The Champion

July 2007 , Page 59 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

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

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us