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BREAKING 6-25-08 Jindal "Outraged"-Vitter "Disappointed" In Supreme Court Death Penalty Ruling
Wednesday, Jun 25, 2008 10:40pm

WASHINGTON, DC (By: Tom Pace, Executive Editor, Talk of the Town) BREAKING: SUPREME COURT 1:45pm 6-25-08  La. Governor Bobby Jindal said he is "Outraged," while junior Sen. David Vitter issued a statement of his "Disappointment" in a high-court ruling today, against the death penalty for child rapists. 

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.

 

 

“One thing is clear: the five members of the Court who issued the opinion do not share the same ‘standards of decency’ as the people of Louisiana. One Justice said that ‘the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child.’ That is incredibly absurd. The most repugnant crimes deserve the harshest penalties, and nothing is more repugnant than the brutal rape of an eight-year-old child.

  

“We will evaluate ways to amend our statute to maintain death as a penalty for this horrific crime.”


 


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