The following news release was issued this morning by the governor's office:
Gov. Matt Blunt and members of the Missouri General Assembly filed a brief with the U.S Supreme Court today in support of a Louisiana law allowing the death penalty as an appropriate form of punishment for an individual convicted of child rape.
"Violent sex offenses against children are unspeakable crimes, crimes so horrific that they defy comprehension and demand harsh punishment," Gov. Blunt said. "Crimes like these deserve the most serious punishment we can possibly deliver. I strongly support legislation allowing the death penalty for convicted child rapists. As we seek legislation to allow this punishment in Missouri, we have filed a legal brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Louisiana in their fight to better protect innocent children from deviant sexual predators."
Gov. Blunt and members of the Missouri General Assembly filed an amici curiae, or "friends of the court" brief, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify previous rulings that the Eighth Amendment does not prohibit the death penalty for child rapists. The brief also argues that the court should not preclude a national debate on this issue and allow states to form a consensus. The governor’s brief was filed pro bono by Nathan Mammen, formerly of Lamar, with the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Washington, D.C.
Gov. Blunt is calling on the Missouri General Assembly to send him legislation that adds the sentence of death to forcible rape and forcible sodomy when the victim is younger than 12 years old.
As noted in the March 10 Turner Report, Rep. Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, has filed such a bill in the House. A similar bill has been filed in the Senate.