Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
His case is being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Because Kennedy didn’t murder anybody.
We turn back the clock to March 2, 1998.
An 8-year-old girl is sorting Girl Scout cookies in a garage in Harvey, Louisiana. Harvey is located across the river from New Orleans. The young girl is then assaulted, she tells police, by two boys.
Over a year later, the girl says she was actually raped by her stepfather, Patrick Kennedy.
Five years after the rape, Kennedy is on trial.
The state argued the following.
The girl was awakened early in the morning to find her 300-pound stepfather on top of her. He was undressing her, with his hand over her mouth to keep her quiet before forcing himself inside her. The girl suffered internal injuries and heavy bleeding.
For 18 months after the rape, the girl did insist she was assaulted by two teenage boys outside her house. The girl then changed her story to implicate the stepfather AFTER she was removed from her mother's care, put in foster care and told that her stepfather was the person responsible.
After the 300-pound Kennedy raped his small 8-year old stepdaughter, he picked up the telephone.
Kennedy called his place of work.
He told his workplace he wouldn’t be on the job that day.
Kennedy informed his employer that he would not be coming in because his little girl had "become a lady."
Kennedy then placed another call.
He dialed a cleaning company to have blood removed from his carpets.
Then Kennedy made another phone call.
This one was to 9-1-1.
He told the operator his stepdaughter had been raped and asked for an ambulance.Bleeding heart hand wringing liberals argued there was no DNA evidence. They claimed there were conflicting stories. They cried it was a classic “he said, she said" story.
The jury believed the young victim who did testify at the trial and found Kennedy.
That was in 2003.According to the liberal publication, The Nation:
“At the penalty-phase of the trial, the jury heard Kennedy's goddaughter testify that she had been raped by him twenty years earlier when she was 8 or 9 years old, though Kennedy was never charged with that offense. On the basis of this evidence, and empowered with a unique Louisiana statute, the jury sentenced Kennedy to death, making him the only person on America's death row for a crime less than murder. For that matter, his sentence made him the only person on death row in any Western democracy for the crime of child rape.”
Many years earlier, in the Supreme Court's 1972 decision in Furman v. Georgia, which declared all state death-penalty statutes unconstitutional, Justice Byron White wrote:
"Rape is without doubt deserving of serious punishment; but in terms of moral depravity and of the injury to the person and to the public, it does not compare with murder, which does involve the unjustified taking of human life.... The murderer kills; the rapist, if no more than that, does not. Life is over for the victim of the murderer; for the rape victim, life may not be nearly so happy as it was, but it is not over and normally is not beyond repair. We have the abiding conviction that the death penalty, which 'is unique in its severity and irrevocability'...is an excessive penalty for the rapist who, as such, does not take human life." Even so, the Louisiana legislature passed a law in 1995 allowing the death penalty for the rape of a child under 12 years old. The Legislature made the age 13 a few years ago.
Opposed, as you might expect: the Catholic Church, lawyers concerned with the constitutionality of the statute, and advocates who worried that such a law could give rapists an incentive to murder their victims. Now the Louisiana law is the focus of scrutiny by the highest court in the land.
The Louisiana Supreme Court rejected an appeal of Kennedy's death sentence, saying it did not constitute "cruel and unusual" punishment.
"Child rape is the most heinous of all non-homicide crimes," the Louisiana Supreme Court declared. "And while the majority of other states may not provide capital punishment for child rape, many do provide capital punishment for other non-homicide crimes (that) are far less heinous."Of the 38 states that allow the death penalty, 25 reserve it for murder. With the addition of a new law enacted in Texas last year, six states now authorize the death penalty for crimes involving rape and sexual assault, though several states limit executions to repeat offenders. Several states - including Idaho and Georgia - allow the death penalty for kidnapping crimes.
Prosecutors have traditionally been reluctant to seek the death penalty for non-murder crimes. All of the 1,099 executions carried out in the U.S. since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 have been for homicide.
No, Patrick Kennedy didn’t kill his 8-year old stepdaughter. But for all intents and purposes, he may have. Kennedy did incredible physical and psychological damage to that poor girl that is no doubt irreparable.
Those who support this animal are banking on the knee-jerk reaction of many who immediately counter, “Well, he didn’t kill anybody!”
No he didn’t.
But I don’t think the U.S. Supreme Court that is on record that capital punishment is constitutional, should deny one of the states the ability to determine what is an offense that warrants the death penalty.
I submit Patrick Kennedy deserves to be executed.