As if the abortion issue wasn't enough, coming up in this month's political debates - Capital Punishment

KELOTV.com has an interesting article on the request of Elijah Page to forgo any further appeals and to proceed forward with the death penalty. Why is it interesting? Well, for the fact that South Dakota hasn't put anyone to death in decades, we've really managed to avoid the question. Until now.

And the Catholic Church doesn't sound like it's going to take a seat during this debate:
A spokesperson for the Catholic bishops says death penalty cases are always cause for concern because they go against what the church teaches about respecting life. So before Elijah Page is put to death, expect to hear more about why religious leaders think he should be spared.

Elijah Page could become the first person put to death in South Dakota since 1947, which is something the Catholic church is anxious to prevent.

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, spokesperson for the U.S. Bishops says, "It's like a step backwards in time."

Church leaders say a justice system that allows for the taking of a human life doesn't send the message that killing itself is wrong.

Walsh says, "The church is very strong that you don't need the death penalty to protect society. Today in our criminal justice system we're able to protect society through our prison system."

She says the fact that Page is asking to die makes the church question his mental state.

Walsh says, "The desire to live is a basic desire. If someone says I want to give it all up that suggests they aren't operating in the right frame of mine."

And she says this kind of protest isn't about crossing a line between church and state.

She says, "This is more than a political matter. This is a matter of the direction of society. The church is a major force in society and it has a role in helping society reach its moral goals."
Read it all here.

Comments

Anonymous said…
At least she is consistent. I am amused by pro-lifers who think the dealth penalty is okay, and pro-choicers who think it's okay to have an abortion but not execute a serial killer.
Anonymous said…
kill the innocent and spare the guilty...or is it kill the guilty and spare the innocent?????
Anonymous said…
Let put things in perspctive.

Zero capital punishment executions in the past fifty years in SD.

25,000 abortions in the last thirty three years in SD.
Anonymous said…
The silence from south dakota right to life, and all the people claiming about the sanctity of all life this last march is interesting. It sounds like the sanctity of life is fickle.
lexrex said…
if you understood the "right to life," as understood by our founders, you'd know that a person may forfeit that right by committing a crime.

there is also a "right to liberty." for those of you who believe in that right, would it be right for me to call you hypocrites for thinking putting people in jail is okay?
Bob Ellis said…
I don't speak for South Dakota Right to Life, but I am pro life, and the death penalty is completely pro-life.

Besides making sure the convicted murder will never murder again, it makes the profound statement that our society values life so highly that only by giving ones life can the offender begin to make restitution for the innocent life they wrongfully took.

It is also completely Biblical. God instituted the death penalty in Genesis 9 after Noah and his family came off the ark: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." This predates the Mosaic Law, and was in no way affected by the coming of the Messiah. The oft-quoted passage from John 8 says more about they duplicity of the Pharisees in their attempt to entrap Jesus than it does about the death penalty. The Apostle Paul also affirms the legitimacy of the death penalty in Romans 13.

If we value human life then we will treat it with appropriate value. The murderer has robbed the victim of the years of their life, and has robbed their loved ones of the company of the victim. The closest the murder can come to making recompense is to give his own life. The death penalty is 100% pro-life.
Anonymous said…
lexrex is on the case. Start with a right to life -- which it says right there in the constitution can't be deprived w/o due process of law. Someone sentenced to death gets due process of law before being so sentenced. You can't say the same thing about the unborn fetus. It's apples and oranges.
Anonymous said…
Good to see Bob "6000 year old Earth" Ellis has weighed in with his always-persuasive opinion.

What would we do without him to shepherd us?
Anonymous said…
I love liberals who always resort to name calling and ad-hominem attacks when they can't seriously debate an issue.

It's show a real lack of intellectualy ability on the part of some on the left who continue to beleive that convicted murderers have more rights than inncoent unborn children.

