"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, November 22, 2011

Idaho Metes Out Justice

Idaho executes triple murderer.

Paul Rhodes went on a random killing spree in 1987. From the Supreme Court of Idaho's recitation of the facts in one of his convictions we learn that he first,
kidnapped twenty-one-year-old Stacy Baldwin from the Mini Barn convenience store in Blackfoot, Idaho, on February 28, 1987.   He drove her to a secluded area near the Snake River and shot her multiple times when she resisted his attack and attempted to escape.   One of the bullets pierced her lungs, and she died about one hour after he left her in the snow.
Then came 20 year old Nolan Haddon, who "died after lying overnight in a walk-in cooler at the Idaho Falls convenience store where he worked as a clerk. He had been shot five times, and his spinal cord had been severed."
Lastly, he brutally murdered 34 year old Susan Michelbacher. From the 9th Circuit opinion denying habeas relief to Rhodes, we learn that:
Michelbacher's body was found on March 21 in a remote, rural area. An autopsy revealed that she had been raped, she had been shot nine times — once while standing and the remaining times while lying down — and her attacker had ejaculated into her mouth when she was either almost dead or already dead.
The sentencing judge in the 1987 Michelbacher case called Rhoades’ crimes “wicked and vile, shockingly evil and designed to inflict a high degree of physical and mental pain with utter indifference to and with apparent enjoyment of the suffering of Mrs. Michelbacher.”

Mrs. Michelbacher left behind a grieving husband and now motherless two year old son.

May these victims rest in peace, their families have some consolation.

Some cases cry out for the ultimate punishment.

"He's going to get what he deserves."


So said little seven year old rape/murder victim Alyssa Maria Vasquez's mother as her killer was strapped to the gurney.

Texas executed the child rapist/murderer, Guadalupe Esparza, who had "been convicted in the past for assault, sexual assault and cocaine possession."

Some cases deserve the ultimate penalty. Regardless of whether a man like Esparza could be rendered harmless by some other means, his horrific crime, the terror and fright he inflicted on an innocent child before snuffing out her young life, cry out for this ultimate penalty, so that justice may be seen to have been done.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Strike Out

First he goes to bat for the worst of murdering thugs, now Papa Shea's apparently totally gone over to the hard left, supporting the so-called "Occupy" movement ("they have a very Catholic point"), including Occupy Seattle, which has, as its website logo, the red clenched fist of Communism.

His latest brief for the Communists is a lamentation that the police in Seattle were too rough on a certain Mr. Rich Lang, a United Methodist clergy-person, who was pepper sprayed during a scuffle between the revolutionaries and the police. Shea uncritically reports the complaint of Lang, who incidentally proclaims himself to be a "Liberation Theologian", that is, a Communist.

Shea asks whether we'll read Lang's account and not make excuses for the police.

I've got a better idea: how about instead of taking the word of an avowed Communist, an agitator participating in a movement characterized by violence, much of it directed against the police, Shea contacts the Seattle PD or consults the news media to attempt to figure out if Lang is being truthful. It took me no time at all to find this video of the supposedly "non-violent" protest at which Lang was sprayed, together with the mob that was blocking traffic and disrupting the lives of ordinary Seattle residents:

I don't know where the idea arose that the police should do nothing when a group of Communist agitators, or anyone else for that matter, blockade a public thoroughfare.

Here is more on the violence perpetrated by the supposedly non-volent demonstrators:

Officers gave numerous verbal warnings to get out of the street and back onto the sidewalk. At one point a 17-year-old female suspect swung a stick at an officer but failed to strike him. As officers moved in to arrest the female suspect the officers were hindered in their efforts. Officers deployed pepper spray to move subjects away from them so they could affect the arrest of the female suspect. She was taken into custody and will be booked into the Youth Service Center for Assault on an Officer.
...An adult male suspect assaulted an officer near 3rd Avenue and Wall Street.
...Demonstrators marched to 5th Avenue and Pine Street and subsequently blocked the intersection. Officers ordered the demonstrators to vacate the intersection (the oral warning was broadcast over a police public address system).
...Another adult male suspect threw an unknown liquid into an officer’s face. He was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for Failure to Disperse and Assault on an Officer.
...Pepper spray was deployed only against subjects who were either refusing a lawful order to disperse or engaging in assaultive behavior toward officers.
I found these sources in just a few minutes of checking. Shea couldn't be bothered.

What the police did here was exactly right: a warning to leave, and when that was ignored, removal by force, proportional, reasonable force. Pepper spray is very uncomfortable, I know, I've been sprayed full in the face in training. But it is not lethal, it is not lasting, it washes out. But it will make a "demonstrator" think of nothing else for a while besides getting to a source of water. If a "clergyman" or any other protester disregards the lawful demand of the police to move, he or she has only himself to blame if he is forcibly removed. And if a truly uninvolved, innocent bystander gets some pepper spray, I would suggest the fault lies not with police but with the thugs who caused the disturbance in the first instance.

Kudos to Seattle PD for not allowing these lawless idiots to take over the streets of Seattle from the law abiding citizens. The police are doing a fine job in the face of constant taunts, foul verbal abuse, and even physical attack by these Occupy radicals.

As for Shea, it's good enough that the Left complains: he'll uncritically regurgitate it, whether it be laments for a convicted cop-killer or uncritically smearing the police in his community.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

Shea, Strike Two.

I understand that Papa Shea is not an intellectual, he's a "controversialist." And that his urgent dislike is directed against anyone who supports the limited, just use of the death penalty.

But really, first he attempts to tie supporters of the limited, just use of the death penalty such as we have in the U.S. to the corpse of racist practices of the last millenia; now he holds his skirts and titters in mock wonderment that proponents of capital punishment aren't taking the Saudi example as a template for our own capital punishment jurisprudence.

I could throw out phrases like abusus non tollit usus, but that's Latin, so Mark wouldn't understand.

So let's just stick to the easy stuff: we don't yet have Sharia law in this country, so the chances of someone being convicted for sorcery, much less executed for it, are--what's the phrase? "practically non-existent." I'll go further and say that it will never happen unless and until Sharia becomes effective in some state, and then is viewed as trumping the Bill of Rights.

Until then, call me crazy, but I think it's intellectually plausible to condemn Islamic barbarism in Saudi Arabia without in the slightest affecting one's view of the propriety of capital punishment in the West.