Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Update on Louisiana Death Penalty Case

On June 25, 2008, we published a post about a Louisiana case in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty could not be imposed for child rapists. A month later, on July 25, 2008, we published another post in which we talked about how the Louisiana Attorney General, had filed a petitiion for rehearing asking that the Supreme Court reconsider it's ruling due to evidence discovered after the ruling was first released. In the original ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled that the death penalty could not be imposed on child rapists because there was a "national consensus" against executing rapists. After the original ruling, it was discovered that the United States Congress had actually authorized the imposition of the death penalty for members of the military who had been convicted of raping children. President Bush had given the military permission to seek the death penalty in such cases. Today, Justice Kennedy, along with the 5 justices who originally joined him in the majority, declined to change his original ruling find that this prior Congressional and Executive action applied to members of the military and not civilians.

It is extremely rare for the Supreme Court to reopen a case after it issued a decision. Such a decision would require that a majority of the justices agree to reopen the case. This decision finally puts an end to this issue.

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

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