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High Court Considers Death Penalty In Child Rape

Publication Date: 
April 08, 2008
USA Today
Joan Biskupic

Professor Jeffrey Fisher is quoted in USA Today in a piece about a case coming up for review in front of the Supreme Court. The question is: Should any rapist be subject to the death penalty?

... there are signs that society believes death is excessive for rape, including that no one in America has been executed for any rape in more than 43 years. "Although rape is a very serious crime," attorney Jeffrey Fisher says, "no rapist should be punished more severely than the average … murderer, who by definition is not subject to capital punishment." The death penalty has traditionally been reserved for the worst of society's criminals.


In Kennedy's appeal to the Supreme Court, Fisher, a Stanford University law professor, says that since the 1977 case of Coker v. Georgia, the court has not allowed capital punishment for any crime involving "person-on-person violence" that did not lead to a death.