The previous comment about due process is spot on. The key difference between the Right to Life crowd and the "save the vicuous axe murderer" crowd is that the murderer had due process of law the innoncent unborn child did not.
Jake Mortenson said…
First of all, props to Bob Ellis and others for at least listing his name, real or otherwise. Regardless of the content of his posts, he is at least willing to put his name out there on a popular blog in a small, gossipy state. In my opinion, that is very commendable.

My main problem with capital punishment is giving the state the power to put people to death. As a rule I am wary of the tyranny of the majority and government power, even if granted by a majority.
Check out this post to see the numbers on people killed by governments: http://blog.brutalcandor.com/2006/07/19/nats--or-nazis.aspx#Comment

Also, how many guilty persons' executions make up for one innocent person's execution by the state? I have a hard time answering that question.

Yet, empirical evidence mostly points to capital punishment as a statistically significant deterrent. Some figures I have seen from methodologically defendable studies is that for every 1 execution, the lives of 18 people have been saved. Given those figures, it is hard to argue against it as a deterrent.

Finally, while the Bible is a wonderful tool for spiritual and moral guidance, I reject using it as a means to justify laws. Less Bob forgets, not everyone is Christian. Yes Bob, they may all burn in hell for being heathens, but as long as they are in America and not Iran, they should be free from explicitly religious legislation. Explicity religious laws (Christian or otherwise) have a bad history of persecution. Unless, of course, your history book IS the Bible.
Anonymous said…
"Yet, empirical evidence mostly points to capital punishment as a statistically significant deterrent. Some figures I have seen from methodologically defendable studies is that for every 1 execution, the lives of 18 people have been saved. Given those figures, it is hard to argue against it as a deterrent."

Jake-that's crazy. I know you are still in school but ask your Dad or deal with someone who commits a murder or serious ag assault, punishment is not a concern. Beating the crap out of someone or killing them is their only concern not whether they are in Ill. which doesn't allow the death penalty or SD that does.

Lastly, Jake, get off your moral high ground on posting non-anon. Student. Go work for the USDA, AGs office, FBI, Public School, Local Bank and post using your name. Then you will have my respect.

Everylovingly,

Anon
Jake Mortenson said…
anon:

"Jake-that's crazy. I know you are still in school but ask your Dad or deal with someone who commits a murder or serious ag assault, punishment is not a concern. Beating the crap out of someone or killing them is their only concern not whether they are in Ill. which doesn't allow the death penalty or SD that does."

To use the same snarkiness you used in your post, at USD they teach us the difference between anecdotal evidence, such as that of my father or an attorney general, and empirical evidence, such as longitudinal studies by professional researchers. The majority of empirical studies I have read indicate that the death penalty has a negative effect on homicide. Are you claiming there is a substantial base of empirical evidence against this?

Next, as you substantiated by referencing my father, my name is not exempt from having consequences outside of this blog from comments. I may only be a student now, but I hope to have a future in this state too. I hope expressing my opinions on this and other blogs would not substantially comprimise that future. But if it does, so be it.
Anonymous said…
"I may only be a student now, but I hope to have a future in this state too. I hope expressing my opinions on this and other blogs would not substantially comprimise that future. But if it does, so be it."

Don't worry, Jake. As long as you have that R behind your name, you'll be fine. It really doesn't matter what you think, or if you're even mildly competent. Just keep that R there and it will be smooth sailing.
lexrex said…
anon 4:10, i think you're the right about punishment not being a concern for murderers.

however, the death penalty is without a doubt a deterrent. putting a murderer to death deters him from ever murdering again.

wasn't it bundy who escaped from prison only to kill again?

even if the convicted murderer is stuck in jail the rest of his life, the safety of other prisoners, the guards, and medical staff are still in jeopardy. he can kill again.

the only way to ensure that a murderer doesn't murder again is the death penalty.
Anonymous said…
So we should have killed bundy before his conviction and appeals process ended? Not a bad idea, anyone can escape Lexrex...exept for Bruce Whalen.

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