OHIO SHOULD EXECUTE CHILD RAPISTS
By Dr. Patrick Jonston
April 19, 2008
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in a case challenging Louisiana’s law which allows the execution of those who rape children twelve years of age and younger. The popular legislation breezed through the Louisiana legislature in 1995, and was only held up by the debate on whether child rapists should be castrated. In addition to Louisiana, Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, and South Carolina also have laws allowing convicted child rapists to be executed.
There are two rapists on death row in Louisiana: Patrick Kennedy, 43 years of age, was convicted of raping his eight-year old stepdaughter. Richard Davis was convicted of repeatedly attacking and raping a five-year-old girl.
Earlier this month, Corey Saunders, 26, was sentence to five years in prison for violating his probation after four years in prison for the attempted rape of a seven-year-old boy. How did he violate his probation? He raped a five-year-old in on January 30 in a public library in Boston. On a video played in court on April 4th, the child said the assault was like being attacked by a “T-rex and an alligator.” The boy described how Saunders lured him between bookshelves at the library’s magazine room, fondled and raped him.
here in Zanesville, Ohio, Randy Dillon was recently convicted for abducting
and raping a fourteen-month old girl. He’s facing a long span
in Ohio’s correctional institutions. Think that will correct him?
Think he will have learned his lesson by the time he is paroled or his
prison sentence is completed?
Who can deny that such utterly despicable crimes merit the death penalty?
When speaking at a church men’s meeting in Coshocton, I asked several men what they thought should be done to child rapists? The most common opinion I heard was that they be castrated. Is this an appropriate penalty for child rape? Does castration provide an adequate disincentive to protect the innocent? The following true story shows that it doesn’t. In 1984, several masked men attacked and castrated Wayne Dumond for raping a 17-year-old girl. Then Arkansas Governor at the time, Mike Huckabee, felt sorry for Mr. Dumond for having been given a life sentence. Governor Huckabee pardoned the rapist in 1999, 25 years before his prison sentence should have ended, despite the pleas of the rape victim that the rapist would attack again. The pardoned rapist did strike again, raping and suffocating a 39-year old woman and raping and murdering a 23-year old pregnant woman within two years of his release from prison. Castration and prison didn’t protect those women from a convicted rapist, did it?
Others have said that child rapists get punished sufficiently in prison by getting raped and assaulted by other prisoners. Is that an appropriate penalty for a convicted child rapist? That notion just seems barbaric to me. How can we justify punishing forcible rape with forcible sodomy? Besides, the stronger child rapists may be the raper in prison, and not the rapee. Is that justice, or is it just another beastly crime? The admission that rapists may be cruelly treated by other prisoners in prison is, to me, an admission that our correctional institutions are grossly inadequate to correct anybody, but are instead criminal training grounds and a colossal waste of sixty billion taxpayer dollars annually.
When rapists are imprisoned, the victims must continue to worry about the possibility of parole or escape. Consider this true story: Joshua Ridings was indicted in January of this year by a federal grand jury in the rape of an eleven-year-old girl in West Virginia. Ridings abducted the girl in West Virginia and violently raped her in Belmont County, Ohio. In February, he escaped from jail. He stole a car to get away from the prison, and abandoned it in the parking lot of a public high school. Can you imagine the fear that the eleven-year-old rape victim and her family felt, knowing that her rapist escaped from prison? Now that he’s back in jail, they must continue to worry about another escape or a parole.
Now the talk in the papers is that we might have to start letting prisoners out early because our prisons are so over-crowded and we cannot afford the growing cost. As if the remedy for the increase in crime is more leniency! Absurd!
A recent study by the bipartisan Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons reported that over the course of a year 13.5 million spend time in prison or jail. Within three years of their release, 67 % of former prisoners are rearrested and 52 % are re-incarcerated. Our correctional facilities desperately need corrected: they are failing the taxpayers, failing the victims, and failing the criminals. Getting put in prison full of sex predators and murderers for the violent crime of rape is more like getting kicked out of class for not paying attention. It prescribes as a remedy more of the disease, prolongs the misery of the victims, and threatens the liberties of those who are forced to pay for these prisons upon pain of fine or prison.
Not just child rape, but all rape was a capital crime in the criminal justice system penned by the hand of the God of the Bible. He prescribed such a penalty for deserving crimes not because he is cruel or unloving, but because he knew that it would provide an adequate disincentive to prevent the crime from taking place at all (Deuteronomy 13:11). God loves the victims so much that he ordered convicted rapists to be put to death, and that quickly (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Delayed justice is injustice. Do you know how many taxpayer dollars are spent feeding, clothing, housing, defending, medicating, and entertaining death row inmates from the day of their conviction to their execution?
It’s not only a waste of taxpayer dollars, it’s a waste of a marvelous disincentive to a grievous crime. If child rapists are executed quickly, there are less rape victims and less rapists as a result - and few executions! What can be more loving to the child victims of rape? What can be a more powerful disincentive to prevent child rape from occurring in the first place? We cannot improve on the wisdom and love of God.
It’s high time that Ohio joins the ranks of states who love children enough to execute those who sodomize and rape them. If anyone deserves a quick execution, it’s these savage beasts.
© 2008 Patrick Johnston - All Rights Reserved