But before offering evidence of this “development,” he asserts, as he has before many times, that the U.S. “labours to keep itself on a list with Communist China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and sundry other Islamic despotisms to keep killing people on death row.” As I’ve pointed out before when Mr. Shea has resorted to this “argument:”
Shea also resorts to his old tactic of conflating the just and measured use of the death penalty as it is practiced in the Christian West, with the horrible excesses and murderous injustice of Islamic dominated regions, as though the due process, years of appeals, and extremely limited use of the death penalty in this country could be comparable to the wanton, reckless, and arbitrary use of barbaric methods of death imposed by the Muslims.
It's the logical fallacy of association and the bottom of the barrel resort for those who lack rational arguments. In short, it's a cheap huckster's ploy and a demagogic device. It's a losing argument's last resort.
During Holy Week this year, the Islamic Republic of Arkansas sought to slaughter eight men as quickly as possible for the highly principled reason that the chemicals used to kill men on death row were reaching their expiration date and needed to be use up so that good money did not go to waste.
Mr. Williams killed a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in December 1998 but escaped from a maximum-security prison after a jury sentenced him to life the next year. A few miles from the prison, he fatally shot Cecil Boren, a farmer who was working in the yard while his wife was at church, and stole his truck. Mr. Williams led the police into Missouri in a high-speed chase before he crashed into a car, killing the driver. In 2005, he confessed to killing a 36-year-old man the same day he shot the cheerleader.
Twenty-six year-old Debra Reese was found brutally murdered in her home at 212 Cherry Street in Jacksonville on February 9, 1993. She had been beaten some thirty-six times with a tire thumper, a tool resembling a baseball bat that her husband Billy, a truck driver, had given to her for protection while he was away. Bruises on Debra's face and neck indicated that she had also been strangled. Lee passed one of three crisp, new $100 bills the victim’s father had given her to pay a debt at a local business.
In 1995, Mr. Jones raped, beat and strangled Mary Phillips, who was 34, and beat and choked her daughter, Lacey, who was 11 at the time, to unconsciousness, but the girl survived. He has admitted guilt and said repeatedly that he did not want clemency.Mr. Williams [not the same as just mentioned], 46, kidnapped, robbed, raped and strangled Stacy Errickson in 1994, and has also admitted his guilt. Ms. Errickson, 22, had two children.
But Mr. Shea no doubt hopes that none of the facts of these crimes or the reality of the endless legal process and judicial review these cases undergo actually comes to the attention of his readers, because it does not fit the narrative that the US is Indonesia or North Korea. It's very difficult, indeed, to talk about what these criminals actually did, who their victims were, and how frequently the "system" is unequipped to render them anything close to harmless. The abolitionists cannot focus on the crimes themselves, or they lose the abstract sense of injustice they labor so hard to create.
And of course, none of this ad hominem, incomplete, off-topic treatment of the subject supports his theory that the abolitionist cause he and some unknown number of Western laity and clerics support is a “development” by which these executions run afoul of Catholic doctrine.