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Kennedy v. Louisiana: No Death Penalty for Child Rape, Even When Violent

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Debater Slayer, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    Reading about Coker v. Georgia led me to also read about Kennedy v. Louisiana, where the SCOTUS bizzarely concluded that non-homicidal crimes, including the damage from a violent rape to a child, were "[...] in terms of moral depravity and of the injury to the person and to the public, they cannot compare to murder in their severity and irrevocability."

    It is worth noting that Justice Ruth was sadly among those who voted in favor of this morally and logically defective and inconsistent ruling--which still never addressed the death penalty overall anyway:

    Kennedy v. Louisiana - Wikipedia

    To their credit, Obama and McCain criticized the SCOTUS decision.

    How do you personally feel about the ruling that child rape, even when extremely violent as in the case in question, "cannot compare to murder in severity and irrevocability"? Was the SCOTUS spot on or off the mark there?
     
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  2. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    the death penalty is barbaric
     
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  3. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    I agree with Lyndon, the death penalty is barbaric and most civilised societies have left it in the past where it belongs.
    That said, I wouldn’t shed a tear if a child rapist just happens to be killed. So I mean I understand the primitive urge for vengeance.
     
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  4. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    What do you think is barbaric about the death penalty? I oppose it as well, but not on the grounds that it is never justified. In my opinion, it should be banned because it has historically always enabled state abuse, misuse, and exploitation of the punishment to the state's own ends--not to mention that one innocent person's execution is one too many. However, I generally don't believe that putting a violent child rapist to death would be barbaric or a reason to oppose the death penalty.

    Furthermore, the SCOTUS never imposed a blanket ban on the death penalty, as mentioned in the OP. This is why I think the ruling was inconsistent and extremely flawed--it used the wrong reasoning and gave itself the right to determine which of two major crimes (murder and child rape) was the "more severe" one as far as putting someone to death went.
     
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  5. Hellbound Serpiente

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    I feel like whoever think that way doesn't know a damn thing of the effects extremely violent rape can have on children. At least when someone is murdered, even if it is extremely severe, their suffering end after their lives are ended, but when it comes to brutal rape, the child will, most likely, relive the same trauma over and over again in his/her heart and mind. They don't just suffer once, but suffer everyday the same trauma until they close their eyes for good.

    I personally know someone who is extremely close to me who was raped as a child, and he haven't been normal since. He is living a life worse than death itself.

    While death penalty sure is barbaric and is a relic of our messed up medieval past, there should be a better alternative to punish horrible rapes and such extremely brutal crimes in exemplary way. In such a way that not only do we instill unassailable fear of justice in the heart of culprits guilty of such crimes and make them think trillion times before repeating the same behavior, but it also proves to be a unbeatable deterrence against other evildoers who wants to follow the same trend as them.

    From what I've seen, habitual rapists and pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated. Their sickness is inherent in them and cannot be cured. Even if you put them in the prison for a long time, they are most likely to repeat the same evils. There should be a better alternative than this.

    I personally think repeated offenders should be either put in prison for a lifetime or they should be given a choice of spending some time in prison but be released only after they are chemically castrated.

    Or some better alternative someone who is more intelligent than me should propose. But sending them in prison has proven to be ineffective and costly [as all the hard working sensible individuals of society have to feed them through money they worked extremely hard for via tax].
     
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  6. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    I completely agree with you, especially on the first paragraph. My main issue with the ruling is that the SCOTUS decided to reject the death penalty not because they deemed it unacceptable per se but because they used flawed reasoning when comparing "severity and irrevocability." At best, it is misinformed and simplistic. At worst, it is grossly irresponsible and morally dubious.

    I think life sentences are a good alternative to the death penalty for criminals who can't rehabilitate, but the issue remains that taxpayer money is still used to keep such lost causes alive. I don't know what the best solution to that would be, though, since I believe death shouldn't be an option for the state to impose on a citizen.
     
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  7. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    From a human point of view, I am against the death penalty for the simple reason that in many cases, the wrong person is arrested, indicted, and convicted.

    From an atheistic point of view, I am against the death penalty for anything less than murder. Child rape is not taking a life.
     
  8. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    The costs of putting someone to death are actually greater than the cost of keeping them jailed for life.
     
  9. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    I consider it barbaric in the sense that it harkens back to a primitive form of justice. The ultimate representation of the mentality of “an eye for an eye.”
    Justice imo is ideally supposed to be a form of rehabilitation not merely punitive.
    We are supposed to be capable of critically evaluating our own respective justice systems and listen to the experts on how best to go about “solving crime” for lack of a better phrase.

    Sure some people might be beyond such a stage, I can accept that sometimes locking up a person might be the acceptable option when weighing up our responsibilities to the overall community.
    I just think we should be “better” than this by now, as a species.

    Although like I said there’s a part of me that would likely nod with approval at the news a violent child rapist got beaten up or killed. A sort of instinctual remnant, I suppose.
     
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  10. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    1) What about criminals deemed incapable of rehabilitation after multiple repeated offenses?

    2) How would a society avoid locking up dangerous people, even when rehabilitating them? As in, how could said society "be better than that"?
     
  11. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    Who is to say taking a life is the only situation in which death would be an acceptable punishment, though? If we don't reject death as a penalty in all situations, what grounds are there to pick and choose just this one offense as the one for which death would be justified as the penalty?
     
  12. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Yes. Our lust for vengeance does not justify executing someone for rape.
     
  13. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    I already acknowledged that some people might be beyond rehabilitation and accept that they should be kept locked up. But we needn’t kill them. How does that make us any better than the criminal?

    I never said we should avoid locking up dangerous people. But we shouldn’t treat them like animals, no matter our gut instincts. Therapy, rehabilitation, building up people to escape cycles of criminal activity. Give criminals life skills and opportunities. Just locking people up does nothing but avoid our greater responsibility.
    Granted in the case of a violent child rapist I’m much more inclined to keep such an individual locked up indefinitely.
     
  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    How was it flawed.
     
  15. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Nothing compares to murder in irrevocability - but the severity of violent child rape is much higher than murder. The suffering can be life long and the depravity of the perpetrator is often much worse than that of a "simple" murderer.
    I don't know enough about US law to comment on the decision of the SCotUS but I think after 250 years it is time for the people and the politicians to pen an Amendment that puts the preamble of the Declaration of Independence into law. When there is a law that protects the "unalienable right to life", SCotUS has no other chance but declare all executions unlawful.
     
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  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    The underlined claim isn't as simple as prohibiting all killing.
    Back in the day (pre-Constitution) capital punishment was
    even used for minor crimes, eg, theft. Moreover, the framers
    made provisions for war (which involves killing on a grand
    scale). So the right to life would apply to citizens not convicted
    of a capital offense.
    This shows the problem of interpreting documents literally
    without considering context.
     
  17. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Ov Fire and the Void
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    Wildly off the mark. I support the death penalty for rapists, regardless of the victim's age or sex.
     
  18. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    One can overcome most horrible things.

    One cannot overcome death.

    I would favor the death penalty only for murder if...
    Murder could be unequivocally defined.
    No innocent person were ever convicted.
    Since these two criteria cannot be guaranteed, there should be no death penalty.
     
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  19. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Other countries have armies too and there is no problem with that.
    But countries who have the inalienable right to life in their constitution or bill of rights, don't have capital punishment. Those two don't go together as a judge and jury can't alienate you from your right to life - when you have it.
    But you don't. Currently your government can decide your death for any or no reason and no law prohibits that.
     
  20. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I see capital punishment as constitutionally allowed.
    But I oppose it because it's irreversible...a problem
    for such a flawed justice system.
     
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