"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, August 21, 2012

Rendering Offenders Harmless, Part 36

By way of Crimes and Consequences we learn that the death sentence handed down to Eric Robert by a South Dakota judge has been upheld.

It seems that Robert was in prison serving an 80 year sentence in maximum security prison for kidnapping  "a young woman.  At the time of the kidnapping, Robert’s vehicle contained rope, a shovel, and pornographic material."  While in prison for this, Robert:
assaulted [prison guard Ronald] Johnson by striking him with a lead pipe which they had acquired earlier specifically for that purpose. Johnson was repeatedly struck on the face and head with the lead pipe. An expert testified that the blows to the head continued after Johnson was on the ground. The attack fractured Johnson’s skull in at least three locations and exposed a portion of his brain. He also suffered defensive wounds to his hands and arms. After immobilizing Johnson with the pipe, Robert and Berget wrapped Johnson’s head in plastic wrap which prevented him from crying out and also from breathing.
Robert then dressed himself in Johnson’s uniform and Berget climbed into a box placed on a four-wheel cart.  Robert, dressed as Johnson, pushed the cart toward the west gate of the penitentiary.  After observing that Robert did not swipe an ID badge, Correctional Officer Jodi Hall confronted Robert about his identity.  When Robert’s explanation did not satisfy her, Hall notified Officer Matt Freeburg.  Freeburg told Hall to call the Officer in Charge.  At this time, Berget sprang from the box and he and Robert began assaulting Freeburg.  The inmates used Johnson’s radio to beat Freeburg.  Hall issued a distress call “Code Red – Code 3” on her radio.  While Berget continued the assault on Freeburg, Robert attempted to scale the exterior gate of the penitentiary but became entangled in razor wire.  Robert then attempted to grab a gun from the responding officers.
Manifestly, the "non-lethal means" used by South Dakota to render Robert harmless failed miserably, to the detriment of Officer Johnson and his loved ones.

Again, one must ask the Catholic abolitionist establishment, given this and many other like cases, just what "non-lethal means" we have at our disposal to render such offenders harmless, so that recourse to capital punishment is unnecessary or unjust in this country.

I won't hold my breath.

2 comments:

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Make Mark Shea a prison guard so he can learn how to 'render offenders harmless'!

Anonymous said...

rwasve 8-20Too much emphasis on pasifying the offender rather than serving the victim.