Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law CS/CS/HB 1297 – Capital Sexual Battery bill, the legislative measure that allows the death penalty to be allowed for individuals convicted of committing sexual battery on children, or child rapists, under the age of 12 years old.
During a press conference in Titusville, Florida with Attorney General Ashley Moody and local law enforcement officials, Gov. DeSantis challenged the U.S. Supreme Court ruling negating the death penaly from being used in the crime of rape, adding that the death penalty is an “appropriate punishment” for heinous crimes like rape.
“We really believe that part of a just society is to have an appropriate punishment, so if you commit a crime that is really really heinous you should have the ultimate punishment,” said Gov. DeSantis. “So what this bill does is it challenges the US Supreme Court for recently deciding having six or seven years ago they decided by 5 to 4 after over 200 years of our constitution being in place, that somehow you could never have capital punishment for crimes like rape even though some of these are some of the worst of the worst, even though you can have serial offenders who have violated multiple children under the age of 12.”
“So we think that that decision was wrong. We think that in the worst of the worst cases, the only appropriate punishment is the ultimate punishment and so bill sets up a procedure to be able to challenge that precedent and to be able to say that in Florida we think that the worst of the worst crimes deserve the worst of the worst punishment,” added DeSantis.
Senate bill sponsor Jonathan Martin, a Fort Myers Republican who is a former prosecutor, said the bill would create needed “constitutional boundaries by providing a sentencing procedure for those heinous crimes” that would be similar to death-penalty laws for murder.
“If an individual rapes an 11-year-old, a 10-year-old, a 2-year-old or a 5-year-old, they should be subject to the death penalty,” Martin said Tuesday after the Rules Committee approved his bill.