Idaho Passes Death Penalty For Pedophiles Bill

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Sex crimes against children will be punishable by death in the state of Idaho under a new bill passed by the Republican controlled House on Tuesday.

“There is a deep, dark, dark side in our culture. And it’s our job to protect the children. There are times when things are so wicked that retribution is appropriate,” said Rep. Bruce Skaug (R-Nampa). 

House Bill 515 will allow for the death penalty in cases of lewd conduct with children under age 12 with aggravating circumstances. Co-sponsor Rep. Skaug told House legislators that the death penalty would be reserved for heinous cases, like repeat offenders.  

Idaho Capital Sun reports: Idaho law only allows the death penalty in first-degree murder cases, according to Idaho Reports. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 blocked death penalties for child rape in Kennedy v. Louisiana. Florida passed a child rape death penantly law last year. 

Responding to concerns that the Idaho bill is unconstitutional, Skaug said he thinks the current Supreme Court would reach a different decision.

“Well there’s constitutional and there’s constitutional. Depends on the court of the day,” Skaug, an attorney, told House lawmakers.

Only eight Idaho prisoners are on death row, according to the Idaho Department of Correction. Skaug said he expects fewer cases under the new bill. 

“It would be very rare that this case would happen. It’d be very rare that a prosecutor would take this kind of case and ask for the death penalty, but it will happen. And I say to you that when you see that case, you read about it in the newspaper, you’re gonna say, ‘This is the one case that this needs to happen,’” Skaug said. 

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The Idaho House passed the bill on a 57-11 vote. 

Rep. Jack Nelsen, R-Jerome, was the only Republican House lawmaker to oppose the bill after Mickelsen’s vote change. 

“My concern is judicious use of taxpayer money. Florida already passed this. It’s obviously in the courts. 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,” Nelsen told the Sun in an interview after the floor debate. 

Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, told lawmakers on the House floor that he couldn’t vote for a bill that was unconstitutional, and he doubted the Supreme Court would reverse its decision. Gannon said he’d prefer to spend money to hire more detectives to solve crimes.

Skaug said he wasn’t worried about costs.

“The victims forever live in fear of the release of their perpetrators, and many of these perpetrators are repeat criminals of this type of crime. I believe this is worth the fight,” he said.

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry is a writer at The People's Voice. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.
Baxter Dmitry

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