The Supreme Court (Kennedy v. Louisiana) has ruled 5-4 that it is cruel and unusual to impose the death penalty when the crime does not involve a death. The case before it was based on the appeal of a 43 year old man named Patrick Kennedy who raped his 8 year-old step-daughter. The liberals on the court ruled that raping a child is not a sufficient evil to warrant taking the rapist's life. According to Anthony Kennedy, whose decisions seem to be growing increasingly difficult to understand, the death penalty is not proportional punishment for the rape of a child.
The logic mystifies me. The five liberal Justices ruled that only if someone is killed is the crime heinous enough to merit the death penalty. Simply destroying someone's life in other ways doesn't. They believe, incredibly, that it would be either cruel and/or unusual to execute a man who wrecked a little girl's life by, say, torturing her, sexually mutilating her, dismembering her, repeatedly sodomizing her, and ultimately paralyzing her if in the end he didn't kill her.
How it could be either cruel or unusual to execute such a monster escapes me, but then I'm not very enlightened concerning the arcana of liberal thinking, I guess. I wonder how the five Justices in the majority would have ruled had their own eight year old daughters ever been subjected to such treatment.
This is why the choice of who we vote for in November is so important. A President McCain may wind up appointing more liberals to the Supreme Court, especially given the Democratic control of the Senate which must confirm his appointments, but a president Obama certainly would. In other words, if Obama is elected we're sure to get a lot more decisions like Kennedy v. Louisiana.
I wish someone in one of the debates coming up would ask the candidates whether they agree with the Court's ruling that enemy combatants captured on the battlefield should be given the same rights as American citizens and the ruling that child rapists aren't really doing enough harm to warrant being put to death. I think I know what McCain would say, but I think Obama would start his familiar tap dance around the question until he had managed to give every possible answer to it.
UPDATE: Senator Obama was indeed asked whether he agrees with the decision and replied that he disagreed with it and endorsed capital punishment in cases such as that of child rape. I applaud him for this but have a couple of questions: Is it not true that he would appoint judges who ruled as did the majority in Kennedy? Will his support on the far left be bummed by his claim to favor capital punishment in at least some cases? Would he have given this same answer were he not running for president? Given his history of standing on both sides of an issue one can't be sure. The best way to tell is to ask him to name a Supreme Court Justice present or past who best models the type of Justice he'd be likely to appoint to the Court.
HT: Hot Air.RLC