An Eye for an Eye

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the death penalty cannot be applied to cases of the rape of a child. This has produced an outcry of opposition from among others, Barack Obama. I think Obama has missed the mark on this one. You see, there is that pesky LINE as in where do we draw the LINE?

Admittedly, I oppose the death penalty altogether. Its deterrent value is questionable and it licenses the state to commit the very act that it is punishing. Of course, that is the death penalty as it applies to murder convictions. While I disagree with it, at least in the application of punishing the crime of deliberate premeditated murder, we have some objective yardstick. In the case of child rape, I see an incredibly slippery slope.

If we apply the death penalty to child rape, what do we tell:
The man whose 80 year old grandmother has been raped?
The engaged woman who was saving her virginity (yes, old fashioned but it still happens) for her future husband and has been raped?
The young woman who is now pregnant with the child of her rapist?
The man who has been raped?

Do we tell all these people that their trauma is somehow less than that of a child?  You answer, “childhood is precious and special. There must be different standards applied there.”

So do we now apply the death penalty to:
Those who physically abuse children (which would put a lot of parents on death row)?
Creators and consumers of child pornography?
Employers who violate child labor laws?

Where do we draw the line? Our national obsession with the welfare of children is somewhat hypocritical in light of our professed disdain of but secret titillation with the likes of Jamie Lynn Spears and Miley Cyrus.

I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision. If we must have the death penalty, it must be reserved for the most narrowly defined set of crimes. Otherwise, in the name of so called decency, we are on the slippery slope to a terrorist state.

Rutherford Political Blogger Alliance

10 thoughts on “An Eye for an Eye

  1. See, the thing that struck me about the case was that it was more about the gruesome amount of physical trauma that the child experienced. The rape aside, which is horrific, the poor kid had multiple surgeries to keep her alive.

    So my immediate question was – if she hadn’t survived, would that be grounds for the death penalty? it was premeditated rape, but not murder, in theory. And yet, for that, I think I’d support it…

  2. I have mixed feelings about this one …

    To be honest, I think that the Court overstepped its bounds and made a legislative decision. That being said, I agree with the rest of what you wrote. It’s so easy to pass laws like these in the heat of the moment, but if we take a little bit of time to analyze, then we have to see that you’re right … as much as I might want to kill someone who raped my daughter, we have to draw a line somewhere.

    Lilac – actually, that would be murder. Even if the intent was not to kill, one would typically be charged with murder for killing a person with a deliberate attack.

  3. For me, opposing the death penalty is easy. After my experiences as a grand juror, and my occasional contacts with the police, I don’t believe that the justice system is reliable enough to bet anyone’s life on it.

    Now if the question is whether some people just need killin’, yeah, some do.

  4. If it’s really an eye for an eye, life in prison without possibility for parole would be nice, and like another commenter said, let nature take it’s course there. Bubba would be more than happy to take care of him. Oh but noooooo….. we have to separate the sex criminals and keep them away from the general population, giving them cable TV and peanut butter with nuts.

    If I could kill that stepfather myself, I would….. or I’d want to – but slowly and with lots of torture (long torture) beforehand – just like how stonings take place in Muslim countries.

    Let me also just add that our “justice system” is way too bleeding heart. We have done nothing by slap sexual predators on the wrist. Once they leave their 6 month cushy term, they’re back on the streets again committing the same crimes!! No. There is No such thing as rehabilitating a sexual criminal. I don’t believe in it, and I’ve never seen it work.

    Why is our justice system so incredibly liberal? Or maybe liberal is not the word. I see substance abusers get MUCH HARSHER terms in prison than rapists!!! What is wrong with us?

    Quite honestly, I’d rather be dead than have to walk the rest of my life with the baggage that poor little girl has to carry. I don’t feel all to alone on this, either. I would have been happier if she died. Now, she’s forced to carry these emotional scars to her grave while her step-father will be out of prison in no time carrying on his …. little hobby.

  5. Virgo, I expected this post would incite some emotional responses but I do want to remind everyone that this is not a question of the rightness or wrongness of the crime, but rather a discussion of what would be a rational, unemotional punishment for the crime. We can’t simply kill everyone who does something we find abhorrent particularly because abhorrence is in the eye of the beholder. Also, you say,

    “Quite honestly, I’d rather be dead than have to walk the rest of my life with the baggage that poor little girl has to carry. I don’t feel all to alone on this, either. I would have been happier if she died. Now, she’s forced to carry these emotional scars to her grave…”

    I can’t sign up for this. I’m a believer in living. The girl is better off with the emotional scars than she is dead. Where there is life, there is hope and healing. With the right support, the girl will live a full and fruitful life. Rather than focus on hating the assailant, I think the time is better spent hoping that this girl gets every break she needs to overcome the adversity that has befallen her.

  6. Meh… It was just my opinion. Nowhere did I declare my opinion to be right or the right way to go. That’s the beauty of opinions. They are neither right or wrong. They just are.

    And if they’re back on the streets again committing the same crimes after having been imprisoned, then we have a lot more than one victim we need to rehabilitate due to our poor justice system. But I respect that some people think it’s great that we let pedos out of their cages to re-offend.

    But since this is your blog, I will leave my opinions out in the future. Sorry if I caused any inconvenience. I should have read your disclaimer beforehand. 😳

  7. Virgo, the blog would be much less useful if people did not express their opinions. So please, continue to contribute. Just expect that when you express your opinion, you may get an opposing view from me or someone else.

    As for “disclaimer”, I’ve been lucky so far not to need to post one. Everyone on this blog behaves pretty civilly even while passionately expressing their views.

    Keep the comments coming!


  8. As a boy, when is proud of one’s new pocket knife, one brags, “I’ve got the sharpest knife ever!”

    There was then a contest to determine just that, putting blades one to another to see whose blade cut whose.

    Philosophy is the tool we use to solve the problems of our lives. It is the knife we have to cut through the Gordian Knotted questions we face.

    There is only one way for us to learn if our philosophy, our way of thinking is adequate. We must match it against an opposing one.

    Virgo, don’t go away. We offer to each other an invaluable opportunity, especially if we disagree vehemently.

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