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In Court Ruling On Executions, A Factual Flaw

Publication Date: 
July 02, 2008
The New York Times
Linda Greenhouse

Professor Jeffrey L. Fisher is quoted in a New York Times article about the recent Supreme Court ruling involving the death penalty for child rape:

Jeffrey L. Fisher, a Stanford Law School professor who successfully represented the defendant in the case, Patrick Kennedy, said that he and others on the defense legal team, in researching how various jurisdictions treat child rape, had actually looked into what military law said on the subject. All they found was an old provision making rape a capital offense; it predated the court’s modern death penalty jurisprudence, under which the death penalty for the rape of an adult woman was ruled unconstitutional in 1977.

“We just assumed it was defunct,” Mr. Fisher said of the military provision. “We figured if somebody in the government thought otherwise, we’d hear about it.”