Patterico's Pontifications

6/27/2008

McCain and Obama Buck the National Consensus on Child Rape

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:13 am



The other day, Justice Kennedy told us that “there is a national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape.”

John McCain and Barack Obama both issued statements supporting capital punishment for the worst cases of child rape.

It’s rare to see the two main contenders for the presidency arguing against the “national consensus” on an issue.

It just goes to show you the extraordinary political courage that Obama and McCain both showed on this issue.

They support death for the worst cases of child rape. And that is their stand — no matter how many votes it costs them!

70 Responses to “McCain and Obama Buck the National Consensus on Child Rape”

  1. Heh.

    Do I detect a hint of…nah, couldn’t be.

    Tom (956b82)

  2. The big question is ‘where did Joke Kennedy get his stats on child rape’? I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t drop the door and hang a child rapist. I have to believe that only a child rapist would support a child rapist.

    Scrapiron (d671ab)

  3. Hey, there is a national consensus against getting traffic tickets. Does that mean I don’t have to pay them?

    Kevin (834f0d)

  4. Next year, I’m not paying taxes. Why? Well, there’s a national consensus against them!

    Kevin (834f0d)

  5. What does he mean by “national consensus”? Is that a new party? :)

    love2008 (1b037c)

  6. I’m actually a part of the national consensus — for one reason. After a child has been raped, I want the rapist to have an incentive to allow the eyewitness (i.e. the victim) to live.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  7. #2, these were the stats posted at Volokh. They were culled from Roper, post – 1990. Clearly, Kennedy & co. didn’t read these.

    http://www.volokh.com/posts/1214447764.shtml

    Also, he makes the point,

    “Note that in 1997, 65% of Americans favored the death penalty for child molesters, an increase from 1991, before most of the public furor about molestation. If the question had been put in terms of “child rape,” support for the death penalty might have been even higher.”

    And no dobut if the public we’re privy to the excruciating details of these sorts of crimes, yes, all the gritty detail, possibly even more would be in agreement.

    My local paper had an almost innocuous AP report on the headline and nary a mention of the extraordinary physical damage done. Perhaps the need to sanitize and keep the public because it might upset the masses…

    Dana (f12688)

  8. There are practical reasons for opposing the death penalty for child rapists. Among other things, the death penalty would give rapists incentive to commit murder.

    But the question before the Court was whether or not the death penalty for child rape is cruel and unusual, not impractical. And there is nothing cruel or unusual about executing those who rape children, contrary to what the Court wrote.

    Michael Ejercito (a757fd)

  9. After two failed attempts, I think we finally have — for all intents and purposes — the nation’s second President Kennedy.

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  10. Justice Kennedy no doubt mined his “national consensus” from the same circle of people that led Pauline Kael to conclude that no one had voted for Nixon in 1972 (yeah, I know, Kael fans claim that she never made the claim attributed to her).

    JVW (ce519b)

  11. how can a 5-4 vote reflect a consensus on anything?

    assistant devil's advocate (0cb110)

  12. To those who oppose the death penalty here on the theory that it would give an incentive to the rapist to murder the child, beyond just raping them, stop and think for a moment. Here’s the thought process that would have to go through the rapist’s mind:

    “I want to rape that 6 year old.”

    “Hmm, the penalty for rape of a 6 year old is life imprisonment without parole. Guess I’ll chance it.”

    “Hey, the kid lived through it. They know who I am and if they testify against me, I’ll get locked up for the rest of my life. But I won’t face the death penalty, so I guess I’ll leave them alive.”

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I just don’t think that not having the death penalty will really provide any incentive not to kill the kid. It would require the rapist to be irrational enough to risk life imprisonment for raping the 6 year old, but rational enough to refrain from murdering the child in order to avoid the death penalty. I don’t think any child rapist is that rational, frankly. I don’t think anybody will actually risk leaving the victim alive because the penalty is “merely” life imprisonment without parole.

    PatHMV (653160)

  13. 8
    There are practical reasons for opposing the death penalty for child rapists. Among other things, the death penalty would give rapists incentive to commit murder.

