While the Argus shows the debate between the candidates on the Death Penalty, KELO has an interesting article on Ol' Sparky

Today in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the candidates for Governor debate the merits of the Death Penalty from Mitchell as Governor Rounds contemplates the application of it for the first time in decades:
Rounds said he has laid out the process he will use to review the case of Elijah Page, 24, convicted and sentenced to death in the 2001 slaying of 19-year-old Chester Poage near Spearfish. A judge earlier this week granted Page's request to stop appeals, paving the way for execution perhaps later this month. As governor, Rounds has broad powers to issue pardons or to commute sentences.

and...

Democrat candidate Jack Billion of Sioux Falls said Tuesday the Page case and every other death-penalty case must to be judged on its own merits.

and...

"I'm not convinced it's an absolute necessity in South Dakota," he said. "I'm a little bit ambivalent about the death penalty right now, as a deterrent, as an economically feasible punishment."

and..

Willis said the death penalty isn't employed to exact vengeance.

"We're doing it for righteousness sake," he said.

"Why should we let him live when he killed somebody?'' Willis asked. "If somebody takes a life, what gives them a right to live?"

Gerber said he doesn't think the state should use the death penalty.
Read it all here as you make up your own mind on the application of the ultimate pubishment. Is it wisely applied justice, or is it an eye for an eye? Can that question can ever be answered as the debate becomes real in South Dakota for the first time in decades?

While on the whole topic over at KELOLAND.com, they have an interesting article on when the law was changed from using as Ol' Sparky as an instrument of execution to Ol' Sleepy.
In two weeks, Elijah Page will be the first person executed in South Dakota in nearly 60 years. Page will be given the lethal injection, which the legislature passed as the state's method of execution in 1984.

The South Dakota State penitentiary used its electric chair just once, in 1947.

In 1984, the legislature discussed getting rid of the chair for lethal injection, a combination of drugs that ends the life of a convict.

“Many people thought it was a more humane method of capitol punishment, as opposed to the horrific nature of electrocution,” says Scott Heidepriem, who was in the State House of Representatives at the time.

That's one reason Heidepriem argued in favor of the change. But the humane nature of lethal injection is also the same reason some legislators didn't want to use it.

“Is this method too convenient, too easy to administer?” Heidepriem says. “Or should capital punishment actually be horrific for those who witness it and those who experience it?”
Read it all here.

Comments

jack said…
Given the importance of the words "pro-life" this year, this certainly adds an interesting twist on the elections. What does it mean for the Right to Life crowd? Will they take this issue on? Does this mean the Catholic Church has more than one issue to talk about from the pulpit this year? And how does Rounds reconcile his deeply held religious beliefs with what I suspect is a wide-spread public support for the death penalty? I don't remember this being an issue in the last campaign, and I don't know if Rounds has ever clearly staked out a position. In the Argus story, Rounds talked a lot about process, but little about substance (which reminds me of the first abortion bill which was vetoed for technical reasons).

And I wonder if the process Rounds is talking about involves making a decision in mid-November.
Anonymous said…
Why does the left continually make a comparison between abortion (the taking of innocent life)and the death penalty (the taking of guilty life) they are not the same thing at all!

What part of this don't you understand?
Anonymous said…
It's pretty tough to make the case that Rounds will make the decision after the election when the execution is scheduled for the end of August.

If anyone hasn't staked out a postion, it's Billion through his own admission. This isn't an issue you can be "ambivalent" about and be the Governor.

The Governor doesn't have to reconcile his religous beliefs since the Catholic Catechism says, "Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty. (Ref. 2267)

And for those people who don't understand the difference between abortion and the death penalty, they should refer to 2261 of the Catholic Catechism, "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous." The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.
Anonymous said…
Where better to turn for Catholic dogma than the SDWC?

We've got all the bases covered here. Bob Ellis on fundamentalism. Notla and anon on Catholicism. And a variety of anons on all the rest. A virtual theological symphony!
Anonymous said…
What part of this don't you understand?

I hate to be the one to break this to you, Mr./Ms. 'Pro-Life,' but when you execute someone, it kills them!
Anonymous said…
What don't you people get? Most of us pro-lifers don't believe we're inconsistent at all. We're simply against killing of innocent life. Note the word innocent.
Anonymous said…
Maybe a compromise. In a country where long term incarceration is not possible, the death penalty seems acceptable for capital crimes. But when we have the capability to incarcerate a person for long term, that gives them the opportunity to repent before they die. That is a valid reason to oppose the death penalty. WWJD?
Notla said…
Since some nameless person, who had no intelligent thing to add to the discussion but wanted to see their pitiful little thoughts in print, invoked my name I will take the bait.

