I just ran across this article in which a person accused of rape was killed by a mob of people in a court room. This has got me wondering, is rape worth a death sentence?
Now, the person who was killed was suspected of rape-not proven guilty-so I’m not going to ask everyone about this particular case.
My question is, what punishment is rape worth-to you?
Is it worthy of death?
Long term in prison?
Does the severity of the rape matter?
Personally, I don’t think it’s worthy of death-perhaps I’m an eye for an eye type of guy.
Also, in my opinion I could see how punishment via casteration would be a worthy punishment-at least in my eyes as would a lengthy stretch in prison.
Rape, IMO and from everything that I’ve read (as well as the people I know who have been raped), is a very tramatizing event. One that can, and at least as far as I know, usually does effect the person for the rest of their lives, in some fashion.
Because of this I think the penalties for invading someone in such a manner should be rather high.
I think everyone here will agree that rape is a particularly brutal crime that will have life-long effects on its victims. And of course the penalty should be appropriately harsh.
Some of those who favor a death penalty in general would also favor extending it to rape. However, as far as I know, no state (in this country) imposes death for rape in and of itself. Rape, in death penalty cases, is an aggravating factor in murder cases, and in combination with murder, qualifies the convicted murderer for death, but on its own does not qualify for the death penalty.
The death penalty is based on an eye-for-an-eye ethic of punishment, and as such we tend to believe that death merits death, but that (horrific and brutal) crimes that don’t result in death don’t merit death as a punishment. So I don’t think many would favor extending the death penalty to rape cases.
And then there are those, like me, who don’t believe that any crime justifies the imposition of the death penalty, and who are going to be very worried about expanding the number of crimes that we punish with death.
IMO, a rapist deserves death. It’s not just a matter of revenge. I am for the death penalty when someone cannot be rehabilitated, and I think that many rapists cannot be rehabilitated and set free. I don’t think that “life in prison” is true, either…what happens when the prisons are overcrowded, or the prisoner has earned a lot of good behavior time? Heck, CHARLIE MANSON comes up for parole, and he makes a bid for it every time he’s eligible.
I will admit that my view of rapists is tainted by the fact that I was twice the attempted target of a rapist. Even though I escaped both times without being physically assaulted, the emotional impact was enormous, especially since both attempts were made before I was 15. I think that many rapists are not really human, even though they inhabit human bodies.
I’m against the death penalty so naturally my answer is no.
How about the ones that can? Kill them as well? Surely that is revenge?
Also you’d be killing a hell of a lot of people. It would also raise your murder rate most likely. If a rapist is going to be looking at the death penalty then they might as well kill their victim as well as they’ve got nothing to lose so why leave a witness.
There’s also the issue of rape convictions being overturned due to DNA evidence
I think one of the reasons there’s no death penalty for rape is because that would give the rapist a lot more incentive to kill his victim because then there would be no witness to testify against him. Or at least, that’s what people are afraid his reasoning would be.
I am, theoretically, in favor of the death penalty for some crimes, but find that it’s practice is so badly skewed, I am extremely reluctant to see it used in our criminal system. I also see the crime of rape as a spectrum of behavior that can include completely consensual behavior (statutory rape) and the most brutal violence imaginable.
I knew a guy who was once accused of rape by his girlfriend. They’d both gotten high on hallucinogenics, and he - being in an agreeable mood - started having sex with her. When she didn’t respond, he stopped. Afterwards, she told him that she’d gotten a much higher dose than she expected and was having a bad trip. She hadn’t recognized him, and he had raped her. He was crushed by this. Was it rape? Well, he did not have her consent, so “yes” is a reasonable answer. Should he have been put to death for it? Of course not. Not for a misunderstanding.
On the other hand, you have teenage boys who gang rape and sodomize and unconcious girl. You have predators who use date rape drugs to render someone unconcious and have sex with them. You have those who take advantage of children. Are they deserving of death? I would argue that they are. Can we guarantee that only the guilty are executed and no innocents are harmed? No, we can’t. So, the point, to me, is moot.
There was a Supreme Court ruling many years ago which said that capital punishment was unconstitutional for the punishment of any crime in which a murder did not occur. So a rape without a murder can never be a capital offense in this country.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of this case.
This pretty much sums up my take on it, too. And as a victim of rape myself, I am quite certain my view is tainted by revenge. But the thought of anyone, anyone at all, having to go through what I went through makes my blood run cold. I also believe that those who cannot be rehabilitated should not be permitted to clog up the legal system with appeals. In fact, I feel that paying for convicted rapists and murderers to languish in prison is a huge waste of my money, and everyone else’s. Like roaches or leeches, I would prefer that they be exterminated.
