Recently, within the span of several days, the United States Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 ruling in favor of child rapists, the Federal Bureau of Investigation touted its “Operation Cross Country” as an effort to rescue prostituted children and a Massachusetts state legislator opposed, with outrageous rhetoric, a bill designed to impose stiff mandatory sentences for child sex offenders.
These three items lead me to question who is looking out for America’s children.
First, the good news: Twenty-one children were freed from the slavery of sex trafficking in the “Operation Cross Country” nationwide sting. Let us hope and pray those children will be able to heal from the wounds – physical, psychological and spiritual – that were inflicted upon them by the pimps, traffickers and johns.
Now for the not-so-good news: The FBI spoke of this operation as one that would arrest networks of pimps that prey on child victims. That would be outstanding if that is what happened.
Unfortunately, only 345 people were arrested, and it appears that not more than ten percent of those were pimps, if that. Of the 345 arrested, 21 were the children, six percent of the arrests. 290 of the arrests were of prostituted women, which is 84 percent. Who comprised the other group of 34, the remaining ten percent? The press releases talked a lot about the children and the adult women arrested, but nary a final number on how many pimps and traffickers were arrested. Were any of the johns arrested?
According to an article on FoxNews.com, some of the 290 prostituted women that were arrested were first prostituted in their early teens. So, because they had the misfortune to be caught up in this raid after they reached 18, they will be prosecuted under state and local anti-prostitution laws instead of being rescued out of a life of prostitution. And if their pimps weren’t caught in the sting, the prostituted women will be bailed out and back on the streets in a few hours.
Those arrested women may still be required to testify against the pimps and traffickers and subjected to intense cross-examination, but the johns will just blend back into society to go trolling again another day.
Speaking of cross-examination, that brings us to the second story. Massachusetts state representative James Fagan, a Democrat, showed his defense attorney skills during House debate on a bill that would mandate longer prison stays for people who sexually abuse children. As noted at FoxNews.com, Rep. Fagan said that if the bill passed he would employ a courtroom tactic to protect a client from a “mandatory sentence of those draconian proportions.”
Rep. Fagan promised his clients this result for child rape victims: “I’m going to rip them apart. I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”
So, if a child rape victim has not suffered enough, defense attorneys in Massachusetts are going to make sure to ruin the rest of their lives so that their clients won’t have to spend too much time in prison paying for their crime. The perpetrator committed a horrific crime, but the victim should be tormented. Yes, that definitely sounds like the kind of justice our founding fathers had in mind for America.
Pity the perp, make the victim suffer.
And that brings us to the final outrage, courtesy of the United States Supreme Court. By a 5-4 margin, the Court declared it to be cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a convicted child rapist to death in the Kennedy v. Louisiana case. Justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Chief Justice Roberts dissented.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy based the opinion on “evolving standards of decency” as pertains to the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause. He wrote, “The Amendment ‘draw[s] its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.’ Trop v. Dulles, 356 U. S. 86, 101 (1958) (plurality opinion). This is because ‘[t]he standard of extreme cruelty is not merely descriptive, but necessarily embodies a moral judgment. The standard itself remains the same, but its applicability must change as the basic mores of society change.’ Furman v. Georgia, 408 U. S. 238, 382 (1972) (Burger, C. J., dissenting).”
I would like to think our standards of decency have evolved to the point that convicted child rapists may be put to death if a state deems it an appropriate punishment.
According to the majority opinion’s summary of the injuries reported by the victim’s doctor, defendant Patrick Kennedy inflicted the following on his eight-year-old step daughter: “A laceration to the left wall of the vagina had separated her cervix from the back of her vagina, causing her rectum to protrude into the vaginal structure. Her entire perineum was torn from the posterior fourchette to the anus. The injuries required emergency surgery.”
These are the physical injuries to a child rape victim. The psychological ones are sure to be just as bad if not worse. If the emergency surgery had not saved her, her rapist would be on death row where he belongs. Decency and this child rapist’s name do not belong in the same sentence.
Again, I wonder who is looking out for the children?