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Idaho House Approves Bill to Impose Death Penalty for Heinous Child Sex Crimes | The Gateway Pundit

Screenshot: Rep. Bruce Skaug/KMVT11

The Idaho House of Representatives passed House Bill 515 on Tuesday, a measure that could see the death penalty extended to severe sex crimes against children under the age of 12.

The Idaho Capital Sun reports that this legislative action, championed by Republican legislators, targets particularly egregious offenses, potentially including cases involving repeat offenders.

The bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Bruce Skaug (R-Nampa), emphasized the intent to address the darkest aspects of criminal behavior against children.

“There is a deep, dark, 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, underlining the necessity for such legal measures.

The bill was passed on a 57-11 vote.

The bill states, “This legislation amends Idaho Codes 18-1508 and 19-2515 to allow a sentence of capital punishment for a person convicted of lewd conduct with a minor, if said minor is under the age of twelve (12) and there are aggravating circumstances. Upon conviction, a jury will make the decision of whether to implement the death penalty. A judge may decide the sentence if a jury is waived by the defendant.”

The bill aims to amend Section 18-1508 of the Idaho Code to address lewd conduct with minors under the age of sixteen.

The revised legislation prohibits any lewd or lascivious acts upon or with a minor child under twelve years of age, including genital-genital contact and oral-genital contact. These amendments highlight the state’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being and innocence of minors from harmful behaviors.

Furthermore, the bill also revises provisions regarding sentencing in capital cases and aggravating circumstances, as outlined in Section 19-2515 of the Idaho Code. The changes seek to ensure that appropriate penalties are imposed in cases where individuals are found guilty of heinous crimes against minors.

The emergency declaration attached to the bill underscores the urgency of its implementation, with an effective date set for July 1, 2024.

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling in Kennedy v. Louisiana, which prohibited the death penalty for child rape, and questions regarding the constitutionality of such measures, Skaug, an attorney by profession, expressed confidence in the current Supreme Court’s potential to reach a different verdict.


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