Democrat Barack Obama says he disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision outlawing executions of people convicted of raping a child.
Obama told reporters Wednesday that he thinks the rape of a child, ages six or eight, is a heinous crime. He said if a state makes a decision, then the death penalty is potentially applicable. [AP News]
Rape is a heinous crime. The United Nations recently acknowledged rape as a weapon of war.
If we're going to have a death penalty, and if the death penalty is reserved for the most heinous crimes, then rape should be punishable by death.
Does Obama think that the rapists who sodomized prisoners at Abu Ghraib with chemical lights should be put to death? Given his views on child rape, I should hope so. Consistency requires him to call for the executions of the American soldiers who committed these crimes. If he's not serious about putting all rapists to death, he is trivializing rape by calling for the death penalty only for those who rape children.
If you're going to support the death penalty for child rape alone, you need to explain why child rapes are so morally special compared to the rapes of adult human beings.
The only morally consistent "law and order" position for Obama would be to assert that rape should be punishable by death, across the board.
Wouldn't that make the wingnuts' heads explode? If violent rape were punishable by death, then date rape without lethal force should be at least comparable to bank robbery.
Why is child rape morally special compared to woman rape, or man rape?
If he thinks its the rape of the defenseless that deserves special punishment, Obama should call for the death penalty for the American soldiers and contractors who participated in the rapes of Abu Ghraib detainees, because those men were as helpless as free seven-year-old children.
Let's have Democrats ask John McCain whether he favors the death penalty for all violent rapists. You can bet the Republicans will choke before the Democrats on this one.
Now, I'm a death penalty abolitionist across the board, but I figure if we're going to have the death penalty at all, violent rapists are as deserving as murderers. Why let Republicans off the hook on this one?