    Are you arguing that there should be no punishment at all for child rapers because they will have incentive to commit murder if they have to face a punishment for the rape?

    j curtis (c84b9e)

  14. Count me in the group that doesn’t give a dam one way or the other.

    jharp (9b1a32)

  15. #12
    Good point Pat. Thats another way to look at it. But dont you think a death penalty will make it more imperative to the rapist to see that the victim does not live to tell the story? I mean wont he do everything to keep her quiet knowing his life depended on it?

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  16. 12

    And the next day the Democrat will be acting like life in prison is worse than death so that they can pretend that their position is actually tougher. Which means that they are claiming that their child rapist constituency will refrain from killing the child to get a fate worse than death.

    j curtis (c84b9e)

  17. But dont you think a death penalty will make it more imperative to the rapist to see that the victim does not live to tell the story?

    Gee, let’s follow this logic, reducto ad absurdio

    “But dont you think a 5-year prison sentence will make it more imperative to the rapist to see that the victim does not live to tell the story?”

    Or maybe…

    “But dont you think 12 months probation will make it more imperative to the rapist to see that the victim does not live to tell the story?”

    The death penalty isn’t about retribution. It’s about making very bad people dead. Anyone who would rape a child deserves whatever punishment society decides to mete out.

    Drumwaster (d67aaf)

  18. Count me in the group that doesn’t give a dam one way or the other.

    SHOCKA!

    JD (75f5c3)

  19. I understand where you’re coming from, but I just don’t think that not having the death penalty will really provide any incentive not to kill the kid.

    Oh come on. You acknowledge that this is a rational reason not to kill the rapist, but then you refuse to believe it will actually work.

    Be honest — you just don’t care enough about protecting the kid to give up the thrill of killing the kids rapist.

    It’s all about priorities — some people would rather execute some killers than avoid the risk of killing some innocents; would rather hold some terrorists without any rights, hearing or recourse than avoid the possibility of holding and torturing some innocent terrorism suspects.

    Some people either get more satisfaction out of the idea of killing their adversaries, or are less worried about killing innocents. I’m not sure which is the deciding factor — not caring about innocents, or liking killing. Maybe it varies.

    Me, I’d rather hold criminals in jail for life than execute them, because of the risk I’d execute an innocent who could have been later freed. But that’s because the horror of executing an innocent seems more important to me than any satisfaction I’d get from killing a guilty person.

    But that’s just me. Some people are different, as I see every day reading this blog.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  20. But dont you think a death penalty will make it more imperative to the rapist to see that the victim does not live to tell the story?

    Don’t you think that is something the Legislature should be tasked with considering, as opposed to the Courts? How do you know that the Legislature did not consider this?

    JD (75f5c3)

  21. Because remember, all you guys and gals want to do is kill brown people. If you are not killing them, you want to jail them. And if you are not jailing them, you want to oppress them. I kid you not. Phil told us.

    JD (75f5c3)

  22. #17
    The death penalty isn’t about retribution. It’s about making very bad people dead. Anyone who would rape a child deserves whatever punishment society decides to mete out.
    Following your logic, it means the penalty for all “bad people ” should be death. That means we dont need prisons anymore. Just catch them and kill them. Really good argument there Drum…..

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  23. Me, I’d rather hold criminals in jail for life than execute them, because of the risk I’d execute an innocent who could have been later freed.

    What about the ongoing risk of said convicted offender escaping confinement, and going on to rape another innocent (shattering yet another life)? I think that is a more extreme hazard to society than the ever-shrinking possibility of a false conviction. And, let’s face it, we’re not talking about a jaywalker here.

    If the death penalty will not deter them from committing the act, how will life in prison do so?

    Drumwaster (d67aaf)

  24. Drum – Phil feeeeeeeeeels that way, therefore it is right and just.

    JD (75f5c3)

  25. Are you arguing that there should be no punishment at all for child rapers because they will have incentive to commit murder if they have to face a punishment for the rape?

