Friday, July 25, 2008

Update on Louisiana Case Banning Death Penalty for Child Rapists

On June 25, 2008, we reported that the United States Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law which provided for the imposition of the death penalty for individuals convicted of raping children. Since that decision, there has been great controversy and discussion among politicians and legal scholars about the wisdom of that decision. Well, there has been an interesting new development in that case. On Monday, Louisiana prosecutors petitioned the United States Supreme Court to reconsider it's ruling. The reasoning behind this request is very interesting. As you may recall from our previous post, this was a 5 to 4 decision. The majority opinion was written by Justice Kennedy. In his opinion, Justice Kennedy stated that "there is a national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape." However, in the days following this decision, it was discovered that in 2006, the United States Congress passed a law which allowed for the imposition of the death penalty for members of the military who were convicted of raping children. President Bush signed an Executive Order in 2007 allowing federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for such cases. Amazingly, nobody realized that this had happened prior to the United States Supreme Court issuing it's ruling last month. Since nobody informed the Supreme Court of this law and executive order, the Louisiana prosecutors are claiming that the Supreme Court should reconsider it's ruling in light of this new information.

While it is extremely rare for the Supreme Court to grant such a request to reconsider, we will keep on eye on this case to see what happens.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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