As if it were that simple. Let us see why victims’ rights groups like the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault that have a much better understanding of the issue actually disagree with Gerald and support the Supreme Court’s decision on Kennedy v. Louisiana (emphasis mine) :
The National Association of Social Workers also support the court’s 5-4 decision:
“The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) supports the Supreme Court’s decision, released this morning to overturn the death penalty for child sexual assault cases. Victim advocates have long been concerned that the death penalty for child sexual assault cases could backfire and result in lower reporting rates and fewer convictions of sex offenders.
“The issue of child sexual abuse is complex. Most child sexual abuse victims are abused by a family member or close family friend. The reality is that, child victims and their families may feel greater reluctance to come forward, knowing that doing so could effectively send a grandparent, cousin or long time family friend to death row. In addition, capital punishment trials are notoriously stressful for the witnesses involved, and typically face a lengthy appeals process. This forces the child witness to relive these painful events over and over again, severely disrupting their healing process.
“We are heartened that the Court found the real-life experiences of victims and their families, as well as research on the reporting of child sexual abuse, persuasive. This ruling supports the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse while providing an opportunity for victims to heal,” said NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH.