US Department of Justice Files Motion for Petition for Rehearing of Child Rape Decision

Although, motions for petitions for rehearing are typically only brought by parties to the original lawsuit, the US Department of Justice has filed a motion for a petition for rehearing of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana, claiming the court’s decision was based on incomplete knowledge of federal law. Louisiana state prosecutors recently filed a similar petition regarding the ruling that the death penalty can only be imposed in child rape cases that involve murder.

The Department of Justice previously admitted its failure to inform the Court of an amendment to a military law that allows the death penalty as punishment for child rape cases. As a result, the Court did not take this military law into consideration in making its decision, which was based on current state law and the lack of federal law regarding the applicability of capital punishment in such cases.