06-09-06 - A bill to allow the death penalty for repeat child molesters is now law. Without comment, Governor Henry signed the legislation into law Friday.
Anyone convicted a second time of rape, forcible sodomy, lewd molestation or rape by instrumentation of a child under 14 could be put to death. Oklahoma joins Florida, Louisiana, Montana and South Carolina. South Carolina's governor signed that state's law Thursday.
Defense attorneys and death penalty experts say the law is likely to be found unconstitutional if challenged. No one convicted of a sex offense has been executed since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty 30 years ago. However one inmate is on death row in Louisiana following his 2003 conviction for raping an 8-year-old girl.
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