"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Friday, November 03, 2006

Deterrence

A man convicted of murdering a 5-year old boy and trying to kill the boy's mother pulls his time and now has murdered a 16-year old girl.

I suspect the death penalty is a general deterrent, at least marginally.

Applied to this killer, it indisputably would have deterred the death of this child.

HT: Crime and Consequences.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO SAYS...

Quite true, Tom. However, just try convincing Pope Benedict of that, since he was the one who put the late pope's prudential views on capital punishment into the Catechism! Or, just try convincing the late pope himself, since he was so infatuated with his ideas of abolition and Sola Incarcerata.

123txpublicdefender123 said...

So would life without parole.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"So would life without parole."

No such thing, at least not as a sure thing, dependent as it is upon the ever varying currents in politics and the judiciary to maintain over decades that a sentence of life without parole actually stays life without parole. Additionally, it does not deter such inmates from killing fellow inmates and prisoners.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"prisoners"

Freudian slip. Should have been guards. I have long viewed the guards as voluntary lifers themselves. We have two prisons in my rural county and I have represented many guards. A few like the job, but most view prison with only slightly more distate than the inmates or former inmates I have represented.

Windypundit said...

>>"So would life without parole."
>
>No such thing, at least not as
>a sure thing, dependent as it
>is upon the ever varying currents
>in politics and the judiciary

So we should kill people because we're worried that future legislatures and judges---with no less legitimacy than the current ones---may not have the willpower to keep them in jail?

Donald R. McClarey said...

"So we should kill people because we're worried that future legislatures and judges---with no less legitimacy than the current ones---may not have the willpower to keep them in jail?"

If one poses life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty, the burden is on those supporting this alternative to establish that life without parole isn't merely an illusion, which I believe it may well be. Many of the same individuals who wage ceaseless campaigns against the death penalty will, I suspect, be no longer enamored of life without parole, and wage ceaseless campaigns against it, if the death penalty is no longer on the table.

We should execute defendants when duly convicted of capital crimes because that is the law. If you don't like it, convince the majority of people in a state of the wisdom of abolishing the death penalty, elect legislators who will abolish it, and do so by changing the law.