The Supreme Court vs. Women and Children
By Bruce Walker
July 7, 2008
On June 25, the Supreme Court issued two opinions that helped obviously guilty men who committed heinous acts of violence against women and children. These two decisions are not so much unconstitutional, as was the June 13 decision to allow enemy combatants outside America to have access to federal courts, as the two decisions were lame legal reasoning and profoundly nonsensical.
Kennedy v. Louisiana got a great deal of attention, and rightly so. The Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that allowed the death penalty for men who brutally rape young children. The death penalty for rape was once accepted in many states. Rape, in general, has not been a capital offense since 1977, but in response to the proliferation of child rape, Louisiana and four other states passed laws which allowed the death penalty in certain cases of child rape.
In the case before the court, a man had raped his eight year old stepdaughter so violently that there "was blood all over the place." Based upon the evidence presented, Kennedy was given the death penalty. Justice Kennedy, the swing vote in the Supreme Court decision, used the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, but his reasoning was directed only towards what other states were doing. Because only five states had enacted the death penalty for child rape, then the punishment must be "cruel and unusual."
The Supreme Court equated public opinion with constitutional law. Capital punishment has been used for a variety of crimes in our history. Mayhem may be much more odious than murder. Why is the termination of life, rather than the mutilation of life, the worse crime? How many crime victims suffer a "fate worse than death"?
The Supreme Court majority also ignored the fact that, while execution may be allowed for fewer crimes now, execution itself has been increasingly humane over the last century. In 1808, the child rapist would have been hung in many states in front of a jeering crowd. In 2008, Kennedy would have been given Valium and privately and painlessly put to sleep.
Letting violent child rapists live was one of two blows struck in favor of violent men on June 25. The same day, the Supreme Court ruled in Giles v. California that the testimony of a murder victim could not be introduced at trial against her murderer. Dwayne Giles beat up his ex-girlfriend and then threatened to kill her. Terrified, she went to the police for help. A few weeks later, Giles did murder his ex-girlfriend. Using as part of the evidence at trial the testimony of the police and their reports, Giles was convicted. He appealed.
What was his ground for appeal? Giles claimed a constitutional right to confront his ex-girlfriend, whose reports to the police formed the most damning evidence against him. She was not present in court for her to cross-examine her because he had killed her. That made sense to our Supreme Court.
What sort of thinking did the Supreme Court used in these two decisions? The same sort of pseudo-thinking that is increasingly present on the political Left. As the death penalty, allowed in the Constitution, is voluntarily made more limited and more humane to the convict, the Supreme Court increasingly finds that it violates the vague ban on cruel and unusual punishment - but it ought to be the other way around. If the right to confront witnesses means that dead witnesses have no right to be heard, then criminality itself is rewarded in our system of justice, and it is rewarded by the Supreme Court.
These two Supreme Court decisions today place women and girls in danger of rape and murder. Those political leaders who talk the biggest talk when it comes to women and children, like Hillary and Pelosi, ought to be most offended by the decisions of the Leftist Supreme Court. They should, at least, ask Obama to appoint justices who will not rule like Leftists on the Supreme Court. This ought to be a big wedge issue, for anyone who truly cares about women battered to death or little girls violently raped. Let's see who is willing to condemn the Supreme Court and its defense of violent men.
Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.