In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States recently struck down a Louisiana law that allows capital punishment for people convicted of raping children. First of all, capital punishment is neither cruel nor unusual, but that was the court's ruling as it is applied to rape cases. They said that the punishment was unfit for the crime. Personally, I find it entirely appropriate.
Here in North Carolina, the governor just signed a bill into law making child rape and molestation offenses carry stiffer punishment. Personally, I think like Louisiana did and believe in the swift, efficient use of the death penalty for chomos. I wish we could do so.
From the WTSB news page:
Governor Signs Jessica Lunsford Act Into Law
On Monday, Gov. Mike Easley signed into law The Jessica Lunsford Act. The law means sexual predators convicted in North Carolina will face stiffer punishment for rape or sexual offenses against children. In certain criminal offenses the minimum sentence will be 25 years in prison followed by lifetime satellite-based monitoring, or the possibility of life imprisonment without parole. The law also increases the criminal penalties for sexual exploitation of a minor and promoting prostitution of a minor, and makes the sex offender registration requirements more stringent. The Act creates a new criminal offense making it unlawful for a sex offender to be on certain premises such as schools, playgrounds and child care centers. Sex offender registries must now be checked, by local school districts, of all school contractual personnel before allowing them to have direct interaction with students. "Today we send a message that North Carolina will protect our children from vicious predators," Easley said. "We will make sure they spend more time in prison and we will track them 24-7 to make sure they never abuse children again." Easley signed the bill in Gaston County, where Jessica Lunsford, the 9-year-old for whom the bill is named, was born and lived until she moved to Florida in 2004. In February 2005 she was raped and murdered by a sex offender. The offender, John Couey, was convicted of her murder and has been sentenced to death. Police had lost track of Couey, who was staying with his sister in the same neighborhood as Jessica. Appearing with the governor at the bill signing was Mark Lunsford, father of Jessica, who has lobbied legislatures around the nation, including North Carolina, for tougher child predator laws. The bill passed the House by a vote of 109-1, and the Senate by a vote of 46-0. The new law goes into effect December 1.