"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

Monday, January 28, 2008

Yet Sanity Prevails Elsewhere...

There is hope north of the Mason-Dixon, however. Connecticut has tightened up on violent criminals and rejected an effort to abolish the death penalty in response to a particuarly brutal home invasion/triple murder sex crime perpetrated by a couple of revolving door parolees with a rap sheet including burglaries.

You can't squelch people's inherent sense of the justice of sentencing some offenders to death.

New Jersey drops its Guard

As promised, although not particularly timely... some reflections on the abolition of the DP in New Joisy.

The NY Times ran a fawning piece lauding the wonders of the NJ legislature and governor for their bravery in abolishing the death penalty.

I’ll pass over for now the governor’s laughable, hypocritical, and sanctimonious declaration that NJ’s dp was “endorsement of violence begets violence,” and his wondering whether “violence undermines our commitment to the sanctity of life” with respect to the dp. After all, this is the same governor who has a 100% rating from NARAL, and whose soft-hearted commitment to the sanctity of life does not extend to partially-delivered babies, whom he believes abortionists should be allowed to kill while they are in the birth process. He also opposed making it a crime to harm or kill an unborn child during the commission of another crime. But no doubt Corzine would reply that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Odd how the revered right to a jury trial becomes expendable for liberals when the jury in question finds a defendant guilty and sentences him to death.

The governor, in commuting the sentences of the eight convicted murderers on death row in NJ, for reasons wholly unrelated to the facts of the specific cases, has interfered with the jury system, denied the people of NJ their right to have prosecutions passed upon by juries, and the rights of the jury under the rule of law to have their decisions respected in the absence of some error that casts doubt on that particular case.

The people, as is usually the case, are right when they sense that some offenders deserve to die, and that no punishment short of death will address the heinousness of their crimes, nor serve to ensure that they will never offend again. The guv and his hench-persons have just made NJ a much less safe place in which to live.

On December 15, just days before our heroes finished making NJ safer for murderers, a Bloods gang member who had been convicted in the killing of a rival gang-banger, and another man awaiting trial for robbery and gun charges, escaped from the most secure portion of the Union County jail.

Of course, this is not an isolated incident. Escapes from prison, even max security facilities, happen, such as this max-security breakout case from South Carolina, or in this series of similar episodes.

So much for the hope that life-without-parole can ultimately protect society. LWOP certainly doesn’t protect prison guards and other inmates. It doesn’t protect the public, either, when politicians grant commutations, paroles, or when convicts are farmed out to half-way houses and other similar feel-good alternatives to incarceration. And of course, when the nut-jobs like Sr. Prejean finish weeping for the killers among us and have convinced enough soft-headed legislatures to follow NJ’s lead, the very next target of their preferential option for criminals will be…. LWOP.

I think it will be only a matter of time before New Jersians reconsider. After all, there are some defendants that just need killing.

The view from New Jersey.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back Again

Fear not... although posting was severly interupted by a combination of a workplace block on accessing blogsites, the demands of work (an uncanny confluence of several jury trials, out-of-town prosecutions, and just plain caseload) and the holiday season... I have returned!

Among the issues near and dear that I shall post on presently are the disastrous decision in New Jersey to abolish the death penalty, giving much holiday joy to the various deviant murderers awaiting their just desserts on Jersey's sadly slow death row, the Supremes taking on the supposed cruel and unusual nature of lethal injection, thoughts on waterboarding (is it really torture?), and of course, real true stories of life on the front line of criminal prosecution.

Stay tuned.