The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that it is unconstitutional to sentence someone to death for raping a child if the victim was not killed. The majority said that imposing the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendmentâ€™s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, because the death penalty is disproportional punishment for the crime, as heinous as child rape is. The majority also cited â€œthe evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society,â€ which drives constitutional originalists nuts. In 2002, the court blocked the execution of mentally retarded defendants, and in 2005 it banned the execution of people for crimes they committed before they were 18.
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