State Needs to Eliminate Death Penalty for Child Rape

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Attorney General Mike McGrath says a Supreme Court decision declaring the death penalty too harsh for child rapists means Montana will have to address its law on the issue.

McGrath, however, says there are no immediate effects because neither of the state’s two death row inmates was sentenced under the law.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week struck down a Louisiana law that allowed capital punishment for people convicted of raping children under 12. Montana is among a handful of states with a similar law.

The ruling restricts the death penalty to murder and crimes against the state.

McGrath says the issue will go the Legislature next year.

One candidate for attorney general, Tim Fox, decried the Supreme Court decision as an infringement on Montana’s rights.

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