Before it was taken down, thousands of West Virginians had signed a petition on the White House petition website for the public hanging of a man arrested for the death of a 10-month-old girl who died after a vicious sexual assault and beating.
The infant died early in October, removed from life support after being hospitalized with injuries suffered from a vicious sexual assault and beating allegedly perpetrated by Benjamin Taylor, the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother, according to police.
The story caused outrage throughout the state and soon a petition was posted to the White House petition website demanding that if proven guilty Taylor should be publicly hanged.
The petition proved so popular that in about four days over 50,000 people had signed onto the effort.
However, without any explanation, Obama’s White House deleted the petition some time on Friday, October 7, Tribune Media reported.
The petition writer, who signed the posting simply as “J.R.,” explained why he was demanding a public hanging on the now deleted petition.
“Prison is too good for child rapists and their ilk,” J.R. wrote. “I would move to say that our ‘justice system’ is even a part of the problem, in that incarceration is hardly justice when it comes to such an awful act… Let us hang these creatures publicly. Let us make examples of them, and allow the American people to attend these hangings so that the accused may be ridiculed.”
Charleston, West Virginia, police arrested the 32-year-old Taylor and charged him with first-degree sexual assault after the child was found unresponsive in an apartment building basement. Once the baby died, though, Taylor’s charges were upgraded to murder.
Police reported finding bloody blankets and baby clothing in the laundry room and a later hospital examination not only revealed trauma caused by sexual assault but found bruises, cuts and massive bleeding on the child’s head and face that was likely caused by repeated strikes.
Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs said he was entirely shocked by the crime.
“I’ve been here 25 years, and we’ve never encountered something of this nature,” Boggs exclaimed. “I don’t know if we’ve had anything like this near here.”
West Virginia repealed its death penalty law in 1965, although there has been some recent interest in reviving the punishment.
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