Jun 25 2008

Graham Expresses Deep Concern Over Supreme Court Decision on Child Rape and the Death Penalty

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today responded to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that declares capital punishment to be unconstitutional for child rapists.


“Unfortunately, it appears this session of the Supreme Court has been a winner for child rapists and terrorists,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  “The Court’s statement there is a national consensus against the death penalty for cases that do not result in death is a complete misreading of the American people and their views on child rape.


“We live in a world where predators habitually prey on children and engage in vicious, sadistic behavior,” said Graham.  “Some states, like South Carolina , have moved forward to protect children.  I’m very disappointed the Supreme Court decided to strike down the good-faith efforts to protect our nation’s children from child rapists.


“Justice Alito made a passionate case against the majority ruling and its ‘sweeping conclusions.’  I completely agree with his assessment.  He wrote the majority’s decision put the death penalty off limits -- 


“…..no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted and no matter how heinous the perpetrators’ criminal record may be. … The harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapists is grave.  It is the judgment of the Louisiana lawmakers and those in an increasing number of other states that these harms justify the death penalty.  The court provides no cogent explanation why this legislative judgment should be overridden.”


“One of the major issues facing our nation is the future makeup of the Supreme Court,” concluded Graham.  “Will we continue to allow unelected judges to overrule legislation based on constitutional interpretations that are really nothing more than social engineering?  If we do, we can expect more rulings like today."