The Champion

July 2007 , Page 59 

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State Legislative Affairs Update

By Scott Ehlers

Death Penalty

Louisiana: Death Sentence for Child Rape Upheld by State Supreme Court
On May 22, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Patrick Kennedy, 42, for the aggravated rape of his eight-year-old stepdaughter. The case, State of Louisiana v. Patrick Kennedy (05-KA-1981), may force the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether the rape of a child is punishable by death. The Supreme Court held in 1977 (Coker v. Georgia) that a death sentence could not be applied in rape cases where the victim was an adult, but left open the question of whether an individual who rapes a child can be sentenced to death.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Louisiana is one of five states to allow the death penalty for certain sex crimes (Florida, Montana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina are the others). A bill (HB 8) adding Texas to that list awaited the signature of Gov. Rick Perry as The Champion went to press.

According to the Times-Picayune, Loui

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