Apparently the Louisiana Supreme Court thinks not because last week it upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of raping an eight year old girl.
The specifics vary but capital punishment for child rape is legal in Georgia, Florida, Montana, Oklahoma, Louisiana and South Carolina. Texas also just passed a bill and it is expected the Governor will sign it into law. I didn’t even know a death sentence was an option in such cases but I have to say that I am uncharacteristically happy about it.
Ordinarily, I do not support the death penalty because of all the cases in which people have been proven wrongly convicted by the advent of DNA testing. But for some reason, I feel absolutely no compunction about giving a death sentence to someone who commits child rape, as in the Louisiana case, where the attack was so brutal that the little girl required surgery to try and repair the damage.
Perhaps if I knew all the facts, I would feel differently, but as it stands I feel no mercy whatsoever for the perpetrator, Patrick Kennedy.
I’m a little ashamed that I feel glad that he’s slated for death; that I can’t rise above it, but ultimately, I just look at it as one less predator to worry about; one less piece of shit for the state to support and then monitor when he gets out on parole, which he no doubt eventually would. And? One less piece of shit that will become a recidivist and rape again, as sexual predators almost always do.
I can’t explain the disparity between my feelings about capital punishment for murderers and child rapists except to say that, as a parent, I feel a special kind of hate for people that prey on kids that supercedes just about anything else. Logical? No. Of course not.
When I was nine years old, I was grabbed at a Holiday Inn ice machine by a guy who, ten minutes earlier, had helped me open the tricky door to our hotel room. He held me and asked me what I would do if he pulled his pants down and when I started screaming, he tried to put his hand over my mouth and forcefully subdue me. I struggled with him and when I broke free he ran away but I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had been too scared to fight; if I had been too scared to scream?
We filed a police report but we never heard anything else about the case and thus I also wonder, on occasion, how many other girls were not as lucky as I was.
So I ask you…should child rapists get the death penalty and why?
Or should they be spared and why?
If you chose the former, would you still be in favor of the death penalty if the perpetrator were a family member?
And if you chose the latter, would you still feel that way if the victim were your own child?