Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rape

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.

Tags: Barack Obama, SCOTUS (all tags)

Comments

108 Comments

Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

Fuck child rapists.

by spacemanspiff 2008-06-25 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

space--- so you want to molest the molester?

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:14PM | 0 recs
Tasteless joke. n/t

by sricki 2008-06-25 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

as normal you show yourself to be an incomplete thinker. The justice system is corrupt and full of flaws. So if you think it's a bad thing to execute someone accused of murder how can you then go on to make the exception of those accused of 'child rape'. Are you even capable of thinking anything through?

by zerosumgame 2008-06-25 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

Well, I think that this is one of those cases in which there will be a lot of disagreement between people.  I'm not entirely sure how I would come down on that issue myself.  

by rfahey22 2008-06-25 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

Sex offenders have such a low likelihood of being rehabilitated. Pedophiles especially. I'm not saying it should be a default sentence by any means, but if you have John Wayne Gacy on the one hand, and a man who has raped at least a dozen young boys on the other, I think they both fall on the same level of horrible.

by vcalzone 2008-06-25 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

I have worked with sex offenders and the myth that they cannot be rehabilitated is just that. Even the doj has statistics which support this. That said, I agree with Obama. Wooohoo! there is no doubt in my mind that if we [society] executed for rape of children--it would disappear. We have an epidemic of this because we are lenient to the point of absurdity. I also think we need to be harsher with rape itself. But that's another whole can of wormies. I am liberal but I support the death penalty because in woriking with prison populations I have seen that it is a deterrent. Certainly not in all cases, but lots of "criminals" really do worry about penalties. I worled mainly with men who battered and child molesters. but many of these guys were also 'criminals' in other ways" petty burglary, car theft, etc.

by linfar 2008-06-25 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

Do these men lose the desire, though? Or do they simply learn control? Cause what I meant was that sexual compulsions are extremely difficult to tame, because they speak to one of our most basic instincts.

by vcalzone 2008-06-25 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

there is no doubt in my mind that if we [society] executed for rape of children--it would disappear.

I'm curious why you think this.  The death penalty hasn't been successful in eliminating any other crimes.  Why would it work for sex crimes?

by freedom78 2008-06-25 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

BING-O!

by zerosumgame 2008-06-25 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

Kinda nice to see the unraveling of the " so called progressives"

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

And here I thought we were playing Yatzee!

by freedom78 2008-06-25 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

personally I don't like to play games with peoples lives...

by zerosumgame 2008-06-25 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

Agreed on that.

I think of it from the perspective of the state's right to kill its people.  If the state has that power, it can abuse that power.  And I don't like that prospect.

by freedom78 2008-06-25 06:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

not that it can abuse that power, but that it WILL when some politician or other power-grubber sees an advantage from it.

by zerosumgame 2008-06-26 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

As I said earlier I have worked with child molesters. In the course of this work I became a believer in deterrence, it works. I don't know who or how people have produced those studies showing it doesn't--because it  absolutely does stop people. When a child molester who is not so compulsive he cannot control his behavior considers how to go about this crime--getting caught is a huge issue. I have heard men say, 'well, it's only prison. But getting killed, ok, that'd stop me.'  

by linfar 2008-06-25 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

I have heard men say, 'well, it's only prison. But getting killed, ok, that'd stop me.'  

But that isn't the same thing as having an actual deterrent effect.  They might truly believe it would stop them, but that doesn't mean that it would.  

And, of course, it would vary case to case.  I'm sure some people are deterred, just as some are deterred by the prospect of ANY punishment.  But the death penalty doesn't provide that magic bullet to solving crime that people want it to.  

by freedom78 2008-06-25 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

The whole notion that the death penalty deters crime has not been settled yet.  The states with the death penalty have higher crime rates.  That doesn't necessarily mean the death penalty doesn't work.  

I don't know how many of you have access to Lexis Nexus, but here are a couple articles:

NY Times Dec. 2 2007. Death to Capital Punishment by Brigid C. Harrison.

