Case Brief Kennedy Vs Louisiana

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In the case, Kennedy v. Louisiana, Patrick Kennedy was convicted of aggravated assault. Specifically, the raping of his eight-year-old stepdaughter. The capital punishment for rape of a child under twelve years of age in the state of Louisiana was a death sentence. 1 Evidence:
At 9:18 A.M., on March 2, 1998, Patrick Kennedy had called 911. He reported that his stepdaughter, L.H., had been raped. 1
Police had arrived at Kennedy’s home between 9:20 and 9:30 AM. 1
Kennedy made a few phone calls the morning of the rape. One to his employer, sometime before 6:15 AM (stating that he was unable to work that day). The second phone call was to a colleague, asking how to remove blood stains from a white carpet because his daughter had “just …show more content…

claiming that Kennedy was not the offender, Kennedy was arrested for the crime of rape. While the state had drawn both Kennedy’s backstory and L.H.’s personal experiences, they had came to the conclusion that Kennedy was the obvious offender. One of the reasons for this is due to the fact that Kennedy had made two phone calls, during the morning of the rape. 1 When L.H. had returned home on June 22, 1998, she told her mother for the first time that Kennedy had raped her. Therefore, confirming the previous suspicions of investigators and making the arrest of Kennedy more reliable. 2 The state charged Kennedy with aggravated rape of a child, under La. Stat. 14:42 (West 1997 & Supp. 1998), and sought the death penalty. Although, life in prison was only granted for the time being. 2 The importance of this case is due to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that held the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause. This does not permit a state to punish the crime of raping a child with the death penalty if the death of the victim was not intended. This resulted in death penalty only being used for crimes against the state, such as espionage or treason. On Kennedy’s appeal, the Supreme Court of Louisiana affirmed. Additionally, he petitioned for a certiorari. This was granted to him, and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded.

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