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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: June 25, 2008

Sen. Jonathan Nichols
Sen. Jonathan Nichols

Author of Oklahoma's Law Giving Death Penalty to Child Rapists Reacts to
U.S. Supreme Court Decision

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws in several states, including Oklahoma, that allow the death penalty for the crime of child rape.

The ruling drew a sharp rebuke from Oklahoma State Senator Jonathan Nichols, who in 2006 authored Oklahoma's law subjecting repeat child molesters to the death penalty.

"This is a heartless decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that guts Oklahoma’s efforts to protect children from violent predators," said Nichols, R-Norman.

Nichols was alarmed by how far the Supreme Court went in applying its decision to any and all child rape cases.

“No matter how young the child, no matter how severe the injuries, no matter how strong the evidence, including video tape and DNA, and no matter how many children were raped, the Court wrongly ruled that the death penalty is excessive punishment,” said Nichols. “Every person should read the factual circumstances that lead a jury in this case to give the death penalty.”

The facts giving rise to the Supreme Court’s decision to hold the death penalty excessive for child rape involved an eight year old girl who was found on her bed bleeding profusely. The child had sustained such violent internal tearing that the uterus was ripped from the wall and her rectum had invaded the vaginal structure.

“Not only Oklahomans, but all of America should be alarmed and awakened by these Justices’ complete disregard for our values and the Constitution’s plain and clear language,” charged Nichols. “These Supreme Court Justices have either completely subordinated children into the category of subhuman, or their morals are so vacant that all should question their competency to uphold our Constitution which is founded on justice.”

For more information contact:
Sen. Nichols' Office: (405) 521-5535

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