Washington Post Feb. 21 2007. Why I Oppose the Death Penalty. Martin O'Malley.

I'm sure there are lots of other studies that indicate the opposite, but it is not certain either way at this point.  But even from a common sense standpoint, do we really think child molesters are sitting around as they plan their abuse, thinking "Hmm...what are the chances I could be caught, arrested, convicted, lose all my appeals, and eventually executed for this?"  

As someone who doesn't believe in any sort of afterlife, I never support the taking of any life if it can be helped.  I also think sitting in jail for 40+ years is a worse punishment than being executed after 20.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-06-25 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

Yes, child molesters do sit around and think about the death penalty. I have worked with them. Some cannot help themselves, but those who can exert some control do fear the death penalty-- and it does help to inhibit their behavior.

by linfar 2008-06-25 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for

Are there any studies or surveys to make a larger point?  Anecdotal evidence is definitely useful, but I need to see a larger sample to buy it.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-06-25 06:23PM | 0 recs
The death penalty needs

to be abolished. I was really surprised that Obama took this stance...

by sricki 2008-06-25 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The death penalty needs

why? were u surprised?.. curious what lead you that thought...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:15PM | 0 recs
I had hoped

he'd take a more progressive stance, but whatever. You win some, you lose some.

I can't respond to the last sentence in your comment because your grammar is too troublesome.

by sricki 2008-06-25 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: I had hoped

"because your grammar is too troublesome".

You do know that is grammatically incorrect to say that? :)

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:21PM | 0 recs
Sure it is.

Have you ever been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder? You might consider looking into it. Seems like the only person you don't argue with is rankles.

by sricki 2008-06-25 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Sure it is.

Mary had a little lamb...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Sure it is.

I am rating this up until I understand why it was troll rated, which may be never.

by Scotch 2008-06-25 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: I had hoped

Linus: Charlie Brown, you win some, you lose some.

Charlie Brown: Really? Gee, that'd be neat!

by OrangeFur 2008-06-25 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: I had hoped

yeah just tough luck I guess for those wrongly accused...

by zerosumgame 2008-06-25 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The death penalty needs

This is one of the few things that might actually be a dealbreaker for getting my vote in this election.  I am completely opposed to the death penalty.  I knew Obama supported its limited use, that he did not take the moral stand John Kerry did in regards to this, but am truly shocked that he would support it in a situation where no murder occurred.  This goes beyond even the eye for an eye that folks who support the DP believe.

The platform of the Democratic party used to be anti-DP.  It changed to pander to voters.  Kerry took it out of the platform for the first time in a long time.  Bill Clinton embraced it.  Jimmy Carter I think was pro when he was in office but became anti later in his life (I'm not positive about this).  

I can understand life without parole for these kind of sex offenders but executing people in our custody already is just wrong.  I am a member of a few anti-DP groups.  There is no rhyme or reason to how the DP is applied.  I am ashamed of Obama for taking this stand.  Really ashamed.  Since Hillary Clinton is also strongly pro the DP this would not have affected the way I voted in the primary, but it might in the GE.  Every election cycle I am forced to support state sponsored murder for the crime of murder, but to support a candidate who wants to apply this to a situation where no life has been taken.  No, I don't think so.

by mady 2008-06-25 05:13PM | 0 recs
Obama is generally against the death penalty

Please be aware, he's not supporting this, he's saying that he disagrees that it's unconstitutional.

Obama hates the death penalty and was instrumental in reforming it in Illinois.  Here he's providing his opinion as a constitutional scholar.  I disagree with the constitution and its amendments, or at least the implementation of same, on several points (notibly the 2nd Amendment), but I acknowledge that they're currently the law of the land.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-25 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is generally against the death penalty

now that is a good spin... " he is generally against the death penalty"

Thats not the death penalty I knew...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is generally against the death penalty

"Had the Supreme Court said, we want to constrain the ability of states to do this, to make sure it's done in a careful and appropriate way, that would have been one thing," said Obama. "But it basically had a blanket prohibition."

