"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, March 30, 2012

Consider the Source

Sigh. Much as I hate to do it, I've been asked about it, so here it is. Pope Shea again pontificates about the death penalty, this time using this graphic put out by that reliable source of capital punishment information, Amnesty International. (Yes, the same AI that sponsors "solidarity with Iran" rallies, scandal-ridden secret buyouts of their leadership, supports "gay marriage" as a fundamental human right, just to name a very few of the many interesting positions of this advocacy group). Now, the purpose of this graphic is to argue thusly: since other countries that are "bad" resort to capital punishment, and the United States resorts to capital punishment, the United States' use of capital punishment is bad.

I had attempted to make the following comment over at Shea's, including some reference to other comments in the combox, but apparently the vitriol and hate of the following comment (as closely as I can reconstruct it) led to its blocking:


A few comments are in order. First, the death penalty in the US is resorted to in about 0.5% of murder cases. Not exactly an orgy of bloodlust. It actually seems like the death penalty is almost "rare, if not non-existent" to echo a certain well-repeated phrase.

Second, the Catholic Church has always and everywhere Magisterially taught that resort to the death penalty is a vindication of the 5th Commandment's prohibition against murder, and is a requirement of the natural virtue of justice. That certain contemporary sources emphasize a purely practical resort to the death penalty does not and cannot alter fundamental Church teaching on a matter of morality such as this ancient teaching on the death penalty.

Last, the resort to graphic above is simply a logical fallacy of association, and
as such, needs no refutation beyond pointing out its utter illogic.
That was the substantial gist of my comment over at Papa Shea's. One wonders why he's afraid of reasoned critique of his material. After all, it's not as if I added that engaging in the type of cheap dishonest rhetoric represented by his post shows Shea for the blustering, lying, ill-educated phony he is.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Killer kills in prison

California inmate serving a life sentence kills fellow inmate.

The indictment alleges that [Samuel] Stone murdered Michael Anita on July 30, 2003, while they were housed in a segregation unit at the U.S. penitentiary in Atwater. At the time, Stone was serving a life sentence for two separate homicides in 1999, according to a joint news release from the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento.Stone, 32, "from at least age 15 and continuing into his adult life, engaged in a continuing pattern of violent criminal conduct," the notice of intent states.The Anita murder "involved serious physical abuse to the victim," and was committed "after substantial planning and premeditation," the notice says.Further, it says, Stone "has displayed no remorse for the murder," and he "poses a continuing danger" to inmates, prison guards and other officials "at correctional institutions where he is or will be incarcerated."
Life imprisonment does not render offenders harmless; it simply shifts the risk of re-offense from the general public to inmates and prison staff.