Obama Backs Death Penalty for Child Rapists

Dem disagrees with Supreme Court ruling against Louisiana law

By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User

Posted Jun 26, 2008 6:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Barack Obama joined rival John McCain yesterday in supporting the death penalty for child rapists, the AP reports. The Democratic candidate spoke after the Supreme Court ruled against a Louisiana law allowing capital punishment for child rape, saying it violates the constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The verdict negates similar laws in five other states.

"I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes," Obama told reporters yesterday. "I think that the rape of a small child is a heinous crime, and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that does not violate our constitution."

In this file photo, rivals John McCain and Barack Obama meet in Washington. Both presidential hopefuls disagreed with the Supreme Court's ruling against the death penalty.
In this file photo, rivals John McCain and Barack Obama meet in Washington. Both presidential hopefuls disagreed with the Supreme Court's ruling against the death penalty.   (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)
The media listens to Barack Obama at a news conference in Chicago yesterday. Obama spoke in favor of the death penalty.
The media listens to Barack Obama at a news conference in Chicago yesterday. Obama spoke in favor of the death penalty.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Barack Obama addresses reporters in Chicagon yesterday, saying he disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision to bar the death penalty for child rapists.
Barack Obama addresses reporters in Chicagon yesterday, saying he disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision to bar the death penalty for child rapists.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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