"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

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Evil, But Not Very Smart (Warning: Offensive Language)

Virginia recently executed Paul Warner Powell. This was an interesting case on a few points.

First, the crimes were, as usual with death penalty cases, atrocious and inhuman:
Stacey, 16, Kristie, 14, were sisters. Powell knew their family and went to their house on the day of the murder. From the summary of the Supreme Court's denial of Powell's habeas appeal:

After Powell raped Kristie, he dressed himself, and he used shoelaces taken from Kristie's shoes to tie her feet together. He also used shoelaces to tie her arms behind her back. Someone knocked on the door to the house, and Powell went upstairs, leaving Kristie naked and bound on the basement floor.
While Powell was upstairs, Kristie was able to free her hands, and she tried to "scoot" across the floor and hide beneath the basement steps. Powell returned to the basement, removed Kristie's eyeglasses, and strangled her until she was unconscious. Powell stabbed Kristie in the stomach, and the knife stopped within a centimeter of her aorta. He slashed her in her neck numerous times, and the repair of the knife wounds required 61 sutures. She had multiple stab wounds to her neck and abdomen. She also had wounds on her wrists.

Stacy fared even worse:
Stacey's death was caused by a stab wound to her chest. The wound pattern indicated that the blade of the knife pierced her heart and was twisted upon withdrawal. The blade of Powell's knife was consistent with the stab wounds. There were numerous bruises on Stacey's head, neck, chest, abdomen, back, arms, and legs. She suffered stab wounds in her back and arm. She also had abrasions on her left hand and wrist that were characterized as defensive wounds. Stacey's body contained bruises on her lower neck that were consistent with someone stepping or stomping on her face and neck.
After his arrest, Powell was found in possession of a knife with blood on it which matched the DNA of Stacey. He admitted raping Kristie and said he had had an argument with Stacey about her supposedly dating a black man.

The second interesting thing about this case is that after his first capital murder conviction was reversed and remanded, Powell wrote this letter to Paul Ebert, the Commonwealth's Attorney who had prosecuted him:
Mr. Ebert,
Since I have already been indicted on first degree murder and the Va. Supreme Court said that I can't be charged with capital murder again, I figured I would tell you the rest of what happened on Jan. 29, 1999, to show you how stupid all of y'all mother fuckers are.
Y'all should have known that there is more to the story than what I told by what I said. You had it in writing that I planned to kill the whole family. Since I planned to kill the whole family, why would I have fought with Stacie before killing her? She
had no idea I was planning to kill everybody and talked and carried on like usual, so I could've stabbed her up at any time because she was unsuspecting.
I had other plans for her before she died. You know I came back to the house after
Bobby's lunch break was over and he had went back to work. When I got back, she was on the phone so I went inside and I laid down on the couch. When the cab came to bring me my pager, I ran out of the house and she jumped and got off the phone and came off the porch to see why I ran out of the house like I did. When the cab left we went in the house. I laid on the couch again and she went to her room and got her clothes and went downstairs to do her laundry. When she went downstairs, I got up and shut and locked the back door and went downstairs. We talked while she put her clothes in the wash. We continued talking when she had everything in the wash and I reached over and touched her tit and asked if she
wanted to fuck. She said no, because she had a boyfriend.
I started arguing with her because she had never turned anybody down because of having a boyfriend. "We started walking upstairs, arguing the whole time. When we got upstairs we went to her room and she turned the radio off. After she turned
the radio off I pushed her onto her bed and grabbed her wrists and pinned her hands down by her head and sat on top of her. I told her that all I wanted to do was fuck her and then I would leave and that we could do it the easy way or the hard way.
She said she would fuck me so I got up. After I got up, she got up and started fighting with me and clawed me face. We wrestled around a little and then I slammed her to the floor. When she hit the floor I sat on top of her and pinned her hands down
again. She said she would fuck me and I told her that if she tried fighting with me again, I would kill her.
When I got up she stood up and kept asking me why I was doing this and all I kept saying is take your clothes off. Finally she undid her pants and pulled them down to her ankles. She was getting ready to take them the rest of the way off and the phone
rang. When she heard the phone she pulled her pants back up and said she had to answer the phone. I pushed her back and said no. She said that she wouldn't say anything about me being there and I told her no and to take her clothes off.
She tried to get out of the room again and I pushed her back and pulled out my knife. I guess she thought I was just trying to scare her and that I wouldn't really stab her because she tried to leave again.
When she got to me and tried to squeeze between me and the door jam I stabbed her. When I stabbed her, she fell back against the door jam and just looked at me with a shocked look on her face.
When I pulled the knife out she stumbled a couple steps and fell in her sister's
room. I walked over and looked at her. I saw that she was still breathing so I stepped over her body and into the bedroom. Then I put my foot on her throat and stepped up so she couldn't breath. Then I stepped down and started stomping on her throat. Then I stepped back onto her throat and moved up and down putting more pressure to make it harder to breathe.
When I didn't see her breathing anymore, I left the room and got some iced tea and sat on the couch and smoked a cigarette. You know the rest of what happened after that point.
I would like to thank you for saving my life. I know you're probably wondering how you saved my life, so I'll tell you.
You saved my life by fucking up. There were main fuck-ups you made that saved me. The first was the way you worded my capital murder indictment. The second was the comment you made in your closing argument when you said we won't know because he won't tell us.
One more time, thank you! Now y'all know everything that happened in that house at 8023 McLean St. on Jan. 29, 1999.
I guess I forgot to mention these events when I was being questioned. Ha Ha! Sike!
I knew what y'all would be able to prove in court, so I told you what you already
knew. Stacey was dead and no one else was in the house so I knew ya'll would never know everything she went through unless she came back to life.
Since the Supreme Court said I can't be charged with capital murder again, I can tell you what I just told you because I no longer have to worry about the death penalty. And y'all are supposed to be so goddamn smart. I can't believe that y'all thought I told you everything.
Well, it's too late now. Nothing you can do about it now so fuck you you fat, cocksucking, cum guzzling, gutter slut. I guess I'll see your bitch ass on Dec. 18 at trial because I'm not pleading to shit. Tell the family to be ready to testify and relive it all again because if I have to suffer for the next 50 or 60 years or however long then they can suffer the torment of reliving what happened for a couple of days.
I'm gone. Fuck you and anyone like you or that associates with people like you. I almost forgot, fuck your god, too. Jesus knows how to suck a dick real good. Did
you teach him?
Well, die a slow, painful, miserable death. See ya punk.
Do you just hate yourself for being so stupid and for fuckin' up and saving me?
Sincerely,
Paul Powell.
The last interesting point in this case is that Powell elected to be executed by electric chair, not by lethal injection. According to Powell's attorney, "most of the [death-row] inmates have a serious concern that lethal injection is administered incorrectly and that there is a high probability they will be suffocated to death and not killed in the way . . . it is intended to kill."

