Idaho Passes Bill Approving Death Penalty For Pedophiles

Idaho’s state legislature recently approved legislation enforcing the death penalty to convicted pedophiles who targeted children under 12 years old.

House Bill 515 allows the death penalty in cases when a pedophile’s victim is under 12 years old. The bill was passed on Feb. 13, 2024, by a vote of 57-11, according to One America News (OAN).

The bill’s co-sponsor, Idaho state Rep. Bruce Skaug (R), explained that the legislation would only be used in extreme cases, such as those involving repeat offenders.

“There is a deep, dark side in our culture. And it’s our job to protect the children. There are times when things are so wicked that retribution is appropriate,” Skaug said. “The victims forever live in fear of the release of their perpetrators, and many of those perpetrators are repeat criminals of this type of crime. I believe this is worth the fight.”

Following the legislation’s passage, a far-left spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho denounced the bill, referring to it as “blatantly and admittedly unconstitutional.”

“House Bill 515 and any iterations of (it) have already been litigated in our country’s highest court, and found to be unconstitutional. Our lawmakers should exercise a healthy respect for laws, law enforcement, and judicial review. This bill spits on the checks and balances our country was founded on,” ACLU spokesperson Rebecca De León claimed.

Before passing the legislation, Idaho had only allowed the use of the death penalty in cases of first-degree murder.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court barred death penalties for criminals who violated children in Kennedy v. Louisiana.

Amid claims that Idaho’s bill violates the U.S. Constitution, Skaug said, “Well there’s constitutional and there’s constitutional. Depends on the court of the day.”

To date, just eight prisoners are on death row in Idaho. Skaug said that despite the bill’s passage, he doesn’t believe that more criminals will receive the death penalty.

“It would be very rare that this case would happen. It’d be very rare that a prosecutor would take this kind of case and ask for the death penalty, but it will happen. And I say to you that when you see that case, you read about it in the newspaper, you’re gonna say, ‘This is the one case that this needs to happen.’”

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