State legislation concerning capital punishment varies from one state to another. Most states acknowledge murder which results from rape to be a capital crime. However, the rape which does not result in death does not fall under the death penalty. The practice was readopted in the US in 1976, and no one was executed for a crime other than homicide. The case of rapist Patrick Kennedy held in Louisiana in 2008 could end up in a capital punishment, however, Supreme Court concluded that death penalty was too cruel and unusual for Kennedy’s crime. By this time, about five states were ready to adopt death penalty for non-homicide crimes.
The controversy concerning capital punishment is really harsh, in the first place, because it is difficult to define whether non-homicide crimes are bad enough to be punished with death. Murdering which results from the rape is really heinous; criminals who committed such a murder present a real danger to society and shall inevitably undergo death penalty. But what about the rapists who let their victims live? Does not this experience ruin the victim’s life once and for all and push them to suicide? Apparently, it does, and if not death penalty, long and severe sentences shall wait for rapists. However, in reality, things are quite different.
According to RAINN, out of every 1,000 rapes, 994 of the perpetrators come unpunished. The unexpected turn in the case of Stanford rapist Brock Turner has recently shocked the community. Instead of six years recommended by prosecutors, his sentence was reduced to six months, and in August 2016, the criminal was reported to be released three months earlier. Even if the death penalty is too severe punishment for rapists, current legislation is obviously too mild for their crimes.