03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Supreme Court To Decide: Can Death Penalty Be Imposed On People Who Rape Children?

The Supreme Court said yesterday that it will decide whether the death penalty may be imposed on someone who rapes a child, reopening the issue of which crimes are punishable by death.

The court said in 1977 that execution was an "excessive penalty for the rapist who, as such, does not take human life." But the victim in the case was an adult, and while 45 states now ban the death penalty for any kind of rape, the others allow it if the victim is a child.

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