    This is the same nonsense we heard in California when the 3 strikes law was passed. The idiot lefties believed that it would lead to a rash of murders by people committing their third strike felony in an attempt to silence the victims/witnesses and avoid life in prison.

    But, as anyone living in California would tell you, that hasn’t happened.

    Kenny (76922b)

  26. Following your logic, it means the penalty for all “bad people ” should be death.

    Is English your second language? Why did you Dowdify what I actually said?

    I said, “VERY bad people”. That adverb changes the meaning quite a bit. Child rapists qualify. Jaywalkers don’t.

    Welcome to nuance, lose2008.

    Drumwaster (d67aaf)

  27. #22:

    The death penalty isn’t about retribution. It’s about making very bad people dead. Anyone who would rape a child deserves whatever punishment society decides to mete out.
    Following your logic, it means the penalty for all “bad people ” should be death. That means we dont need prisons anymore. Just catch them and kill them. Really good argument there Drum…..

    The problem is that you’re following liberal logic, not rational logic.

    You mix very bad people with bad people not recognizing the line that is crossed separating these 2 groups. There is a difference between a thief and a child rapist. The death penalty is reserved for people committing the more heinous crimes.

    Kenny (76922b)

  28. What about the ongoing risk of said convicted offender escaping confinement, and going on to rape another innocent (shattering yet another life)?

    It’s all about doing the best you can to protect innocents. In both situations, the best solution is making sure the rapist stays in jail and doesn’t escape.

    At best, killing the rapist so he doesn’t escape just puts his first victim in more danger in order to prevent him killing again. Sounds like six of one, and a half-dozen of the other to me.

    So again, I say, you’re willing to consciously choose the thrill of killing over doing everything possible to save an innocent.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  29. #26
    Get a shrink little angry boy. Dont make a fool of yourself any more than you have already. And from henceforth dont bother replying any of my comments on this blog. This will be my last comment to you.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  30. What about the ongoing risk of said convicted offender escaping confinement, and going on to rape another innocent (shattering yet another life)?

    Or the risk of a democrat governor giving weekend passes to convicted murderers….

    Kenny (76922b)

  31. This will be my last comment to you.

    *rubs hands gleefully*

    Who else wants in on getting the same pledge from loser2008? Maybe if we can get enough, she/he/it (s’h’it) won’t be able to say anything at all…

    Drumwaster (d67aaf)

  32. Is that what I get for trying to be even-handed in a debate, Phil? I acknowledge that I understand the point that the other side is making, but explain why I disagree with that, and you claim that the very act of understanding the argument being made makes me hypocritical to argue anything else? Sheesh. Do you understand why people find you leftie types impossible to deal with?

    If you want to debate the merits of whether or not an child rapist is not deterred by the prospect of life imprisonment or death from RAPING the child, but WOULD be deterred by the prospect of death for KILLING the child, go right ahead. But isn’t a common argument against the death penalty that murderers aren’t actually deterred by it?

    I know it’s easier to argue against straw-men, impugning the worst possible motives on anybody for daring to disagree with you, but it makes civil discourse rather difficult. Would you appreciate it if I, in adopting your tactics, suggested that people who opposed the death penalty for child rapists were IN FAVOR of child rape?

    PatHMV (653160)

  33. So again, I say, you’re willing to consciously choose the thrill a child rapist of killing over doing everything possible to save another innocent.

    FTFY.

    Drumwaster (d67aaf)

  34. oops.

    So again, I say, you’re willing to consciously choose the thrill of killing a child rapist over doing everything possible to save another innocent.

    PIMF.

    Drumwaster (d67aaf)

  35. By the way, if it is truly “all about protecting the innocents,” suppose a study were to show conclusively that the death penalty DOES have a deterrent effect at preventing murders and child rapes. Would you then change your position, Phil? Because if it’s all about protecting the innocents, then we should be able to do some quantitative analysis and come to firm conclusions one way or the other.

