"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 08, 2013

More on Lori

Abp. Lori, in addition to telling us that the death penalty violates the Church's teaching that life is sacred from birth to natural death, also opined, according to National Catholic Reporter, that:
Catholic teaching tells us, he said, that "when other punishment options are available to government that sufficiently protect the public’s safety, we should not resort to the death penalty, not even in the case of one who takes the life of another human being."
In this blast from the past, we see a good example (H/T Crime and Consequences)of why Abp. Lori, while competent to teach on doctrine and moral principles,  is not a reliable source for such criminology pronouncements as "life without parole sentences render the death penalty unnecessary."
In 1966 (Dennis) Stanworth was sentenced to death for the brutal kidnapping, rape and murder of two 15-year-old Pinole (California) teens, Caree Collison and Susan Box. Their family members are still haunted by the crime."He had them strip and Caree ran and he yelled at her if you don't come back, I'm going to kill your friend. She came back and he shot her in the head," a family member said...Stanworth sat on San Quentin's death row for seven years. Then everything changed."The first step was when the California Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court determined that the death penalty was unconstitutional," Uncommon Law's Keith Whattley said.That meant, by the mid-1970s, 174 death row inmates had their sentences reduced to life in prison. At the time, California did not have life without parole, so all were eligible for release.Besides Stanworth, the group included Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan, who murdered Robert Kennedy in 1968. Manson and Sirhan were not released, but Stanworth and 50 others were eventually set free.Among them was Robert Massie, who was convicted of murder in 1965 and sentenced to death. In 1978 he was paroled; eight months later, he murdered a San Francisco liquor store owner. In 2001, after the death penalty was reinstated, Massie was executed.
And Stanworth?
Stanworth was released in 1990. The parole board cited his good behavior and "excellent work record." Stanworth settled in Vallejo, re-married and lived a quiet life in a gated golf course community where some neighbors even knew of his past.
"I figured he had paid for his mistakes according to the law," neighbor Irving Vanderberg said.
But on Jan. 11, Vallejo police arrested Stanworth for killing his 90-year-old mother Nellie Stanworth at his home.
Sure, some who commit premeditated murder might be 'rehabilitated' and never re-offend.  But why should society bear the burden of that high-stakes risk? Isn't it more likely (and therefore the better basis for a policy decision)  that a person who would murder will likely never overcome to a reasonable level of certainty a  propensity for violence?

No, Archbishop Lori, whatever the Catechism is referring to when it speaks of "means" for rendering offenders harmless, it certainly cannot mean mere imprisonment, even life without parole, which can be, like the death penalty was, and probably will be in Maryland,  altered by the whim of a single legislative session or the pardon power of a single governor.

1 comment:

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Where do these bishops get off at? Why do they ignore 2000 years of Christian, Catholic tradition? Why do men like Lori show more concern for the guilty than their victims? And why do they ignore the reality that murderers, like any other criminal, are very likely to reoffend, unless they are given the severest punishment for their crime? The death penalty is the only sure way to guarantee a murderer won't reoffend. When will our Abp. Lori and bloggers like Shea understand this simple fact?