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Child Rape: The Supreme Court Case of Kennedy v. Louisiana
Analyze the Supreme Court case Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008).
Kennedy was convicted and sentenced to death in Louisiana for the aggravated rape of his then-eight-year-old stepdaughter. A Louisiana state statute authorized capital punishment for the rape of a child under 12. The Supreme Court decided that the death penalty in a case where the assault didn’t cause and wasn’t intended to cause death violated the Eighth Amendment. What was the reasoning? Do you think the punishment for the rape of a child under 12 should be particularly severe? Why or why not.