Idaho Lawmakers Pass Law to Begin Executing Pedophiles

Republican lawmakers in Idaho have passed a new law that will execute pedophiles who are convicted of raping children under 12 years old.

The move positions the state to join Florida in adopting a controversial measure, as Slay News reported.

The legislation in Idaho passed 57-11, mainly along party lines.

House Bill 515 amends the statute covering lewd conduct with a child under age 12 with aggravating circumstances to carry a penalty of capital punishment.

Republican state Rep. Bruce Skaug, a co-sponsor of the bill, has said that the death penalty would be used only for the most heinous cases such as repeat offenders.

The bill next heads to the Idaho Senate for committee review.

Initially, GOP state Rep. Stephanie Mickelsen voted against the bill.

However, she later reversed her decision once the vote had been ratified.

Mickelsen did not comment on the reasons for her changed vote.

Prior to the vote, Mickelson told the Idaho Capital Sun that while she shares concerns over heinous crimes, Idaho taxpayer money would be better spent waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on other cases.

She was referring to similar laws passed recently in Florida that are expected to reach the high court.

“There is a deep, dark, dark side in our culture, and it’s our job to protect the children,” said Skaug.

“There are times when things are so wicked that retribution is appropriate.”

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Skaug said that imposition of a death sentence under the law would be “very rare,” but promised, “but it will happen.”

“And I say to you when you see that case, you read it in the newspaper you’re going to say this is the one case that needs to happen,” he added.

Currently, Idaho law allows capital punishment only in first-degree murder cases, according to Law & Crime.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the death penalty for child rapists.

Skaug said on the Idaho house floor that he believed that case was wrongly decided and made clear that he considered the legality of executing child rapists unsettled.

“Well there’s constitutional and there’s constitutional,” Skaug told House lawmakers.

“Depends on the court of the day.”

WATCH:

Kennedy v. Louisiana was decided by a closely divided Court. None of the five justices — Anthony Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, David Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who made up the majority are still on the Court.

Those in dissent were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas — three of whom are still on the bench, joined now by justices who have taken even more conservative positions than the late Justice Scalia did in many cases.

Given the Court’s current makeup, the issue of capital punishment for child rape could very well be reversed.

Skaug told the Idaho legislature that he believed the current Court, without the five justices who made up the Kennedy v. Louisiana majority, would rule differently on the issue of executing child rapists.

ACLU of Idaho spokesperson Rebecca De León said that litigating the constitutionality of House Bill 515 was “a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.”

“I highly doubt it will reach the Supreme Court because the Supreme Court has already ruled on this,” De León continued.

“We already have laws in place that punish people that don’t violate their Eighth Amendment rights.

Other opponents echoed De León’s concerns.

Rep. Jack Nelsen, the lone remaining Republican opponent of the bill, said he was primarily concerned about the judicious use of taxpayer money.

“Florida already passed this. It’s obviously in the courts,” Nelsen told the Idaho Capital Sun.

“I see no reason to spend hard-earned Idaho taxpayer’s dollars on a bill that’s a little bit of time and patience, we’ll know what the outcome is.”

Likewise, Democrat state Rep. John Gannon said on the House floor that the bill was unconstitutional and predicted that the Supreme Court would not reverse itself.

Gannon said funding would be better used hiring additional detectives to solve crimes.

Nearly a year ago, Idaho passed a law that would allow death row inmates to be executed by firing squad.

Idaho last executed Richard Albert Leavitt in 2012 via lethal injection.

The state is planning to execute serial killer Thomas Creech on Feb. 28. Creech is Idaho’s longest-serving death row inmate, who has been awaiting execution for over 44 years.

Another inmate, Gerald Pizzuto, Jr., a terminally ill man, has been on death row for three decades for the killing of two gold prospectors in 1985.

Pizzuto’s execution was scheduled for last March but was stayed because Idaho could not obtain the necessary drugs for use in the execution.

The lack of available chemicals was one reason why Idaho chose to revive the legality of a firing squad as a means of execution.

READ MORE – ‘Non-Binary’ Pedophile Walks Free from Court after Being Convicted of Repeated Child Sex Abuse

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