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March 18, 2008

Looking at capital child rape's constitutionality through the Atkins/Roper lens

Over at CrimProf, Mike Mannheimer has this great extended post titled "Role Reversal in Kennedy v. Louisiana: Or What's Sauce for the Goose . . . ."  Here are snippets from the start of the post:

Last night, the death penalty seminar I teach did a moot court of Kennedy v. Louisiana, presenting the question whether capital punishment is unconstitutionally disproportionate to the crime of the rape of a child....  The thing that struck me most after reading the briefs and participating in the moot was the sense of role reversal from Atkins v. Virginia and Roper v. SimmonsKennedy is almost the mirror image of those cases in several respects.

As I have suggested in a number of prior posts (and will explain more fully as next month's oral argument approaches), there is an extraordinary potential richness to the Kennedy case.  I am expecting — or at least hoping — that Kennedy ends up as one of the most consequential Eighth Amendment rulings in a long time.  And that may be true no matter what the exact outcome in this case.

Some related posts on the Kennedy case and capital child rape legislation:

March 18, 2008 at 04:50 PM | Permalink


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I haven't had time to post about all the great recent posts concerning Louisiana v. Kennedy. Sentencing Law Policy has three interesting posts:Show me support for capital child rape laws (concerning the MO. amicus brief)Is the editorial board of the [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 27, 2008 9:30:39 PM


Kind of off topic but i just started wondering about this.

One thing that has bothered me, In any other death penalty case, has there ever an instance when the death penalty has been handed down against the perpetrator that sought medical attention for his victim?

I remember vaguely reading the kennedy case, eventually after some time he did call an ambulance. Now how that affects the severity of the crime I don't know but this isn't a case were a little girl was kidnapped raped then ditched on the side of the road somewhere. In other D.P. cases i have seen its usually reserved for the 'worse of the worse' type perpetrators that show no regard for their victims.

Posted by: Mark | Mar 31, 2008 4:52:15 AM

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