Does 18 U.S.C. § 242 Permit the Death Penalty for Child Rape?:
After reading about the Supreme Court's order seeking briefing on rehearing in Kennedy v. Louisiana, a reader e-mails in with a question: Is 18 U.S.C. § 242 another federal law that also permits the death penalty for child rape? I did some quick research into the matter. To my surprise, my tentative answer is "yes."

  [UPDATE: Ah, the beauty of tentative answers is how easy they are to change! In the comment thread, Kent Scheidegger points out 18 U.S.C.A. § 3591, a statute that (as I presently understand it) appears to trump the language § 242. Under § 3591, the death penalty cannot be charged unless death results in a federal criminal case even if the statute itself appears to authorize it. So as I understand things, § 242 on its face appears to authorize the death penalty for crimes including child rape, for the reasons explored below, but such a prosecution could not be brought under § 3591. I apologize for the confusion, and thank Kent for the comment.]