    PatHMV (653160)

  36. Drum, I apologize for making it personal. I should have just said that the thrill of killing seems like the only remaining justification to me, after weighing all the other arguments. I have no idea what your personal thoughts are on the matter.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  37. #27
    Kenny, can you help me understand the difference between “bad people” and “very bad people”. When does a bad person become “very bad”? Is it based on his actions (whether intentional or not) or is it based on his person? Are people bad or very bad because of what they do or are they so because of who they are?

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  38. you’re willing to consciously choose the thrill of killing

    Phil has brought all his memes with him today.

    JD (75f5c3)

  39. #37 Love2008,

    If you can’t understand the difference between someone stealing items and someone raping a small child, then no, I don’t think I can help you.

    Kenny (76922b)

  40. By the way, if it is truly “all about protecting the innocents,” suppose a study were to show conclusively that the death penalty DOES have a deterrent effect at preventing murders and child rapes.

    I would imagine the death penalty would have a deterrent effect for all kinds of activity. I’ve never argued that the death penalty doesn’t have a deterrent effect.

    I oppose the death penalty not because I want to save child rapists from death, and not because I don’t think it’s a deterrent. Rather I oppose it because I think that juries and law enforcement make mistakes.

    Thus, I would prefer to take the power to kill out of their hands, because I believe they will inevitably seriously screw up in using that power.

    With each execution, I just think “I hope that we didn’t kill an innocent person this time, while giving the pro-death-penalty folks their jollies.”

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  41. I actually oppose the death penalty for child rape in virtually all cases, but I could be for a law that was very narrowly tailored to get only the very worst who did permanent physical damage. Still, I recognize the overwhelming consensus that supports good things for child rapists.

    Plus, even if there – strictly speaking – isn’t one, isn’t this the job of the Supremes?

    Remember, when the legislature wouldn’t speak for the black children in Topeka, the Supreme Court did. When the legislature wouldn’t help poor Mr. Miranda, who stepped in? That’s right! The Supreme Court!

    Who will speak up for the child rapists, if not for the Supreme Court? Certainly not Patterico, whose very own wife *tries to send them to prison, where it is unpleasant.*

    Isn’t it the court’s job to help those without political power – to stop the tyrrany of the majority? Who is more politically powerless than the child rapists? (Let’s face it: Victim advocates are much more politically powerful than pro-child rape groups.)

    So, I think the Supreme Court did the right thing with a blanket rule, protecting the least of our citizenry.

    –JRM

    JRM (de6363)

  42. With each execution, I just think “I hope that we didn’t kill an innocent person this time, while giving the pro-death-penalty folks their jollies.”

    Phil does not argue in good faith, folks.

    JD (75f5c3)

  43. Here’s a statistic that is not widely known:

    As a statitsitcal matter (i.e., an average), based on a series of long-term interviews with dozens of imprisoned pedophiles, it is now known that when a pedophile is FIRST arrested, the child that was the victim of that particular crime that led to the arrest is, statistically speaking, the 93rd child to be victimized by the pedophile.

    This reflects the significant extent to which sexual abuse of a child is an under-reported crime either because the family members are unaware it is happening, or they make a conscious decision to not put the child through the trauma of a criminal investigation.

    I learned this statistic from a federal initiative against various forms of child exploitation called “Innocence Lost.” I’ll try and find out if there is a link to specific literature on the subject.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  44. For the records, i support the death penalty for all crimes heinous. I support it for child rapists but only when the act results in the death of the victim. I would categorize a child rapist as one needing serious mental examination, confined to an asylum. Just like a lunatic, he is a danger to the society but not necessarily an evil person. He needs psychiatric attention, locked up, not in a normal prison but in an asylum. Killing them is barbaric and cruel. This is not your normal criminal. This is a disturbed, warped, confused, twisted individual. He needs to be kept away from the society where he is cured. Not killed.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  45. Phil, you’re clearly just a jerk not willing to assume good motives in those with whom you argue, so I’m not going to waste my breath. I, for one, am a death penalty supporter who doesn’t “get his jollies” from murderers (or rapists) executed for their crimes. It’s a tragedy all the way around, and I would prefer a better way, but I don’t think there is one.

