"Allowing the death penalty for repeat sex offenders who rape a child younger than 6, punishing adults who provide liquor to teens in their homes by as much as life in prison and requiring at least one hour of counseling before a couple can seek a divorce all won the support Monday of a House committee.
House Bill 2965 is an attempt to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which basically nullified a 2006 law that allowed execution or life without parole of a person convicted of a second offense of rape or other sex crimes involving a child under 14 years old.
Rep. Rex Duncan, the bill's author, said the intent of his measure is to allow the death penalty or life without parole for convicted sexual offenders who are convicted of raping a child less than 6 years old.
"If the Supreme Court someday finds that this statute is unconstitutional I don't believe that the defendant would be entitled to a new trial or sentencing because it would revert back to the only other sentence that is available which would be life without parole," said Duncan, R-Sand Springs.
The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure 9-1. It now goes to the full House.