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Louisiana prosecutor asks Supremes for a do-over

A Louisiana prosecutor petitioned the Supreme Court yesterday for a rehearing in the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana, where the Court struck down the use of the death penalty in child rape cases, The Times-Picayune reports.

In that case the justices ruled 5-4 that the use of capital punishment for crimes not involving death was cruel and unusual, in part because there was no trend in favor of expanding the use of the death penalty against child rapists.

But Jefferson Parish, La. District Attorney Paul Connick asked the Court to rehear the case in light on a New York Times story last month that reported a provision in the Uniform Code of Military Justice adopted in 2006 that authorizes the death penalty in child rape cases. None of the lawyers on either side of the case cited the law in their briefs or oral arguments.

But Jelpi Picou, director of the Capital Appeals Project in New Orleans tells The Times-Picayune that the rehearing request has little to no chance of success, calling the petition “really uncalled for.”

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