Texas Weighs Death Penalty for Rapes of Children

Started by frankenstien, May 20, 2007, 07:41:19 PM

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frankenstien

Texas Weighs Death Penalty for Rapes of Children



By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 20, 2007
AUSTIN, Tex., May 19 (AP) -- Sex offenders who are twice convicted of raping children under 14 could get the death penalty under a bill Texas lawmakers approved on Friday and sent to Gov. Rick Perry.

The State House passed the bill a day after the Senate approved it.

Mr. Perry, a Republican, has said that he is open to the idea of the death penalty in child sex cases. A spokeswoman, Katherine Cesinger, said the governor would wait to read the final version of the bill before deciding whether to sign it.

"The purpose is to make Texas a safer place for children and a more dangerous place for their predators," said Representative Debbie Riddle, a Republican and the bill's House sponsor.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a Republican, had made the bill one of his top priorities for the legislative session.

The death penalty "sends a message to those monsters who want to hurt our children: 'Not in Texas.' " Mr. Dewhurst said.

Texas would be the sixth state to add the death penalty for some child rape cases, although legal experts debate whether the punishment would be unconstitutional in cases where the victim did not die. Louisiana has an inmate on death row in a child sex crime, but that case is being appealed.

Representative Lon Burnam, a Democrat, called child sex crimes horrendous, but said Texas, the state that executes more inmates than any other, should not expand its use of the death penalty.

Victim advocates have said that adding the death penalty for such crimes would do more harm than good if it led perpetrators to kill victims to avoid leaving witnesses.

The bill also creates a new category of crime: continual sexual abuse of a young child or children, carrying a minimum penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

The bill is named for Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl who was abducted and killed in 2005.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/us/20texas.html

Granny B

As a Victim Advocate I have mixed feelings about this bill.  As it said in the article, "Victim advocates have said that adding the death penalty for such crimes would do more harm than good if it led perpetrators to kill victims to avoid leaving witnesses."

That is true, they may be more likely to kill the child afterward.  But on the other hand, so many of the children are already being murdered by child rapists for the same reason, to avoid being caught and prosecuted.

This does give a greater range to the death penalty, and will now include injury to children over the age of 6 in certain circumstances.

I will have to wait to see how this plays out, if it actually does cause the child rapists to murder more victims.  Only time will tell.

Grandmother of Brandon
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy

frankenstien

#2
May 20, 2007, 09:44:21 PM Last Edit: May 21, 2007, 12:16:43 AM by Joy
I have mixed feelings on this because having been molested/raped for a while when I was 6, I want the people who did it put in prison, but to have them put to death.....no.  I think though that I would feel differently if the person was a stranger and not family

Mildred

I don't think the death penalty should apply to anything other than murder.  As much as I think these people need to have their thingies chopped off or sewn shut, they should't be put to death.
Locked in a room with the parents for an hour? yes. 

Granny B


I don't think the death penalty should apply to anything other than murder.  As much as I think these people need to have their thingies chopped off or sewn shut, they should't be put to death.
Locked in a room with the parents for an hour? yes. 


Cyn, Having their thingies chopped off or sewn shut sounds good in theory.  But victim advocates know that if a rapist is determined to rape, he can rape a person with anything at hand, baseball bats, squash, screw drivers, guns, knives, bananas, dildo, or whatever will fit.  It it won't fit, they make it fit, if the rapist is determined enough.  What most people do not realize is that rape is really not so much about sex as it is about POWER AND CONTROL over the victim. 

Power and control over the victim, watching and experiencing the victim's fear, these are all things that get the rapist off.  We know from experience that a lot of the rapists do not ejaculate in their victims during the rapes.  The rape for the violent rapists is more mental orgasm than the actual physical pleasure of the penis itself.

Did not mean to get started here.  The teaching/educational side of my job starts coming out and I can't seem to help myself.

Grandmother of Brandon
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy

Jeff1857

DEATH PENALTY RULING'S IMPACT ON TEXAS----Most aspects of Jessica's Law are untouched


Although they will not face execution, criminals who sexually assault Texas children will serve longer sentences without the possibility of parole under provisions of Jessica's Law not affected by Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

No one in Texas has been sentenced to death under the provisions of the law, which went into effect last September.

The death penalty provision -- reserved for a narrow category of repeat child sex offenders -- received the most attention last year when state lawmakers debated the high-profile bill.

But the bill also made other significant changes, including mandatory minimum sentences and a new offense -- continuous sexual abuse -- designed to let prosecutors present cases involving a series of victims in one trial.

"A lot of other things that are going to be used much more frequently are untouched by this decision," said Shannon Edmonds, governmental affairs director for the Texas District & County Attorneys Association.

A clause in the law provides that the rest of it will stand if the death penalty portion was found unconstitutional.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst made Jessica's Law a centerpiece of his legislative agenda. The law is named for Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped and slain in 2005 by a convicted sex offender living near her home.

During the 2007 legislative session, the death penalty provision faced opposition from an unexpected group -- victims advocates who feared the bill would result in fewer convictions.

The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault said in a statement on its Web site Wednesday that it supports the Supreme Court's decision, handed down in a Louisiana case involving a similar law.

"The issue of child sexual abuse is complex. Most child sexual abuse victims are abused by a family member or close family friend. The reality is that child victims and their families don't want to be responsible for sending a grandparent, cousin or longtime family friend to death row," the statement said.

The Texas law tailored its toughest provisions for a specific type of offender, someone who raped a child under 6 or who used violence (such as a weapon or drug) to rape a child under 14.

A 1st conviction under those circumstances would carry a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years.

A person who served a sentence, was released and offended again would have been eligible for the death penalty. With the Supreme Court's ruling, a repeat offender automatically would be sentenced to life without parole.

(source: Houston Chronicle)


Michael


A person who served a sentence, was released and offended again would have been eligible for the death penalty. With the Supreme Court's ruling, a repeat offender automatically would be sentenced to life without parole.


I hope that Texas won´t separat them from gen pop. If there are aome laws which prohibit this, there should at least a weekly meeting with the guys of gen pop.

Best

Michael
I´m not sure if there´s a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

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