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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Missouri Governor Writes a Brief Supporting the Death Penalty for Child Rapists

From Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the death penalty for child rapists.

The “friends of the court” brief supports the state of Louisiana, which is defending a law authorizing the death penalty for offenders who rape children younger than 12.

Blunt proposed a similar law for Missouri in December and encouraged lawmakers in his State of the State address in January to pass such legislation.

State lawmakers have introduced bills in the Senate and the House this year that would allow the death penalty in forcible rape and forcible sodomy cases involving children. Neither bill has made much progress.

Opponents have said such legislation could do more harm than good by encouraging rapists to kill their victims, since the penalties would be the same.

Blunt argues in the brief, filed Thursday, that the court “should not foreclose a national debate on appropriate punishment for child rape,” and that discussion at the state level is the best way to determine a national consensus. Rest of Article. . .[Mark Godsey]

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