"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, February 22, 2008

They Say it All

HT to Crime and Consequences for catching this story via the Guardian:
Relatives of two of the five women murdered by [U.K. serial killer] Steve Wright today urged the government to bring back the death penalty following his conviction.
Statements read out on behalf of the family of Tania Nicol and Paula Clennell — Wright's first and last victims — called for the killer to face the same fate as his victims.
"Today as this case has come to an end, we would like to say justice has been done but we are afraid that whilst five young lives have been cruelly ended, the person responsible will be kept warm, nourished and protected. In no way has justice been done," said the Nicol family.
Describing Wright as a "monster", they added: "These crimes deserve the ultimate punishment and that can only mean one thing."
"The public must insist the government ensure the return of the death penalty for these kinds of things or many other families will go through the kind of suffering we have endured."
Clennell's mother, Isabella, said Wright's "lies and excuses" made her feel sick.
"Who knows, she [my daughter] may have been off the drugs and leading a normal life. At least she would have had that choice. Steve Wright took that choice away from her and the other four girls.
"I wish we still had the death penalty because this is what he deserves. He has murdered five girls but at the same time ruined a lot more lives."
Annette Nicholls' family expressed relief that Wright was no longer capable of terrorising young women.
"At last we can rest in peace that this man is no longer on the streets of Ipswich ready to take another girl's life."
But they added: "No punishment this person receives will ever be enough for us. This man has robbed a little boy of a mother he adored, the parents of a loving and much loved daughter and siblings of a loving sister."

These victims' families hit almost instinctively on a couple of reasons the DP is necessary and just in a well-ordered society:

1) Just Desserts: for some crimes, only the DP adequately addresses the moral equilibrium upset by the offender; that is, the only congruent satisfaction for the death of (especially) innocent victims is the death of the offender.

2) Deterrence: other families might also suffer such crimes if this offender is not executed (i.e., he might be paroled, pardoned, escape, or kill in prison), and some, if admittedly not all, other offenders will be deterred from such crimes.

There will always be some crimes that cry out for the ultimate punishment. As long as there are, there will be strong support for capital punishment, yes, even in England, where, as Nino the Sage mentioned, public support, as in most of Europe, has been favorable towards capital punishment.

1 comment:

dudleysharp said...

This, from the French daily Le Monde, December 2006 (1):

Percentage of respondents in favor of executing Saddam Hussein:  
Great Britain: 69%
France: 58%
Germany: 53%
Spain: 51%
Italy: 46%
USA: 82%

We are led to believe there isn't death penalty support in England or Europe. European governments won't allow executions when their populations support it: they're anti democratic. (2)

97%+ of Guatemalans support the death penalty. 2.6% oppose
(telephone survey, newspaper Prensa Libre, 2/14/08)

79% support the resumption of hanging in Jamaica. 16% oppose.  (Bill Johnson Polling for The Gleaner (Jamaica) Newspaper, 1/12-13/08

(1) The recent results of a poll conducted by Novatris/Harris for the French daily Le Monde on the death penalty shocked the editors and writers at Germany's left-leaning SPIEGEL ONLINE (Dec. 22, 2006). When asked whether they favored the death penalty for Saddam Hussein, a majority of respondents in Germany, France and Spain responded in the affirmative.

(2)An excellent article, “Death in Venice: Europe’s Death-penalty Elitism", details this anti democratic position (The New Republic,  by Joshua Micah Marshall, 7/31/2000). Another situation reflects this same mentality. "(Pres. Mandela says 'no' to reinstating the death penalty in South Africa - Nelson Mandela against death penalty though 93% of public favors it, according to poll. "(JET, 10/14/96). Pres. Mandela explained that ". . . it was necessary to inform the people about other strategies the government was using to combat crime." As if the people didn't understand. South Africa has had some of the highest crime rates in the world in the ten years, since Mandela's comments. "The number of murders committed each year in the country is as high as 47,000, according to Interpol statistics." As of 2006, 72% of South Africans want the death penalty back. ("South Africans Support Death Penalty",  5/14/2006,  Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research).