Careful and appropriate?  You cannot oppose the DP and use that phrase.  He has always been on the side of more guarantees to prevent those not guilty of a crime from being executed.  He has never been anti DP.  

Blanket prohibition is good. We have life without parole in Massachusetts.  It is used.  We have no DP.  This works fine.  There is no need to pander on this issue.

by mady 2008-06-25 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is generally against the death penalty

Thanks for the accuracy - mojo'd!

I am absolutely against the death penalty.  That said, my respect for Obama only grows when I hear him clearly speak to the nuance and specifics of a court decision - even if it's not the specific rhetoric that bolsters my position.  Compare this to McCain's knee-jerk "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country," or just about anything to come from shrub.  

by candidate D 2008-06-25 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is generally against the death penalty

I am disappointed in Obama on this because the DP is the ultimate police power of a nation and we need to shrink it, not expand it.

Having said that, McCain's comments are pretty sick.  

I know that I will be disappointed again in Obama, but he is so much better than the alternative.

by smoker1 2008-06-25 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: The death penalty needs

I am completely opposed to the death penalty.

I completely respect this position.

The platform of the Democratic party used to be anti-DP.  It changed to pander to voters.

But there's a reason for this: you are distinctly in the minority when it comes to this question.  Americans have supported the death penaly by large margins for years.  Doesn't make it "right" but it's a reasonable position to take.  When do "pandering to voters" and "reflecting the beliefs of the American electorate" become the same thing?

Link: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1606/Death-Pe nalty.aspx

by Koan 2008-06-25 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: The death penalty needs

To me the death penalty is one of those things that defines the morality of a nation.  We are the only Western country that uses it.  We are in a group of nations whose human rights policies we despise with this issue.

Furthermore, when offered a clear and used alternative of life without parole, the figures on DP support change radically.

by mady 2008-06-25 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The death penalty needs

Speakin to the choir, but it's not me you need to convince . . . it's the other two thirds of the country.

by Koan 2008-06-25 06:48PM | 0 recs
Polling with life without parole

When LOP is added to the polling mix, the support for the DP goes below 50%.  It's verbal laziness that keeps Americans polling high support of this.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article. php?did=481&scid=

by mady 2008-06-25 07:07PM | 0 recs
As I said to Mady...

He's not necessarally in favor of using the death penalty here, he's saying that executing the rapists of children wouldn't be unconstitutional.

Very few people have done more to reform the death penalty than Barack Obama.  I trust his judgement on this.  I'd rather the death penalty was removed, too, but I also understand that there are heinous crimes that defy easy punishment.  My self conflict over Jeffrey Dahmer's fate is evidence enough of that.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-25 06:31PM | 0 recs
Great

Conservative judges struck down Brown VS... among other stuff.

Liberal judges struck down death penalty to child rapists.

Oh can someone please get us a middle of the road supreme court?

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Great

I wasn't aware that the Warren Court was "conservative."

by rfahey22 2008-06-25 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Great

 this court is 5-4

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Great

This court is the Roberts Court.  Brown was decided by the Warren Court.  

by rfahey22 2008-06-25 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Great

this court revised that ruling...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Great

Do you pay attention to what you say, this court is "liberal"? really, 6 Republican appointtees is liberal, are you drunk again?

by Dog Chains 2008-06-25 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Great

I said judges not court... all liberal judges sided w/ it.  wax on wax off

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:40PM | 0 recs
Works for me.

Well, I'm with Obama on this one.

by emsprater 2008-06-25 04:13PM | 0 recs
strangely....

i am too.  as a principle i am against the death penalty (we do not have this in canada).

but now that i am a parent and think about this circumstance on such an innocent, i might be singing a different song.  or maybe im getting older?

by canadian gal 2008-06-25 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: strangely....

how many innocent men died on death row canadian gal( in your country)?...

see my point...:)

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: strangely....

Oh please.

