WASHINGTON D.C., JUNE 25, 2008: In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court earlier today struck down as cruel and unusual punishment a law that allowed the death penalty for child rape, reserving the ultimate punishment only for cases involving murder. "The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child," wrote the Court, in voiding a Louisiana law.
In an accompanying decision, the Court voted 8-0 in declaring that a public outcry for the immediate death of Bonnie Overturf, a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchisee whose employees (she was not on the scene) refused a mother’s multiple urgent request to use the employee bathroom because her five year old daughter with explosive diarrhea was in danger of soiling herself, "is also a little over the top." With the restroom unavailable, the child was forced seek another bathroom in a nearby theater, but did not make it in time. "My daughter was humiliated, forced to defecate on herself due to the lack of compassion exhibited by the store," the mother later said, according to a story in the Orange Country Register. Overturf said her employees were following insurance policies for her store, and there were at least a dozen restrooms near the store the mother could have used.
Though the Court refused to rule on the legality of the lynch mob's second choice -- throwing feces at Overturf's home -- Justice David Souter opined that "Boycotting the store" in Huntington Beach, CA's Bella Terra Mall "is probably sufficient remedy. Besides, it will take at least a week to clean all the chocolate-dipped strawberries -- and even then will you really be able to tell if she got everything? It's a chocolate store, for Chrissakes! Ms. Overturf will be lucky to have any customers until after the July 4th holiday."
Justice Clarence Thomas abstained on principle, saying, “The Constitution has no jurisdiction over fecal matters.”