Rehearing Petition Filed in Decision Regarding Death Penalty for Child Rape Cases

After learning of an amendment to a military law that allows the death penalty as punishment for child rape cases, prosecutors for the state of Louisiana filed a petition Monday requesting that the US Supreme Court reconsider its ruling in Kennedy v. Louisiana. The court’s previous ruling, which held that the death penalty was not appropriate for rape cases that did not involve murder, referenced the limited amount of state law and supposedlly no federal law that allowed such punishment.

The US Department of Justice recently admitted its mistake in failing to inform the Supreme Court of the amendment to the Uniform Code of Military Conduct after a civilian Air Force attorney first mentioned the law in his internet blog. Rehearing petitions are not usually granted, and the law may not be considered relevant as the original case involved a civilian.