Supreme court (AP) The question of whether the constitution allows the death penalty in child rape cases where no one dies is before the Supreme Court today.
Five states allow it but Louisiana is the only one where people convicted of the crime are on death row. Two men have been sentenced to die for child rape there.
The lawyers for inmate Patrick Kennedy say the death penalty for child rape violates the eighth amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Kennedy was convicted of raping his eight-year-old stepdaughter at their home in a New Orleans suburb in 1998.
Groups that work to prevent sexual violence have sided with KENNEDY. They say victims often know their attacker and that more rapes will go unreported if children have to worry that their words might lead to an execution.