We knew this was coming at the time the Lege was debating this awful bill, and now here it is.
The U.S. Supreme Court's review of whether the death penalty can be imposed against a Louisiana man convicted of raping a child will reverberate in Texas, which just last year passed its own law targeting those who prey on children.
How the court rules may determine whether Texas can implement the death-penalty portion of Jessica's Law, named after Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive.
A convicted sex offender was found guilty in Jessica's murder, spurring some states, including Texas, to examine their laws punishing sex offenders.
Texas' law adds the death penalty as an option in cases in which someone for a second time has been convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child under 14. The other possible penalty would be life without parole.
The Texas law also strengthens other sections of the law against aggravated sexual assault of children, including by providing for minimum sentences of 25 years.
Some worried whether imposing the death penalty against an offender who hasn't committed murder would pass constitutional muster. A clause in the law provides that the rest of it will stand if the death penalty portion is found unconstitutional.
Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, who worked on the Texas legislation, considers child rape to be a crime so heinous that the argument can be made that it is more damaging than murder.
At the same time, he didn't support putting the death penalty in the law because he said that could work against successful prosecution. Children most often are victimized by friends or family members, he said, and they may feel intense pressure against coming forward if their testimony might result in the death penalty.
Bradley sees more strength in the rest of the law. He is prosecuting what appears to be the first case in Texas that was brought under the law, but he is not seeking the death penalty.
The prosecutor said it's good that the Supreme Court is taking up the issue before Texas has a death-penalty prosecution under the law.
"It's a very healthy thing for the Supreme Court to take the case," he said.
Jim Harrington of the Texas Civil Rights Project, who favorably cited court rulings narrowing the instances in which the death penalty can be used, said, "It's good timing. We're right at the beginning of the Texas statute. ... It'll be good guidance from the get-go."