Words such as "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman" become the focus of a proposed new law aimed at some people who commit some of the worst crimes.
The state senate is about to send the house a proposal to put in prison until they die those who rape or sodomize children younger than 12.
Although child rapists can be sentenced to life now, the law allows them a chance to be paroled after thirty years.
This bill says they would never get out, for anything—not even to go home and die.
Senator Jack Goodman’s bill provides that penalty if the attack on the young child is, as it is put, "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved torture or depravity of mind." Goodman says the same language is used in murder cases where the prosecutor seeks the death penalty. "There are reams of case law coming up with definitions of this language," he says.
Judges usually give jurors instructions that tell them how decades of case law has defined those terms and tell jurors how to find those qualities in their deliberations and then what the outcome should be if they agree those issues are present in the case.
One more round of voting sends the bill to the House.
Link to SB36&112