Here is an excellent first-hand account
of Powell's execution.

...Paul Ebert was present to witness the execution. Powell did not live another 50 or 60 years, as he had predicted.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Novus Ordo Seclorum, Act I

It's unfortunate that, lost in the media narrative of the Leadership Conference on Women Religious and the Catholic Health Association advocating for the Obama Health Care bill, which portrays a rift between the bishops and these marginal Catholic advocacy groups, is the larger question of why any Catholic would support an effective government takeover of a large portion of our economy.

This effort to eliminate the private sector and personal choice from health care is nothing other than socialism, and the Church has unequivocally condemned it:

"People differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition. Such inequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community"
--Leo XIII

"The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person − every person − needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.… In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) − a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human."

Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, n. 28.

"Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist."

Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno.

"To sum up, in the words of a capable anonymous writer in 'The Quarterly Review', Socialism has for 'its philosophical basis, pure materialism; its religious basis is pure negation; its ethical basis the theory that society makes the individuals of which it is composed, not the individuals society, and that therefore the structure of society determines individual conduct, which involves moral irresponsibility; its economic basis is the theory that labour is the sole producer, and that capital is the surplus value over bare subsistence produced by labour and stolen by capitalists; its juristic basis is the right of labour to the whole product; its historical basis is the industrial revolution, that is the change from small and handicraft methods of production to large and mechanical ones, and the warfare of classes; its political basis is democracy. . . . It may be noted that some of these [bases] have already been abandoned and are in ruins, others are beginning to shake; and as this process advances the defenders are compelled to retreat and take up fresh positions. Thus the form of the doctrine changes and undergoes modification, though all cling still to the central principle, which is the substitution of public for private ownership'". (Catholic Encyclopedia).

Organized theft and state-sanctioned envy are not Catholic principles. No Catholic should support this bill, even if outlawed abortion.

P.S., for what it's worth, the bill is also patently unconstitutional, if such quaint concerns are of any weight.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nice...



Not bad for a Ford Taurus...











Although Ford will only offer a V-6 package, the Interceptor will have 115 more horsepower than the V-8 Crown Vic, the old war-horse of many police fleets.