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Public Statements

Cubin Signs Letter Asking Court to Reconsider Child Rape Decision

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Location: Washington, DC


Cubin Signs Letter Asking Court to Reconsider Child Rape Decision

U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Cubin (R-WY) joined 84 of her colleagues in sending a letter to the Supreme Court asking that it withdraw and reconsider its ruling in the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana. In this 5-4 ruling, the Court prohibited the use of the death sentence for adults that rape children on the ground that it is "cruel and unusual punishment." The case in question concerned a man from Louisiana who had been convicted in 2003 of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

The 85 representatives that signed this letter did so because they feel that the Court reached its decision on incomplete and inaccurate information. In the majority opinion, the Court noted that the Federal Government does not allow the death penalty to be used as a form of punishment in cases of child rape. The Court failed to recognize a 2005 law passed by Congress that allows the death penalty for child rape under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, the criminal justice system for the U.S. military. In 2007, President Bush issued an Executive Order codifying this law.

The majority of the Court also cited in its opinion that a national consensus did not exist on this issue. This, however, is not the case. In fact, the provision extending the death penalty to child rape cases passed the House by a vote of 374-41, and the Senate by a vote 95-0. Given these facts, Representative Cubin and her peers are urging the Court to reconsider this decision.

Congresswoman Barbara Cubin commented, "This Supreme Court decision is extremely disturbing. Our children need to be protected from pedophiles and abusers who seek to harm them. I do hope the Supreme Court will listen to our request to reconsider this case, and the second time around consider the facts of the matter."

The letter the representatives sent to the Supreme Court is attached to this release.


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