Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis supports two bills that would allow the execution of paedophiles who rape children, saying that “the death penalty is the only appropriate punishment in such situations”.
The bills supported by DeSantis would authorise the death penalty for those who sexually abuse children under the age of 12 and also make it easier for juries to recommend the death penalty.
– We are authorizing the death penalty for child rapists, he confirmed on the radio programme ‘Good Morning Orlando’.
Mr DeSantis acknowledged that such a change in the law could go against recent Supreme Court precedents – but he believes the current Supreme Court would probably consider reexamining the issue.
The Supreme Court ruled by the narrowest possible margin in 2008 that the death penalty should not be imposed for a crime where the victim did not die, but since then all of the court’s former judges have been replaced.
– My view is, you have some of these people that will be serial rapists of six, seven-year-old kids, I think the death penalty is the only appropriate punishment when you have situations like that, the Florida governor said.
DeSantis also believes that some jurors are driven by an agenda to abolish the death penalty altogether and that it is therefore important to make it easier for the jury to recommend the death penalty, with eight out of twelve members voting in favour – instead of the current unanimous decision.
The governor is expected to aim to become the Republican presidential candidate in 2024 and his main challenger is expected to be former President Donald Trump, according to the New York Post.
– We will hold people accountable. We reject policies that are soft on crime, like abolishing cash bail or legislation that lets dangerous criminals out of jail before serving their sentence. We see the scourge across the country of left-wing district attorneys getting elected, DeSantis recently declared.