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BREAKING 6-25-08 Jindal "Outraged"-Vitter "Disappointed" In Supreme Court Death Penalty Ruling
Those reactions were in response to a landmark decision Wednesday, June 25th, by the U.S. Supreme Court, who ruled that convicted Louisiana child rapist Patrick Kennedy, cannot be sentenced to death for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter.
According to CNN, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the Court's 5-4 majority opinion, that execution in this case would violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, citing "evolving standards of decency" in the United States. Such standards, the justice wrote, forbid capital punishment for any crime other than murder.
In the release from his office, Gov. Jindal is quoted as saying "I am outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision. It is an affront to the people of Louisiana and the jury’s unanimous decision in this case."
“The opinion reflects a clear abuse of judicial authority, trampling the constitutional authority of states to act through the legislative process." Jindal went on to say, "The Court found, ‘there is a distinction between intentional first degree murder on the one hand and nonhomicide crimes against individual persons, even including child rape, on the other."
Jindal further said: "The latter crimes may be devastating in their harm, as here, but in terms of moral depravity and of the injury to the person and to the public, they cannot be compared to murder in their severity and irrevocability.’ The Supreme Court is dead wrong."
The Louisiana Governor summed up his feelings this way: “It is fundamentally improper for the Supreme Court to base an important decision like this on its ‘independent judgment’ about a perceived ‘national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape.’ The opinion reads more like an out-of-control legislative debate than a constitutional analysis.
Junior Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana was equally disappointed, saying:
“The penalty of execution exists for the most heinous criminal offenses committed by individuals with little or no regard for their fellow citizens."
Vitter further stated, "The rape of a child is undoubtedly a heinous offense and one that is unfathomable for most Americans to even comprehend. Such a crime causes irreparable damage to children and has a lifelong impact on these innocent victims and their families."
“This decision is another reminder of the need for more sensible, strict constitutional jurists,” said Vitter.
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