The death sentence for pedophiles who molest kids below the age of 12 is likely to be approved by Florida legislators, a decision that is expected to face legal opposition.
Death Penalty for Child Rapists
The Senate version (SB 1342) was approved by the Rules Committee on Tuesday, opening up the opportunity for it to be brought to the full Senate. The House will discuss its variant of the bill (HB 1297) on Thursday.
The legislation being considered violates decades-old decisions by the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court that forbade the capital punishment of offenders in sexual assault and rape convictions.
In accordance with a Senate staff investigation, the last time a person was executed in the United States for a crime other than murder was in 1964.
The House and Senate bills criticize two Supreme Court decisions: one from the Florida Supreme Court in 1981 and one from the United States Supreme Court in 2008.
They claim these rulings had been “wrongly decided,” with the Senate version claiming they indicate an egregious violation of the authority of states to impose penalties on even the most atrocious of offenses.
Technically, Florida has the death penalty but it has to be unanimous by the jury. Fl. has not executed anyone since 1986. I want to bring back hanging, the firing squad, and ‘ol sparky to execute people like mass murderers, cop killers and child molesters.
— Hon.David G. (Dave) McWatters (@davemcwatters) February 15, 2018
The bill’s Republican state lawmaker and former prosecutor Jonathan Martin claimed it would make way for constitutional limitations by establishing a punishment process for those terrible crimes.
Martin said on Tuesday, following the Rules Committee passing the bill, that if someone assaults an 11-year-old, a 10-year-old, a two-year-old, or a five-year-old, they ought to be susceptible to the death sentence.
Florida has a death penalty and it needs to be used. That man isnt sorry for what he did. SORRY doesnt bring back those 17 kids. Sorry doesnt change the emotional trauma of those who survived this tragedy. All these school shootings are leaving me in a total mind fuck. 🙄😩😔 https://t.co/ntd6mpbe3n
— Stephen Hubbard (@stephenh2018) February 16, 2018
Although many individuals seek “vengeance” against sexual predators, Aaron Wyat of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers noted a capital sentence would constitute a reversal of decades of judicial history.
The law has unavoidably received criticism.
Even Democrats Support It
Nevertheless, several Democrats have come out in favor of the legislation.
According to Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, a Democrat who experienced sexual assault as a youngster and later created the advocacy group Lauren’s Kids, there should be no statute of limitations for those who have experienced this type of harm.