Proposed Tougher Penalities

Oklahoma City, OK – Panel OKs death sentence for child rapists

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Repeat sex offenders convicted of raping a child 6 years old or younger would be eligible for the death penalty under a bill passed by a House committee.

The bill by Rep. Rex Duncan was overwhelmingly approved Monday by the House Judiciary Committee, despite a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that such laws were unconstitutional.

The Sand Springs Republican says he feels the court erred in its decision and that he believes a new court could uphold the law.

In a Louisiana case in which a man was sentenced to death for raping an 8-year-old girl, the nation's highest court ruled that allowing the death penalty in such cases violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.