    JRM – The role of the courts is to enforce the laws equally, without regard to rich or poor. That’s different from making the laws. The courts are not, in fact, established as a legislative body to protect the poor and downtrodden. The real protections are the Constitution itself and the political checks and balances among the various institutions it created. It IS the function of the court to ensure that a poor person accused of raping a child gets as fair a trial as a rich one, and that someone is not convicted simply because they’ve been accused of a particularly heinous crime like child rape. It is NOT the function of the court to decide, based on nothing more than the personal likes and dislikes of the judges, what crimes and penalties should be imposed.

    PatHMV (653160)

  46. love2008, most studies suggest that pedophiles are never “cured.” The odds are exceedingly high that they will reoffend, no matter how long they are locked up.

    By your approach, the most barbaric criminals will never receive punishment, because the very harshness of their crimes would make them a lunatic by definition. Very few criminals are truly “evil.” One might indeed argue that the only truly “evil people” in the criminal justice system are the true psychopaths, the serial killers who have no empathy for any other person. But I don’t want Jeffrey Dahmer in a facility guarded mostly by psychiastirsts rather than prison guards, alwasy claiming to be “cured” so they can get out and resume their killing sprees.

    The very people we need to execute are the ones who are so inhuman that they do things which are pretty much universally reviled as beyond cruel and disgusting.

    PatHMV (653160)

  47. love2008, most studies suggest that pedophiles are never “cured.” The odds are exceedingly high that they will reoffend, no matter how long they are locked up.

    You have me confused there Pat. Is a child rapist also the same as a paedophile? And is it not a medical fact that people who engage in this kind of behaviour towards little children are psychologically disturbed? In other words; sick?

    love2008 (1b037c)

  48. #46 Seems to me that many apologists for the so-called “sick mofos” don’t want them to face criminal penalties because of mental illness, a rough abusive childhood, bad environment, gang peer pressures, etc. ad nauseum. So they get evaluated in a mental hospital and lo and behold, often are judged sane again by some sympathetic shrink. I’ve seen it happen over and over with even serial killers. You may recall the NY youth who murdered a number of prostitutes, was locked up for a relatively short time, released and thence bacck to killing yet again.
    Years ago I worked with the institutionalized suburban Philly killer Richard Greist. He merely stabbed his pregnant wife, killing her and the fetus and then put a daughter’s eye. Ends up being adored by various nurses, one of whom committed suicide with note saying don’t blame him. Dude got weekend paroles, but even before then was being sexually serviced by female staff. Don’t know what the attraction is for psychpaths or why psychiatrists show them so much pity. For all I know the creep is back on the street again. Perhaps it would be justice to hold judges and shrinks who vouch for such pond scum to be held personally responsible? I don’t much care for Faux News O’Reilly but he does highlight those cretinous judges who give child rapists a slap on the wrist. Haven’t kept up but seems to me that Mass., NY and Vermont had some particularly egregious cases catering to the pedophiles.

    madmax333 (df0794)

  49. Phil apologizes for the personal attack? That’s pretty hilarious since once you remove the personal attack, there is never anything actually left of a Phil comment.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  50. #46
    By your approach, the most barbaric criminals will never receive punishment, because the very harshness of their crimes would make them a lunatic by definition.
    I dont see how my point makes that inference. i said I support the death penalty for all crimes barbaric, harsh and wicked. Life for life. The point I was making is that the child rapist is mentally disturbed and is death the way to handle a mentally disturbed person? As for the Jeffrey guy, I would exume his carcass and burn his bones to ashes.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  51. I could be for a law that was very narrowly tailored to get only the very worst who did permanent physical damage.

    That would be an issue for the sentencing jury to get into, wouldn’t it?

    Killing them is barbaric and cruel.

    Meanwhile the victim was exposed to love and joy and puppy kisses, no doubt. This explains the concern being higher for the convicted rapist than for the nightmares the victim will be going through each time the rapist comes up for reevaluation by criminal-friendly psychiatrists.