All the folks in prison are vicims who were on their way to Sunday School and just happened to be nabbed by the dirty police.

Yeah, right.

by emsprater 2008-06-25 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: strangely....

are you American or from a communist country? seriously..

we shall let 9 criminals go free before we convict a single innocent one-- bedrock principles of our countries justice system.

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: strangely....

Probably because I see all too often the folks involved in crimes, murders, assaults, drugs and all kinds of mayhem, I am immune to the "oh the horrors' type whines about how folks are targeted or poorly treated by 'the man'.

No, I'm 100% American (and how Bushian of you to question that), but I am sensible enough to know that not everyone who is accused is guilty, but 99% of them are.  I think with the science we have of today, DNA and so forth, guilt is much more definite when proven and adjudicated in a court of law, and loads of folks 'get off' easy because even though they are guilty they are assisted by some tactical shiester to game the system and walk.

Child rape is probably the most horrendous crime, even worse than some murder in my book.  Those who kill a rival drug dealer certainly deserve to spend their lives in prison, but those who rape an innocent child, forever taking that child's life away (and I don't care how much therapy that child has, their life will never be the same again, trust me) deserves to pay the ultimate price.

by emsprater 2008-06-26 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: strangely....

Asking a person who believes that 1% of people who are not guilty die in death chambers is A-okay- is hardly bushian.

Lets just hope the god lord blesses you and your family to be among the 1% . Nothing like , when it hits home...

life sentences ensure that no innocent dies for your views...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-26 05:47AM | 0 recs
Here's a timely bit of ...

rebuttal for your view.  Yesterday, a female corrections officer was murdered in the prison by an innmate.  Details are not completely released as of yet, but let me state that the rumor mill has it that the innmate was in his predicament because he had been found guilty of rape and murder.  Now just how many corrections officers lives are worth keeping this loving human being in captivity for the remainder of his wonderful life?

The answer, ZERO.

Also, I gave reasoned response as to why I feel that those found guilty and sentenced to death in this day and age are, in fact, guilty.  I'd say that in this age of scientific proof, those found guilty and sentenced to death who get through all the appeals processes and lawyer tricks to keep their sorry necks from being held accountable and still are on death row are 100% guilty.

Nice of you to be so Bushian as to twist my words, but I won't call for your citizenship because of that, or call you a communist, or attempt to drag your family into our discourse..

by emsprater 2008-06-26 07:05AM | 0 recs
And here's an update /....

to the timely bit of information.

It appears the 'rumor' about the accused innmate is not entirely correct.  He has not yet been found guilty of any murder, but the reason he was in prison is because he has a life sentence for kidnapping and sexual battery.

So, coddle the child rapists if you must, but remember, when you do you place an entire subset of folks at risk: the corrections officers, the rest of the staff and the other innmates.

Some folks simply are so mean and so beneath human dignity that when they are found to be guilty and adjudicated to be deserving of the death penalty, they most certainly do deserve to have it carried out.

Views like yours have made a child an orphan now.  Thanks a lot.

by emsprater 2008-06-26 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: And here's an update /....

You have an extraordinary amount of faith in the U.S. justice system and in the proper use of current technology and the ethics of evidence gathering. I don't share your confidence in those areas.

But here's the basic question: Are you willing to allow the State to kill even one innocent person? Is that a small price to pay to assure that those who really are guilty are no longer allowed to live?

Because if there's one thing you can be certain of, it's that justice will not be distributed equitably or appropriately 100% of the time. The number of prisoners posthumously exonerated already testifies to that. Somewhere along the line a percent innocent of a crime will be condemned and executed for that crime. No amount of science is going to prevent that.

So it's an honest question, and deserves an honest response. Is it acceptable for the State to take the life of one innocent person, if doing so makes certain that the "really guilty" are appropriately dispatched? What if that person was you, or someone you loved?

If you say yes, I'll disagree, but I'll applaud you for at least being honest about it.

