While all of us wait to see if the Supreme Court will uphold the statute in Kennedy, Missouri is chomping at the bit to adopt a capital child rape statute:
Emphasizing that the most heinous crimes deserve the harshest penalty, Gov. Matt Blunt said today that child rapists should be eligible for the death penalty under Missouri law.
The governor, speaking at an afternoon news conference outside the St. Louis County courthouse, urged the Missouri General Assembly to pass legislation that would add the sentence of death to forcible rape and forcible sodomy cases when the victim is younger than 12 years old.
"We're talking about the most horrendous crimes one can imagine and it deserves the harshest penalty possible," Blunt said. "It is the punishment that fits the crime."
As Doug Berman notes, Governor Blunt is joined by his political opponent and current attorney general, Jay Nixon, in support of the proposed statute. This shouldn't be much of a surprise since both Blunt and Nixon joined an amicus brief in Kennedy in favor of Louisiana. It doesn't make sense, though, for Missouri to actually work on a statute now since the decision in Kennedy could well strike it down in the next couple of months. But in the interim, talking about executing child rapists always makes for good politics.
Update: Orin Kerr at Volokh Conspiracy disagrees and thinks now is the perfect time for Missouri to act because the Supreme Court will take notice. As I posted in the comments there, I think the state amicus brief means that Missouri will already be counted as part of the evolving standard of decency. However, Kerr is right that it certainly couldn't hurt to add more support to Lousiana's position if Missouri passed a similar law.