However, in law, as with everything else, there are areas of gray. You get into “what determines rehabilitation,” “what if the person really didn’t do it?” because, as we’re finding, sometimes the convicted murderer really didn’t do it. So, in a practical sense, you can’t know that someone isn’t rehabilitated unless they commit the same crime again, and sometimes it’s not possible to prove conclusively whether or not someone actually committed a crime. Therefore, ideally, I would prefer that convicted rapists and murderers be killed; however, I recognize that it is impractical and that we’re not living in an ideal world.
It may seem cold of me, but I frankly do not think all life is sacred. And I do not think that taking the life of someone who is so polluted they could easily kill someone else for absolutely no reason other than for their own amusement (I’m talking Charles Manson here, or the Son of Sam, self-defense not included) is a bad thing. The life of someone who would cold-bloodedly kill or rape a woman, man or child, is not sacred. Not to me, anyway.
I’m curious now: What would determine rehabilitation?
I have a feeling that, that is a very difficult question.
Anyone have any suggestions? I mean, not doing the crime again is one thing, but is that the best way to measure rehabilitation? There wouldn’t happen to be any way to measure it before the person gets out of jail, would there?
Should all criminals be granted the ability to be rehabilitated? Also, what seperates a serial rapist from someone who only rapes one person, but get’s caught immediately? In the serial rapist’s case, would he/she be given the chance to be rehabilitated?
Again, this is IYO, not necessarily the law’s opinion (although some clarification might help my muddled mind).
Both very good points, phouka , as well as many of the others here too numerous to quote. Our criminal justice system is too biased (gender, ethnicity, economics) to allow me much comfort with the death penaly period although I can understand its appeal in theory. Rape? No, that does not rise to death penalty status for me, not even in theory.
I have no real knowledge of how effective/ineffective “sex offender status” is, including registration and notification, but think this should have as much “teeth” as possible. Victim rights and public safety should trump “offender right to privacy” on this one every time.
A friend of mine was raped a few years ago by her sister’s babysitter. That same night her mom had sex with the man.
She has flashbacks so violent she had to be medicated and now lives in a group home. She will be taking some steps out on her own this monday when she gets a new apartment.
He showed up at a party at my apartment (friend of a friend of a friend, now there are NO parties at my place because of this) and even though she wasn’t there she visits me every few days and she was nearly in a mental breakdown when she heard he was there. If I had known who he was when he was there he wouldn’t have walked out of the place.
Yes, I think that the death penalty is suitable for rapists.
Well, I’m against the death penalty, so I’m saying no, but I also see the arguments made by others as valid.
Call me crazy, but I really think we need MUCH harsher prisons. Criminals violate the rights of others, why should they have any of their own? Put them in TINY, COLD cells, pack them in like sardines, even if we don’t have to. Make them do nothing but hard physical labor that benefits the rest of society in some way. No entertainment of any kind, no outside interaction, save for the neccesary visits with police, detectives, lawyers, etc… I really don’t see this as being “unethical.” We have too many people out there crying out for convicts rights…I’m sorry, but a good portion of them deserve none. And once a day, their victims or victim’s family get to punch them square in the jaw, or, they may opt to not punch them for a full week, and save up enough points for a groin kick.
I’m only proposing this method for harsh, violent crimes. Someone caught embezzeling, or pickpocketing shouldn’t be in this harsh a situation, but neither should he be in a so-called “white collar resort” prison. Send them somewhere between that, and “federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison”, .
Rape is one of a small number of crimes for which I think the only appropriate punishment is to chain the defendant to a chair and let the victim (or, if nonsurviving, the victim’s family) do whatever they want for two hours, with any tools they request being made available to them.
But definitely by the victims (/family) and in accordance with what they deem appropriate, not by the state, which IMHO should not be killing or castrating rapists.
I, like elfbabe, believe that rapists deserve death but that trying to give it to them would be a bad idea. It would cause problems that have already been discussed here, such as giving rapists the incentive to kill their victims, giving the death penalty to innocents, etc.
The point has been raised that prison sentences for all rapists could lead to prison crowding. There is a way to solve this problem: reserve prisons for violent criminals. I once read that the United States makes up for a third of the world’s prison population. Perhaps if we didn’t throw so many people into prison for non-violent crimes and morals charges, we wouldn’t have to deal with the prison crowding issue.