Speaking for myself, I have a problem with the whole state-sanctioned killing thing. Given that in this country the State effectively represents ME, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of sacrificing an innocent on the altar of retribution, in the name of justice.

Another problem I have is that once the State assumes the right to take the lives of its citizens as well as their liberty, its reasons for doing so may dangerously multiply, as well as its justifications.

No, I don't like capital punishment; just as I don't like military conscription. I don't want my government killing its citizens, no matter how heinous their crimes. And I don't want my government telling its citizens to kill.

by BobzCat 2008-06-26 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: strangely....

It's not about the criminals being good, I am for strict sentencing including life without parole.
Actually I am for stricter sentencing for many crimes than exists now.

What is is about is if we want to do the criminal acts.  Think of it this way, if there was a serial murderer out there keeping his victims imprisoned in fear of their lives, then killing them with a cocktail that included a drug that keeps them from registering the pain they feel on dying, or maybe running current through their bodies, or gassing them, how would you feel about that killer.  Well to me, the DP turns my country and myself into that killer.  

I have no problem with killing if there is no other way to protect yourself.  What I do have a deep problem with is killing once you have someone in custody and rendered harmless.  

by mady 2008-06-25 07:13PM | 0 recs
Umm

Obama supports State's Rights.

Thinks raping a 6yr old is Heinous.

Stop the presses.

by Is This Snark 2008-06-25 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Umm

one these days someone should bum rush you...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-25 04:19PM | 0 recs
Death Penalty for Child Rape

Disappointing reaction.  The death penalty is broadly popular in this country, and I guess he's playing that.  I wish he'd said he agreed with it.

Now, the real test will come later this week, when the Supreme Court will probably rule that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms.

by Koan 2008-06-25 04:30PM | 0 recs
The point of this diary is to dry a wedge

This diary isn't factually incorrect, but it stinks of a wedge issue.

Lots of folks on the left oppose the death penalty in all cases and lots of other folks on the left support it in a few cases.  The right is not going to disagree with this issue, but it could cause some dissent on the left.

rayj, your previous diaries include:

-"Webb Sides With McCain on Oil Drilling"
-"Obama's Falling Numbers. Gallup: Obama 44, McCain 42"
-'Helen Thomas on Obama: "He's no MLK"'
-"Hillary and Obama Are Getting Destroyed By McCain"

I'm not sure whether you're a McCain blogger or a Hillary "supporter", but you're not here to help.

by Can I Haz Moar Snark 2008-06-25 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

I agree on this one.  Keep in mind that the question before the court was not "is the death penalty a good idea" but was "Does the Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment mean that the death penalty for someone who rapes a young (under 12) child is unconstitutional?"  And, keep in mind that this decision is made in light of repeated rulings that the death penalty itself is not unconstitutional.

So the court isn't supposed to be ruling whether Louisiana is they are pursuing wise public policies or even whether they are being "just," but simply whether it meets the test in light of previous court decisions.

So I honestly find this decision puzzling and wrong.  And I agreed with previous decisions where the death penalty was found unconstitutional for those with limited mental capacities.

I go back and forth on whether we should have the death penalty as a matter of public policy, but not on its constitutionality.  

by bosdcla14 2008-06-25 04:43PM | 0 recs
He ain't Dukakis, folks.

Do you really want him out there explaining why he thinks that child rapists don't deserve the death penalty?

I would hope we wouldn't nominate someone that dumb.

by Geekesque 2008-06-25 04:52PM | 0 recs
Re: He ain't Dukakis, folks.

Well, all I am hoping for is a person with some values he really believes in.  I can't tell what those are exactly with Obama when he makes stupid moves like this.

by Scotch 2008-06-25 06:17PM | 0 recs
So, tell me, where does the

Constitution say that murderers deserve the death penalty but child rapists don't?

by Geekesque 2008-06-25 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: So, tell me, where does the

Show me where the constitution says anybody does?  Why stop at child rapists then.  Let's put whoever we want to to death, because really there is no limit and it would be fun.

by Scotch 2008-06-25 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: So, tell me, where does the

That is an interesting question. Obama's position appears to be that if a state finds a particular act to be sufficiently egregious then the death penalty is constitutional. Historically that is a problematic argument, since states tend to single out the behavior of despised minorities for harsher penalties. The court's argument that the punishment must fit the crime is less subject to the vagaries of community standards.

