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 said at a news conference. "I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that that does not violate our Constitution. [...]Yeah, yeah, it's an election year. But it seems that Obama is being consistent with his views, not that his SCOTUS appointees would necessarily overturn this bad piece of law.
He has long supported the death penalty while criticizing the way it is sometimes applied.
As an Illinois legislator, he helped rewrite the state's death penalty system to guard against innocent people being sentenced to die. The new safeguards included requiring police to videotape interrogations and giving the state Supreme Court more power to overturn unjust decisions.
He also opposed legislation making it easier to impose the death penalty for murders committed as part of gang activity. Obama argued the language was too vague and could be abused by authorities.
But Obama has never rejected the death penalty entirely. He supported death sentences for killing volunteers in community policing programs and for particularly cruel murders of elderly people.
"While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes—mass murder, the rape and murder of a child—so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment," he wrote in his book "The Audacity of Hope."
What the hell is wrong with Kennedy? I thought he was a "swing vote" not a "ding bat" - or have I just not payed close enough attention to him in the past? Gabriel has some thoughts on the ruling.
And just so it doesn't get lost in the brouhaha, Michelle Malkin reminds us exactly what sort of crime was committed. !!!Warning!!! - the details are graphic.