    Because if we could spot the rapist soon enough for therapy to work, we wouldn’t need a criminal courts system. And it’s much easier to say “I’m cured” than it is to actually BE cured. (Google: recidivism)

    And is it not a medical fact that people who engage in this kind of behaviour towards little children are psychologically disturbed?

    Let’s stipulate that you are right, just for the sake of the argument.

    If you DO manage to cure him, how could he live with himself, knowing what he had done? And if he wasn’t cured, but only pretending, and gets out to rape again, how could YOU live with yourself knowing that you had advocated for his release?

    Drumwaster (d67aaf)

  52. #50 From what I’ve seen the “mentally disturbed” have rights also and you liberals often want them in the least restrictive environment. That means back out on the street, going in for occasional mental health counseling. It worked out ok for Philly’s own Derrick Smith when he stabbed a transit cop to death. Bad for the cop and his family, but at least the cop managed to blow the deranged prick away too. So at that time the poor, misunderstood psycho would never display recidivist behavior or put anyone else at risk. That could easily have been me. Even of one watched what one said to that cretin, he was still prone to taking offense. I recall there were times when he had three aides at a time just watching him. Naturally his loving family just had to file suit over his release from institutionalization.
    Personally I don’t want someone walking free or avoding punishment because of the McNaughton rule or whatever apologist rationalization protects predators. Lovetron is a bleeding heart for sure. I don’t know what Levi or Harpy are besides insufferably irritating and condescending.

    madmax333 (df0794)

  53. Max, I hate to pick nits, but I’m pretty sure that it’s spelled M’Naughten.

    Drumwaster (d67aaf)

  54. love2008…. My point is that a great many of the worst criminals are “mentally disturbed” by your definition. By your definition, their criminal act itself is prove that they are “mentally disturbed.” You provide no independent measure to distinguish between the “mentally disturbed” and the just plain criminal. Do you not think that brutal, heinous murders are not “mentally disturbed” by virtue of the nature of their crimes? Personally, I think that any violent rapist is mentally disturbed on some level. Are you suggesting that raping a child is proof of mental disturbance, while raping a grown woman is simply criminal?

    If we’re going to talk about incentives, under your system, the criminal would have a great incentive to make his crime MORE heinous, in order to increase the odds at getting sent to the psychiatric facility instead of prison.

    Child rapists and psychopaths are, to me, most akin to rabid dogs. You may sympathize with the dog’s misfortune at catching rabies, but you still shoot it before it can hurt you or your kids.

    PatHMV (653160)

  55. #54
    Atleast Pat you would agree with me that no normal person would find a 6 year old child sexually arousing much more want to exploit her sexually. It’s just not normal. They are many other ways of dealing with such sex crimes and capital punishment is way bit too extreme to me. Maybe it’s just me.
    And Max,#52
    you are confusing argument against a deranged murderer like Jeffrey Dahmer with a crime that is more out of a personality problem and sexual dysfunction. I am not advocating for murderers. If a rapist causes the death of the victim, kill him. But if not, should he be handled in the same class as a serial killer? There are more efficient ways to punish such people. Lock them away in an institution for life. Thats one way.
    And Max,
    Lovetron is a bleeding heart for sure.
    Thanks Max. I take that as a compliment.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  56. #54
    If we’re going to talk about incentives, under your system, the criminal would have a great incentive to make his crime MORE heinous, in order to increase the odds at getting sent to the psychiatric facility instead of prison.
    You make a very good point here Pat. So in this case the child rapist could after raping his victim, take a knife and cut the child in many pieces and drink its blood to qualify as “mentally disturbed”.
    My point is that child rapists should be treated as people with mental, psychological issues. Not that that should be and excuse for their behavior. If their behavior leads to death of a victim, they should face the full wrath of the law. But if not, they should be given lesser sentences. Like life imprisonment.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  57. love2008, that someone may have mental issues does not alone excuse their behavior. Traditionally, the law only excuses criminal conduct on the basis of mental illness that is so extreme that the perpetrator cannot conform their conduct to the law.

    So a mental illness that merely motivates the crime is not enough to excuse it. And so I’m perfectly comfortable executing child rapists – as are the majority of US citizens.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. *….throwing arms in the air..* Alright SPQR, you win! Kill them all!

