The Supreme Court issued another stellar ruling: It is "disproportionate" to take the life of a child rapist. That would be cruel and unusual punishment. As opposed to what the child endured, which falls into the category "lucky to be alive". Lucky, lucky child! Here is a sampling of the reasoning: (Opinion here.)
Part of the Court’s rationale for nullifying a death sentence for raping a child was that the child victim gets enlisted, perhaps repeatedly, to recount the crime, forcing on the child “a moral choice” that the youngster is not mature enough to make. “The way the death penalty here involves the child victim in its enforcement can compromise a decent legal system,” Justice Kennedy wrote.More here. Ann Althouse notes Alito's dissent:
ADDED: In dissent, Justice Alito (joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia and Thomas) emphasizes the breadth of the decision:
The Court today holds that the Eighth Amendment categorically prohibits the imposition of the death penalty for the crime of raping a child. This is so, according to the Court, no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator’s prior criminal record may be. The Court provides two reasons for this sweeping conclusion: First, the Court claims to have identified “a national consensus” that the death penalty is never acceptable for the rape of a child; second, the Court concludes, based on its “independent judgment,” that imposing the death penalty for child rape is inconsistent with “ ‘the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.’ ”
Leaving aside that gem, the Court took more rights from the state to punish as they see fit. Taking away states rights has become a disturbing trend of the Supreme Court.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News