Supreme Court Requests Briefs Regarding Possible Rehearing of Capital Punishment Child Rape Case

The US Supreme Court issued an order Monday requesting that parties involved in the recent Kennedy v. Louisiana case and the Bush Administration submit briefs by September 24, 2008 addressing whether the subsequent knowledge of a federal military law that allows capital punishment for child rape necessitates a rehearing and whether the federal law should alter the court’s ruling that imposing the death penalty in cases not involving murder is unconstitutional.

Previously, prosecutors for the state of Louisiana filed a petition requesting that the Court reconsider its ruling in the case that referenced the limited amount of state law and supposedlly no federal law that allowed such punishment. The federal law, an amendment to the Uniform Code of Military Conduct, was first mentioned in an internet blog by a civilian Air Force attorney.

Five out of the nine justices will have to vote for a rehearing.