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Jun 25, 2008
Governor Jindal Releases Statement Outraged at Supreme Court Ruling That Louisiana Death Penalty in Child Rape Case Unconstitutional

BATON ROUGE – Governor Bobby Jindal released a statement today, outraged at the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the death penalty in a Louisiana case given for a man convicted of child rape (Patrick Kennedy case). The Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty for the brutal crime of child rape was “unconstitutional,” and Jindal released the following statement calling their ruling an “affront to the people of Louisiana” and vowing to amend the state’s laws to maintain death as a penalty for the crime.

Governor Jindal said, “I am outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision.  It is an affront to the people of Louisiana and the jury’s unanimous decision in this case. 
 
“The opinion reflects a clear abuse of judicial authority, trampling the constitutional authority of states to act through the legislative process. The Court found, ‘there is a distinction between intentional first degree murder on the one hand and nonhomicide crimes against individual persons, even including child rape, on the other. The latter crimes may be devastating in their harm, as here, but in terms of moral depravity and of the injury to the person and to the public, they cannot be compared to murder in their severity and irrevocability.’ 

“The Supreme Court is dead wrong.
 
“It is fundamentally improper for the Supreme Court to base an important decision like this on its ‘independent judgment’ about a perceived ‘national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape.’ The opinion reads more like an out-of-control legislative debate than a constitutional analysis.
 
“One thing is clear: the five members of the Court who issued the opinion do not share the same ‘standards of decency’ as the people of Louisiana. One Justice said that ‘the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child.’ That is incredibly absurd. The most repugnant crimes deserve the harshest penalties, and nothing is more repugnant than the brutal rape of an eight-year-old child.
  
“We will evaluate ways to amend our statute to maintain death as a penalty for this horrific crime.”

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