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  59. Happily, once the Supreme Court returns to its proper constitutional role, and quits inventing nonexistant constitutional prohibitions.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  60. :(

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  61. Drumwaster – whatever you say, my bad. My excuse is that it has been 30 years since I opened a law book.

    Loveobamatron ..Might be ok to lock them up forever except once death penalty is off the books and Europe once again respects us, then your side will say that US crooks should get the same empathy as Eurotwats delve out and you’ll be crying “rehabilitation” and 5-10 years for murder with time off for good behavior and country club prisons. Ok, maybe the prison in Oz was no picnic to some, but others lived pretty well with various perks and readily available “tits” to escape the boredom. Give me prisons like Paul Newman getting his ass kicked regularly working on road gangs or even relatively soft time like espoused by the Phoenix area bologna sandwich/pink drawers/no coffee/little tv sheriff.
    If you can’t hack it, don’t do the crime or just off yourself.

    madmax333 (df0794)

  62. love2008, we still seem to be talking past each other. I certainly agree that no normal person would want to have sex with a 6 year old. But I also think that no normal person would ever murder somebody and eat their body. Nor would a normal person ever violently rape an adult woman. There are any number of crimes that I don’t think would be done by anybody who wasn’t “disturbed.” My question to you is whether you’re suggesting that there is something unique about a child rapist (as opposed to a Jeffrey Dahmer, or any other serial killer, a regular rapist, or any ordinary murderer) that makes them, by definition, “mentally ill,” while those other types of heinous criminals are not?

    And I don’t understand the position stated in your #56. Why should the mentally disturbed person be criminally prosecuted if their behavior causes death, but be treated for their psychiatric condition if it merely maims or causes the barbaric emotional disturbance of surviving a brutal rape? Do you not care about their mental condition if they kill somebody? Also, your #56 suggests that you are now saying life imprisonment for these barbaric monsters, but before you were saying mental facilities for them. Which is it?

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  63. #62
    Pat I was a merely echoing in agreement with your point in comment #54,that
    If we’re going to talk about incentives, under your system, the criminal would have a great incentive to make his crime MORE heinous, in order to increase the odds at getting sent to the psychiatric facility instead of prison.
    I was pointing out that since the rapist would be required to show proof of mental disturbance, he would have to hack the poor girl in pieces, drink her blood and act like a mentally deranged. Just to prove he is incapable of knowing the inplications of his actions. This point puts a flaw on my position. I saw that that would not make the child any safer because then the assailant will have to prove insanity as stated above. I was actually consenting to your point. I dont know how i got into that argument about taking them to an asylum. I think it began with my stating that rather than execute them, treat them like people who are mentally disturbed. lock them away somewhere where there wont be little girls to abuse. Anyhting but capital punishment.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  64. Thanks. That’s a defensible position. I don’t agree with it, but it’s a legitimate part of the debate.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  65. Phil,
    Last January I gave you the facts that when at least 40 convicted murderers are executed a year at least 2,100 lives are saved, yet you never answered.

    http://patterico.com/2008/01/08/lethal-injection-argument-kentucky-will-win-but-how-big-will-the-victory-be/

    Aunursa,
    If it is as you think, that a child rapist would spare a child if there is no death penalty and it has been proven that the death penalty deters murder, couldn’t the death penalty also deter child rape?

    Tanny O'Haley (5f0e11)

  66. love2008,
    By its very definition a child rapist is a pedophile and is psychologically disturbed and this applies to murderers too. Given that the dealth penalty (actively enforced) deters around 2,100 murders a year and may deter child rape, isn’t in the best interests of society to put these types of “psychologically disturbed” people to death? To put the 2,100 innocent above the guilty one?

