I agree with Mr. Tucker. As they used to say in all those old Westerns: lethal injection’s too good fer ‘em. Rather, they should be placed in the general prison population with no hope of solitary confinement. Then cry me a river.p>Just to show I’m not emotional, and all, Mr. Tucker gives a lot of practical reasons why child rape shouldn’t be a capital crime, but I didn’t see much on whether he thought the Supreme Court was correct that it was unconstitutional. Certainly four justices agree with me that Louisiana was perfectly within their constitutional powers to pass such a law. Had Ronald Reagan made a better pick than Justice Kennedy, Louisiana could be free to try it out. But instead, all convicted child rapists everywhere will get to be squirreled away from danger, content in the knowledge that somewhere out there is a child who he continues to torture just by being alive. I fail to see the deterrence factor in that. br> — Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D. br> Omaha, Nebraska /p>
I agree with William Tucker that putting child rapists to death is a mistaken and counter-productive law. I am convinced it would have the perverse effect of incentivizing murder for a rapist after having ravished an innocent child. After all, as a matter of percentages, a child rapist has increased chances for getting away with the crime is he leaves no witnesses behind. But, as they say, that is a perfectly good answer to another question.
The issue before us is the difference between policy and the Constitution. The Supreme Court is supposed to rule on matters of law and their congruence with our founding document. A law may be bad policy; but between good policy and bad is not for the Court to decide. The Court in this case would have been on more solid ground if it confined itself to the death penalty for child rapists and the eighth amendment.p>While the immediate result may be ultimately good for the community, the long term concern is that the Court is turning itself into an unelected super legislature with the power to overturn any aspect of self-government by a free people. All who care about Federalism and the separation of powers need to weigh this matter with care.