Supreme Court decision takes child rapist off death row

By Fred Childers - email | bio

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -   In December of 2007, in a Caddo court, Rick Davis was convicted of raping a five year old, after five hours of deliberations, the jury handed him a death sentence. But in a few months the U.S. Supreme Court would say that's unconstitutional.  "We're clearly disappointed, to those of us who have prosecuted these cases," said Caddo Prosecutor, Brady O'Callahan when the original decision was made back in June.
    Today, the court upheld it's position, refusing to hear the case again. "I was relieved, I believe that the death penalty should only be used for cases of murder, and only for the worst offenders," says Davis' defense attorney, Alen Golden. He went on to say the case was extremely stressful, and felt his client faced a disproportionate punishment compared to his crime. "I was stunned that they came back with a verdict of aggravated rape to begin with, and I was absolutely shocked that they came back with the death penalty," says Golden.
    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal sides with the prosecution. " That's a huge, huge error by the court," says Jindal. And he calls the decision absurd. "But they made a mistake, they ignored a 2006 law by congress that imposed the death penalty for child rapists in the military code of justice," says Jindal.
     Davis was the second child rapist in Louisiana to be given the death sentence. Patrick Kennedy from Jefferson Parish was the first. Golden says Kennedy's case was much different. "None of the harm that was visited upon the child in the case of Patrick Kennedy where Kennedy actually injured the child so badly, the child was in the process of dying," says Golden. The child victim in Davis' case was physically hurt according to Golden.
    Davis will now be re-sentenced, this time he'll get life in prison.