    Tanny O'Haley (5f0e11)

  67. McNaughton is acceptable. And most likely correct. M’Naughten is more likely the result of semi-illiteracy at that time. Or prejudice against Scots. Still, the title is M’Naughten’s Case.

    nk (11c9c1)

  68. P.S. Can “ghoti” be pronounced “fish”?

    nk (11c9c1)

  69. In the past few days, the US Supreme Court ruled in Kennedy vs Louisiana that no state may sentence a convicted child rapist to death. As usual, the decision was a 5-4 vote, with the 4 liberal justices lined up against the 4 conservative justices. The deciding vote? Anthony Kennedy, of course.

    For those of you who don’t follow the make-up of the Supreme Court (which everyone should), the 4 liberal justices are; John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and David Souter. The 4 conservatives who dissented were Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Sam Alito and John Roberts. Anthony Kennedy, who is the one swing vote on the Court, sided with the majority and wrote the majority opinion. As Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham opined last night, Kennedy may well now be the most powerful man in America.

    And what did the majority base its legal ruling on? Incredibly, they based it on “evolving standards of decency”…”Based on both consensus (among state legislatures) and our own independent judgement, our holding is that a death sentence for one who raped but not kill a child…is unconstitutional under the 8th and 14th Amendments.”

    Where in the Constitution did they find that reasoning? What consensus in state legislatures are they talking about? Does that mean that the elected officials in all state legislatures all are against the death penalty for child rapists? Even if so, what connection is that to the Constitution?

    Then there is this statement: “Society’s desire to inflict the death penalty for child rape by enlisting the child victim to assist it over the course of years in asking for capital punishment forces a moral choice on the child, who is not of a mature age to make that choice.”

    In dissenting, Samuel Alito, joined by Scalia and Thomas, demonstrated why they were solid choices to sit on the Supreme Court. Thomas writes, “The court today holds that the 8th Amendment categorically prohibits the imposition of the death penalty for the crime of raping a child. This is so, according to the court, no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator’s prior criminal record may be.”

    (In the Kennedy case in Louisiana, the defendant, who raped his step-daughter, indeed, nearly killed her in the process.)

    Finally, this comment: “Once all of the court’s irrelevant arguments are put aside, it is apparent that the court has provided no coherent explanation for today’s opinion.”

    When I was 14, the State of California (back in a different era) executed one Caryl Chessman, who had raped a series of young women leaving one of his victims severely psychologically damaged. (No one died, but one element of his crime that made him eligible for the death penalty involved kidnapping.) After years of appeals and stays of execution, Chessman was executed in California’s gas chamber at San Quentin Prison in 1960. That was almost 50 years ago. Had Chessman had the good fortune of committing his crimes today in Massachusetts or Vermont (two states notoriously lenient when it comes to child rape), he might have served a minimal time in jail-even if his victims had been small children. (To repeat, Chessman’s victims were not children, but young women.)

    Is this the evolving standard of decency that Judge Kennedy refers to? What decency is there in taking a less condemning view of child rape?

    This case illustrates why presidential elections are so vitally important. It is not just about taxes, health care, bringing the troops home and all that. The next president will probably select not only 2-3 Supreme Court judges, but a large number of federal judges as well. As a retired DEA agent I well recall the disasterous judges that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton appointed to the federal bench. Is there any doubt that Barack Obama will do the same? Those conservatives out there who are dissatisfied with John McCain as the nominee should think long and hard before sitting out the election.

    gary fouse
    fousesquawk

    fouse, gary c (42fe2b)

  70. Disasterous judges: You couldn’t be talking about one Stephan Reinhardt, could you, gf?
    The guy is the a poster-boy for disasterous judges.

    Over at Heller, it is common to comment that we are only one Justice away from losing the Second Amendment. I suppose that is technically true, but I find that most of the talked about possible retirements in the next Presidential term will be from the Liberal side of the Bench. Of the Conservatives, Thomas is the oldest, but appears to be in good health. The same cannot be said for Stevens, or Ginsburg, who are considerably older.
    So, if a Pres. Obama (bite my tongue) were to appoint replacements, they would be of the same stupid Liberal bent.
    Now, a Pres. McCain though, would have a chance to truly reshape the Court, if he was smart enough to take advantage of the opportunity, and not resort to his “Gang of 14″ stupidity.

    Another Drew (8018ee)


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