Obama's position on this case also raises the question of exactly what sort of people does he intend to appoint to the court?

by souvarine 2008-06-25 07:02PM | 0 recs
States have a general police power

which they can exercise at their own discretion absent constitutional limitations.  So, if there's no constitutional limit on it, they can do it.

To put it another way, if the constitution didn't prohibit the amputation of thieves' hands, states could do it.

by Geekesque 2008-06-26 05:35AM | 0 recs
I oppose the death penalty in all cases

Obviously this is pandering. But pandering that almost everyone does. Mario Cuomo and Tim Kaine are the only two that I know who opposed the death penalty and were willing to take the consequences of it.

by OrangeFur 2008-06-25 04:52PM | 0 recs
Re: I oppose the death penalty in all cases

....and John Kerry opposes it and had it taken out of the party platform.

by mady 2008-06-25 05:21PM | 0 recs
Its not pandering

Unless I am pandering too. I don't think I am.

by turtlescrubber 2008-06-25 06:12PM | 0 recs
Doesn't want to be Dukakis-ed

this decision wasn't all that well-reasoned as a legal matter, but if Obama opposes the DP there's no reason to make an exception for child rapists only.

My guess is that Obama doesn't want to get the same type of question Dukakis got.  Which would be quite likely considering Obama has two young daughters.

by JJE 2008-06-25 04:52PM | 0 recs
i think

Personally I oppose the death penalty, but I actually believe that if it were to exist that it makes more sense to apply it to a crime such as child rape - where the evidence seems to suggest that there is a much higher rate of reoffending - than homicide, where people are sentenced to death even if there are some mitigating circumstances.

by highgrade 2008-06-25 04:54PM | 0 recs
I believe this is my first post defending Obama,

who is still in my dog-house.

I do not want to inflict physical pain on child rapists. I simply want them to be permanently put to sleep so they can't rape any more children.

There is nothing cruel or unusual about the death penalty for child rapists. We currently do not have the ability to rehabilitate them. So, we have a choice: we execute them, we imprison them for life or we let them out to rape more children.

Bravo Obama. Now, just put Hillary on the ticket and all is forgiven.

by mmorang 2008-06-25 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: I believe this is my first post defending Obam

Then let's imprison them for life.  Put them in max security if you are worried about escapes.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-06-25 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I believe this is my first post defending Obam

Ok. If people want to pay for it I'm for puting them away for life. But I do not want child molestors on the streets at all, ever, period.

by mmorang 2008-06-26 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: I believe this is my first post defending Obam

I'm not convinced rehabilitation is impossible.  But let's assume for a second that it is.  Imprisoning people for life is actually cheaper than executing them, because of the long appeals process that taxpayers have to pay for for inmates on death row.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-06-26 12:36PM | 0 recs
Hmm...

Well, I disagree with Senator Obama, as I oppose the death penalty entirely.

But it never hurts, politically, to appear tough on crime...especially against criminals as disgusting as these.  

by freedom78 2008-06-25 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

Gee, the Most Liberal Senator lives up to his rep again.
by killjoy 2008-06-25 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

If I believed the death penalty would be a deterrence I would support it.

I don't think the death penalty gives the molester an incentive to allow the child to live.

by feelfree 2008-06-25 05:24PM | 0 recs
Shock

First, as I wrote above, I am shocked and repelled by Obama's stand on this.

