On Monday, Florida Governor DeSantis signed a bill into law that would make the death penalty a viable punishment for those convicted of raping a child below the age of 12. This law is going against the SCOTUS’ previously established precedence.
In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that as per the Eighth Amendment the U.S. Constitution did not allow for capital punishment to be used as the punishment for child rape.
During the “Law & Order” press conference in Titusville, Florida, DeSantis signed three different bills. One of them would set the minimum sentence for child rapists to life in prison without parole, while also making capital punishment an available form of punishment. DeSantis during his remarks noted that these were “heinous sex crimes” and that most often the perpetrators are “serial offenders.” He added that as a society they needed to work to ensure this would no longer be the case and that the punishment would fit the crime. This is why those who commit child rape should face the “ultimate punishment.”
DeSantis proceeded to state that he believed the Supreme Court’s decision was wrong, and that this bill was setting up the path to challenge the precedent set by the 2008 decision.
The other two bills signed by DeSantis dealt with the punishment for fentanyl and drug-related crimes targeted at children. Their aim is to protect Floridians from Democrat-supported bail reforms in liberal jurisdictions.
The legislation is set to go into effect on Oct. 1. Following this the state will be authorized to use capital punishment as a legitimate form of punishment against those who have sexually battered a child under the age of 12.