Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rape
by rayj, Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 04:10:12 PM EDT
Sen. Obama has come out publicly in opposition to the Supreme Court's decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana to prohibit the death penalty for those that commit child rape. This is very surprising. Could it be yet another piece of evidence to suggest Obama's new found centrist leanings?
A longtime critic of the death penalty, Sen. Barack Obama said he opposed the Supreme Court's decision today that child rapists may not be executed in cases where they do not kill their victims.
"I have said repeatedly I think the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances, for the most egregious of crimes," said the Illinois senator, speaking to reporters at a hometown press conference. But he added, "I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime, and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well defined circumstances, the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that does not violate our Constitution."
In today's 5 to 4 decision, with the more liberal members forming the majority, the court struck down a 1995 Louisiana law that allowed the death penalty to be used against anyone who rapes a child under the age of 12. The decision overturned the death penalty for Patrick Kennedy, a 43-year-old who was convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter in 1998.