Then, reading some posts, I am equally appalled by the flip discussion of well he has to do this because it's good politics.  We are talking about taking people's lives here, killing them, torturing them.  And if you don't believe that there is a problem with doing this to "bad people" then how about the unjustly accused and sentenced.  Still good politics?  There has to be a point at which "it's good politics" stops.  To me this is it.

by mady 2008-06-25 05:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Shock

and this is why i totally respect your opinion because while you may support a candidate, its not blind devotion which to me is dangerous (see: chimpy).  its funny - i just posted this comment in another diary about the netroots decrying (well not really) BO in recent days and read this quote from a HRC aide that seems appropriate to this diary.

"I don't understand why a group like MoveOn backs Obama," said the aide. "Hillary is the one who will build up the Democratic infrastructure. She's the one promising to fight the ideological battles. He's the one who is talking about moving beyond partisanship. And they love him for it."

by canadian gal 2008-06-25 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Shock

Although one of the initial reasons I steered away from Hillary Clinton in the primary was that she had stated a much more pro DP stand than Obama had.  I think in the end it is about the same, and I am really dismayed by all of this.

I think I will have to vote party, but my money is going to go to candidates nationally who actually believe what I do on the things that matter most to me.

by mady 2008-06-25 07:23PM | 0 recs
This is a no-brainer.

I'm glad SCOTUS decided this the way it did and I'm glad Sen. Obama came out against it.  It was the right decision for SCOTUS to make, and it was a total no-lose for Obama to oppose it.  He isn't going to be in any position to decide this issue in the future, since it's a state issue, so there's no chance of his position having any real consequences, and it definitely plays well to suburban voters and parents.

by mistersite 2008-06-25 05:31PM | 0 recs
Re: This is a no-brainer.

How about just for the sake of having real convictions and values whether it is politically expedient or not.  Unreal.

by Scotch 2008-06-25 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

The execution of child rapists is not the issue.  The issue is the fact that our justice system, like anything designed by men, is imperfect, and thus the chance that a wrongfully accused person would get executed exists.

The death penalty should be abolished for this reason.  One cannot issue an appeal to a higher court from beyond the grave.

Obama's my guy, but he's dead wrong on this, IMO.

by gravypatrol 2008-06-25 05:32PM | 0 recs
Really?

It sends a message that he would like to avoid the headline, "Obama in favor of mercy for child molesters."

The supremes have ruled, so it's a moot point.

 

by libertyleft 2008-06-25 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

I have opposed the death penalty for most of my life. Then again, I come from a state that did away with the death penalty quite awhile ago, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I oppose it.

I do think child rape and molestation is a particularly heinous crime. My take on it is that a life sentence is really punishment enough. Child molesters are treated worse by their fellow inmates than any other group of offenders. Why waste millions of dollars on appeals when you can just send them to a hard-time prison?

by MS01 Indie 2008-06-25 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

I should clarify this. I'm originally from Michigan, which does not have the death penalty. I now live in Mississippi.

by MS01 Indie 2008-06-25 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

This is fucking nuts. Child rape is a serious crime but in NO way does it justify death! If this is  Obama centrism, then I'm proud of the court's decision.  What happened to common sense and new politics?

by bsavage 2008-06-25 05:36PM | 0 recs
Obama's huge political achievement

While I know that BHO has and will again say one thing and do another. But not this time, Obama often cites his role in Illinois' death penalty debate as evidence that he can resolve thorny issues through compromise.

"Enactment of the 2003 law was a huge political achievement in a state that had been deeply divided over problems with capital punishment." SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (AP)

by Ida B 2008-06-25 06:25PM | 0 recs
this is a bad court decision but Obama right again

Obama is on a winning streak!

If this was who he presented himself in the primaries, he would have won on Super Tuesday!

