Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, June 12, 2006

Death Penalty for Sex Crimes Against Children

"Oklahoma became the fifth state to allow the death penalty for sex crimes against children yesterday, a day after South Carolina enacted a similar law. The constitutionality of the new laws is unclear. The Oklahoma measure, signed into law by Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, makes people found guilty of rape and other sex crimes more than once against children younger than 14 eligible for the death penalty. The South Carolina law also requires multiple offenses, but against children under 11. Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican, said in a statement that the law would "be an incredibly powerful deterrent to offenders that have already been released."

But Richard C. Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a research group that opposes capital punishment, said the new laws were largely symbolic, would impose disproportionate punishment and were probably unconstitutional." By Adam Liptak, N.y. Times

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