Death Penalty- Rape

  • States Allowed Death Penalty

    In 1925, only 18 states authorized the death penalty for rape.
  • States That Allow Death Penalty Lessen

    In 1971, on the eve of the Court's Furman decision, only 16 states authorized the death penalty for rape. But when Furman forced the states to rewrite their capital sentencing laws, only three states—Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana—retained the death penalty for rape.
  • Coker v. Georgia

    While serving various sentences for murder, rape, kidnapping, and aggravated assault, petitioner escaped from a Georgia prison and, in the course of committing an armed robbery and other offenses, raped an adult woman. He was convicted of rape, armed robbery, and the other offenses and sentenced to death on the rape charge.
  • Federal Death Penalty Act

    Congress in the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 expanded the number of federal crimes for which the death penalty is a permissible sentence, including certain nonhomicide offenses; but it did not do the same for child rape or abuse. Under 18 U. S. C. §2245, an offender is death eligible only when the sexual abuse or exploitation results in the victim’s death.
  • Reintroducing Death Penalty

    Louisiana reintroduced the death penalty for rape of a child in 1995. Under the current statute, any anal, vaginal, or oral intercourse with a child under the age of 13 constitutes aggravated rape and is punishable by death.
  • Rape Happened

    At 9:18 a.m. on March 2, 1998, petitioner called 911 to report that his stepdaughter, referred to here as L. H., had been raped.
  • Trial

    The trial began in August 2003. L. H. was then 13 years old. The jury having found petitioner guilty of aggravated rape, the penalty phase ensued. The jury unanimously determined that petitioner should be sentenced to death.
  • Final Decision

    Decision is made that the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child.
  • Expanded the Coker decision?

    Louisiana Supreme Court held that it is constitutional to impose the death penalty for rape where the rape victim is a child.[4] Ruling on an appeal brought in the case of defendant Patrick Kennedy, Justice Jeffrey Victory wrote for the court that the Louisiana law allowing the imposition of the death penalty under those circumstances was consistent with Coker because an aggravating circumstance—the age of the victim—justified the death penalty.
  • Struck Down!

    The case was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 (Kennedy v. Louisiana), thus expanding Coker to say that the death penalty is unconstitutional in all cases that do not involve murder.