Does anyone really believe he wouldn't have voted for the Iraq War?

by yellowdem1129 2008-06-25 05:39PM | 0 recs
He wouldn't have. He's too smart for that.

by turtlescrubber 2008-06-25 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

This one I have mixed feelings with, to be completley honest. The position he took was one that was one he had too---honestly, I'm not a fan of the death penalty though, and I think another rather valid point is life in prison seems to be much more of a punishment than death. Life in a Supermax for the rest of your life as opposed to dying in a compartively short period of time (7-15 years as opposed to 50 or longer), seems to be a much worse punishment to me.

by zcflint05 2008-06-25 05:49PM | 0 recs
Obama Supports the Death Penalty for molesters

As long as it is open season for who states can kill with the death penalty, I have always been partial to the idea of getting rid of people who hurt animals.  That is, if it meets a states definition for heinous, well defined and all those other things that might make it applicable.  I don't see what is wrong with it. I mean why not do it, if only for the reason that it would feel so good.

by Scotch 2008-06-25 06:12PM | 0 recs
Obama's statement today

,agree or disagree, was 100% consistent with the view he's always taken.

The position BHO today advocated is mentioned in his writings and Obama has alway supported the death penalty in egregious cases.

He advocated for more protection against the use of the death penalty against the wrongly convicted. There were several cases of this in Illinois while Obama was in the legislature. He was able to work across the aisle while including both police officers and civil rights advocates in the reform process.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/11/12/o bama.death.penalty.ap/

by Ida B 2008-06-25 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's statement today

Yes, you are right about consistency. Here's Obama's position as documented by the Pew Forum:

Obama says the death penalty "does little to deter crime" but he supports it for cases in which "the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage."

So, since child rape is especially reviled by "the community" it justifies the death penalty.

http://pewforum.org/religion08/compare.p hp?Issue=Death_Penalty

To me,  he is advocating mob rule...to no purpose.

by Puffin 2008-06-25 06:23PM | 0 recs
I am anti-death penalty and pro-abortion rights

My commment wasn't about my thoughts about the death penalty. I was addressing rayj "Could it be yet another piece of evidence to suggest Obama's new found centrist leanings?" Whether one agrees or disagrees this is not a new position for Obama.

by Ida B 2008-06-25 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's statement today

The point is how far can you go in deciding what is egregious. Child molestation is too far.  That is the argument.  I wonder about someone who considers this so egregious that the states should be able to kill someone over it.  What else does he consider egregious enough?

by Scotch 2008-06-25 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

obama shud have stood against organized murder by state... w/e

by gladiatorsback 2008-06-25 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rap

Wiretapping and now this? For a constitutional law professor Obama sure has a funny notion of what is constitutional.

At least in Bill Clinton's infamous Ricky Ray Rector case the guy had killed a man and then a cop before shooting himself in the head, causing brain damage.

by souvarine 2008-06-25 06:31PM | 0 recs
Just so you know

Obama very clearly stated in "The Audacity of Hope" that he favors the death penalty for certain cases and specifically mentioned child rape and murder. While I completely disagree with his position on this, this is not a flip-flop or a pander on his part.

by unspeakable 2008-06-25 06:32PM | 0 recs
When one is looking for a wedge issue...

issue one should do ones research more throughly.

by Ida B 2008-06-25 06:41PM | 0 recs
Thomas Jefferson:

"I would rather see 100 guilty men go free, then see one innocent man hanged."

by SocialDem 2008-06-25 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Thomas Jefferson:

And I would rather see every child rapist put to death.  This is one of those crimes where it is so reprehensible, to anyone of even a fraction of moral character that it transcends politics.  I general agree with the high court, but this decision is absurd, it is not cruel and unusual to put a sick bastard to death for permanently destroying the life of a child and giving them any semblance of a chance to do it again.  Shame on the supreme court, Good for Obama AND McCain for seeing this for the outrageous miscarriage of justice and attack on the state of Louisiana that it is.  

by Brandon 2008-06-25 07:29PM | 0 recs
I stand by

my quote. There is no excuse we put to death any man for any crime he has committed. Even the remote chance he is innocent should be enough to get away with the death penalty. The DP does not permit communal retributive justice. Instead we are allowing vengeance to become justice which I want no part of.

by SocialDem 2008-06-26 12:10AM | 0 recs
Typo- I meant

"to get away with the death penalty"

-to do away with the death penalty

by SocialDem 2008-06-26 12:12AM | 0 recs

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