victim alive to avoid being reported hence this acted as an inducement to kill victims. The 3rd statement was that those legislative acts subjected the despoiled kid to many tests and entreaties thereby maintaining those memories a fresh alternatively of them being repressed. ( Death Penalty Information Center. 2008 ) It is for these grounds and the entreaty that was made by Patrick that led to the reviewing of the opinion by the Supreme Court on 16th April. 2008 in a instance between Louisiana and Kennedy.

( Hamilton. 2008 ) It is in this instance that it was ruled that the determination to put to death Patrick Kennedy for ravishing his stepdaughter was a dispute to the 8th constitutional amendment that bans decease punishment on rare and barbarous instances. The majority’s statement was that the punishment should be reserved for the few wrongdoers who are most crying. ( Linda G. . 2008 ) Harmonizing to Justice Anthony Kennedy. decease punishment was to be imposed on slayings.

He besides differentiated between the first grade slaying which is besides referred to as knowing slaying and the non homicide offense such as colza. He said that the later was more annihilating in footings of moral corruption but he said that slaying instances due to their nature. badness and irrevocability could non be compared with non homicide. The dissenting Judgess led by Samuel Alito objected to this observation reasoning that. “The injury that is caused to the victims and the society at big by worst kid rapers is sedate.

” ( Biskupic. 2008 ) In warranting its determination. the province of Louisiana in its Jockey shortss argued that ravishing a kid under 12 old ages is non different from other offenses because its consequences are lay waste toing and stopping points for a life clip but in his statement. Justice Kennedy argued that the Supreme court’s determination to invalidate Patrick’s instance was reached objectively by the Judgess and this was backed by the fact that many American provinces were non in understanding with the legislative act and that was why they had non passed it. ( Richey W. 2008 )

In response to the decision reached by Justice Kennedy. Justice Samuel objected to this reasoning that many Judgess and attorneies misinterpreted the 1977’s Coker’s determination on capital penalty. They understood that decease sentence should non be applied on any colza instances but that was non the instance because in that instance the victim was married and had assumed the position of an grownup therefore she was no longer a child. He noted that due to this ground. the state’s legislative assemblies have non understood the social criterions in footings of decency.

“Evolving criterions of decency must encompass and show regard for the self-respect of the individual and the penalty of felons must conform to that regulation. ” ( The Supreme Court in the Kennedy instance. O7. 373. PDF ) Harmonizing to the Supreme Court’s legislative acts. colza is said to be committed where anal sex or virginal sexual intercourse is done without the consent of the victim and if the victim is less than twelve old ages. deficiency of cognition of her age is no defence.

If convicted of holding committed aggravated colza. penalty should be life imprisonment without word. suspended sentence or probation but the wrongdoer could be punished by decease if the District Attorney seeks for capital finding of fact. In the visible radiation of the above. Patrick Kennedy’s instance was a rare happening and therefore he did non merit the decease sentence but deserved life sentence without word. ( Biskupic. News Washington 2008 ) . The determination to reject decease punishment was greatly opposed by the conservative Judgess.

Even the two presidential campaigners were opposed to the move though no 1 had been executed since 1964. Justice Kennedy argued that of all the 3300 people on the decease row. merely two were at that place for the grounds apart from slaying. Justice Samuel questioned this bulk logic that slayings are more morally depraved than child rapers. “I have small uncertainties that the eyes of ordinary Americans. the really worst kid rapists-predators who seek out and inflict serous physical and emotional hurt or defenseless immature kids are the prototype of moral corruption.

” ( Barnes. 2008 ) In decision of this research paper. it is all right to state that the determination by the Louisiana’s Supreme Court to put to death Patrick Kennedy for ravishing his measure girl was rough and was a dispute to the 8th amendment. Of all the inmates in the decease row. merely two inmates whose instances were non murder. Patrick’s instance was one of those rare instances that were addressed in that amendment.

The entreaty acted as an chance to construe jurisprudence as it is this was because harmonizing to Justice Samuel. most legislative assemblies misunderstood the determination that was made on Coker’s instance and assumed that he meant that decease punishment should non be applied on colza instances.

Mentions. The Supreme Court in the Kennedy instance. Accessed at hypertext transfer protocol: //www. supremecourtus. gov/opinions/07pdf/07-343. pdf Linda G. 26th June. 2008. Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape. Available at hypertext transfer protocol: //www. nytimes.

com/2008/06/26/washington/26scotuscnd. hypertext markup language? _r=2 & A ; hp & A ; or ef=slogin & amp ; oref=slogin Scotus Blog. June 25th. 2008Commentary: Death punishment options narrow. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. scotusblog. com/wp/commentary-death-penalty-options- narrow/ # more-7553 Barnes R. June 26. 2008. High Court Rejects Death For Child Rape Penalty Reserved for Murder And Crimes Against State. Available at


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