TN: Tennessee Governor OKs Bill Allowing Death Penalty for Child Rape Convictions

Source: 5/14/24

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has approved legislation allowing the death penalty in child rape convictions, a change the Republican-controlled Statehouse championed amid concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court has banned capital punishment in such cases.
Lee, a Republican, quietly signed off on the legislation last week without issuing a statement.
The new Tennessee law, which goes into effect July 1, authorizes the state to pursue capital punishment when an adult is convicted of aggravated rape of a child. Those convicted could be sentenced to death, imprisonment for life without possibility of parole, or imprisonment for life.

Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis enacted a similar bill nearly a year ago. A few months after being enacted, Florida prosecutors in Lake County announced in December that they were pursuing the death penalty for a man accused of committing sexual battery of a minor under the age of twelve. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the case is considered the first to be pursued under the new law.

Meanwhile, Idaho’s GOP-controlled House approved similar legislation earlier this year, but the proposal eventually stalled in the similarly Republican-dominated Senate.

While many supporters of Tennessee’s version have conceded that even though the Volunteer State previously allowed convicted child rapists to face the death penalty, the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately nullified that law with its 2008 decision deeming it unconstitutional to use capital punishment in child sexual battery cases.

Democratic lawmakers and child advocates worry that the law may instill more fear into child rape victims that speaking out could potentially result in an execution, warning that many children are abused by family members and close friends. Others have alleged that predators could be incentivized to kill their victims in order to avoid a harsher punishment.

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I guess TN did not get the message. SCOTUS already determined that you cannot execute a person for have a child sex case that does not also include a death. I suspect though this is an attempt to get a second bite at the apple with a conservative majority SCOTUS that is more likely to ok murdering someone for ‘grooming’ a child or doing a sex crime against a child.

It will keep spreading. First Florida now Tennessee. They have said that is their plan. To get before the SCOTUS. Mean while they will plea deal everyone into life sentences rather than face the death penalty. I feel like we have stopped evolving as a society…for some time now.

Maybe someone will take them up on this and challenge it to SCOTUS

Didn’t notice , but did they define by age, or does statutory rape fall under this law. If so, then plan on putting 1/2 the state’s school student body on death row.

I find it strange that politicians who claim to value human life from the point of conception seem to believe that its value stops at adulthood when someone commits some horrendous crime that does not end in the death of the victim. These tend to be Republicans but that is not a surprise. They are such a hypocritical lot these days.

a big issue here is that the definition of rape is not clearly defined. I see that term thrown around in all manner of cases. We had one in CA that was referred to as a rape case while the person digitally penetrated the person. This was an unconscious adult. It seems rape, molestation, assault are all used for whatever purpose they wish to convey. I can see if an adult has forced intercourse with a child that is resisting is indeed a horrendous act that I could see the most severe punishment is warranted, but I am afraid they will stretch this to include a much broader range of lesser degrees of offenses.

Tennessee isn’t like Louisiana which wants to start lopping off nuts as a means of punishment. At least a man can die with dignity in the Volunteer State

These Governors are some real 🤡s To think they always want to step up and throw around there corrupt powers until its time to be held accountable then they want to cry to the courts I cant be accountable for this rule or unconstitutional laws i retroactively applied on hundreds of thousands of citizens. This Tennessee Governors as corrupt as they come. Thinks he’s a Judge passing down sentence on a particular group of people who he has it out for. These Judges need to wake up and realize how dirty these politicians are. Sometimes i wonder if these Judges are being paid off to look the other way. 🤔💭Crazy Crazy.

One thing about this story is that it used a nightly inflammatory term, “child rapist,” as well as “sexual battery,” and I was struck by how those hyperbolic descriptors – used indiscriminately – have crept into the language, often without any justification and even by liberal-minded people who would be loathe to extend the franchise on capital punishment. There’s a definite connection between the ascendancy of sex-hysteria and hyperbole in this country and the hell-fire southern states’ adoption of capital punishment and castration. When you lower requirements for intellectual honesty in the press, in lawmaking and in the culture, you’re going to see a consequence in law and mob violence. Part of intellectual honesty is a requirement for evidence, for facts. Those are no longer needed to impel the mob to demand punishment. They’re not even needed by people in our community.