"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, April 28, 2017

Rendering Offenders Harmless, Part 47

 Convicted murderer, already ipso facto willing to take another's life without just cause, suspected of killing correctional guard.

The article from the Charlotte Observer pretty much lays out the sobering reality of the inability reliably to render violent offenders harmless merely by incarcerating them:

Prison Sgt. Meggan Callahan, who authorities say was killed in an attack by an inmate Wednesday evening, was responding to a fire that had been set inside Bertie Correctional Institution when she was assaulted.Hired to work for the prisons in 2012, Callahan, 29, was promoted to sergeant in February 2016.
She worked in a job that carries the constant risk of death and serious injury. Once every eight hours, on average, a North Carolina prison officer was assaulted last year.
Statewide, there were 1,160 assaults on state prison staff in 2016 – up from 1,136 the previous year, state figures show.
In 2015, another officer at Bertie – Marvin Garris, Jr. – sustained serious injuries to his eyes, head and face after an inmate attacked him. Garris and another officer were escorting 10 inmates out of a cell block and into a medical unit when the assault occurred, police say.
Inmate William Allen, Jr., 28, has been charged in that attack. He is serving time for second degree murder and armed robbery.
In another 2015 case, an inmate at Bertie stabbed a prison staff member with a homemade weapon. Keisha Barnes, a correctional programs supervisor at Bertie, was in a sergeant’s office when inmate Joseph Gray entered and stabbed her, authorities say. Gray has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
The danger to officers is highest at Bertie and the state’s other large maximum security prisons, officers say. In one month alone – November 2014 – inmates committed 13 assaults on staff members at Lanesboro Correctional Institution, 45 miles southeast of Charlotte.
And that's just North Carolina, folks.
Meggan Callahan, RIP
The person whom we're to believe could be rendered "incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself," in the words of the Catechism (#2267), Craig Wissink, "received a life sentence for the shooting of John Lawrence Pruey during an attempted robbery in Fayetteville in June 2000."
Too bad for Sgt. Callahan that it was decided that Wissink's horrific act wasn't enough to convince us that for someone who can murder, no reasonable way exists to ensure he won't resort to murderous violence again.
How many more Sgt. Callahans have to die before we start valuing the life of innocent people over the lives of people who demonstrate they don't value human life at all?

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