Those of you who are so opposed to the death penalty for a convicted, and many cases confessed, killer and yet speak in favor of abortion, the killing of a human who has done no wrong, are so hypocritical yourselves, and yet you say we are.
Anonymous said…
The Catholic position is a littl iffy right now. Documents put out by PJPII actually said the death penatly should only be used when necessary to protect the innocent. (sorry I don't have time to look up the code reference)

I think it is pretty hard to argue that Paige must be exicuted in order to protect any innocents. He could easily be kept in prision for life.
Anonymous said…
A fair amount of innocent people have been put to death, FYI.
Anonymous said…
Since 1973, at least 121 people have been released from death row after evidence of their innocence emerged.
Anonymous said…
At least in acknowledging that both abortion and the death penalty stop a beating heart, the libs are faced with accepting the reality of the humanity of the preborn child. It might be as close as they come to a rational thought on abortion.
Anonymous said…
Anon 2:00, since 1973 more than 46 million innocent Americans have been put to death without so much as a trial for the alleged crime that they are an inconvenience. On November 7, vote yes on referred law 6. It will help ease your conscience that our society is spilling the blood of the innocents.
Anonymous said…
Fetuses are no more innocent than pregnant women are guilty.
Anonymous said…
What is irrational about wanting exceptions made for innocent victims of rape and incest? It's easy to make decisions for other people when you will not be affected. Rational, compassionate people are not comfortable with making victims endure more suffering just so they will comply with other people's religious beliefs. And that is why South Dakota voters will defeat this law at the polls.
Anonymous said…
Anon 7:52-
WWJS! God makes it very clear that we shouldn't spend most of our lives on Earth living a godless life and then when death seems near, then we should repent. God also makes it clear that we will not know when judgement day will come so we better be living the life we should be living as if he were coming tonight. Mr. Paige has and will have ample opportunity and counseling to repent.
As far as using the death penalty, I think it's silly to suggest that long-term incarceration is much better now than the past. A person with this profile who brutally tortured and killed another person most certainly is a danger to other innmates and staff. There is also the fact that there are no guarantees against escape and subsequent murder as history has shown.
Lest we should also remember a strong principal of the death penalty is that of deterrence to keep the order of society.
Anonymous said…
I've got a hunch that the people who try to distinguish between a fetus and a baby are the same types who don't eat eggs.
elmolincoln said…
Having seen first hand what Donald Eugene Moeller did to Becky O'Connell(sp). I could push the syringe, flip the switch, pull the trigger, whatever you want to call it...in an instant without batting an eye. I could live the rest of my days in peace knowing that %$#!@# animal can no longer hurt anyone. Also, I noticed a little earlier that someone was mentioning "a lot of innocent people have been put to death - FYI"...you're right and that's why we have the death penalty. A lot more innocent people die by murderers hands than murderers die by hangmans hands.

There is also the issue of due process and the right to a trial by a jury of your peers...to link abortion to capital punishment is a waste of time.
I'll flip the switch said…
Another thing:

there is no question about Page's guilt. Go read the case. He did it... So the argument about innocent people being put to death is not applicable here.
Anonymous said…
to anon 11:21

your an idiot..... a chickens egg is not fertilized, therefore there is no "beating heart" and it is not alive. A Fetus is alive and is human. Your comparison is very stupid to say the least.
Anonymous said…
How do YOU know they aren't fertilized? Have you been standing guard in all of the hen houses and egg factories?
And that person's comparison might be stupid in your eyes, but at least he or she can spell correctly and doesn't call other people names. (It's you're an idiot, not your an idiot.)
Anonymous said…
1:46 what about a miscarriage, if unknown is a flush a criminal act you troglodyte? How’s that for name calling.
Anonymous said…
I am confused ... How can something that cannot survive outside of the body of the mother be considered a separate human being?

And please, quit talking about this issue as if you are all the moral authorities of America and God.
Anonymous said…
We would quit talking about this issue if all you pro abortion people would quit making ridiculous comparisons, like comparing a human being to eggs and chickens. You're all loony!

(Hey Nutcase? Did I get the spelling right?)
Anonymous said…
8:40 - You got the spelling right, but you fell into the name-calling trap. People who have something worthwhile to say don't need to resort to calling each other names.
By the way, we nutcases aren't pro-abortion, we are pro-choice. There is a huge difference. Some of us even raise our own chickens and let the roosters run with the hens!
Anonymous said…
Until the baby has a choice in it's death I will not refer to you as pro-choice. You are pro- abortion.

Whats wrong? Does it bother you to hear the truth?

I will not fall into your "play on words"

When everyone involved (including the baby)has a say/choice then you can call it pro-choice.
Anonymous said…
9:32 - I was going to explain the difference between pro-choice and pro-abortion further to you, but then I thought, why bother? You believe what you want to believe and you think you have the right to force those beliefs on everyone else. So until God appears before me to tell me that He appointed you to speak for fetuses everywhere, I will continue to believe that women have rights too, and - as difficult as the choice may be - sometimes the mother's well-being has to take precedence.
Anonymous said…
Why don't you go ahead and try to explain to us the difference. This ought to be good.... go ahead and humor me with your play on words.

I'd like to see you try to justify murder.
Anonymous said…
go ahead and try to explain to us the difference. Humor us with your play on words.

I'd like to see how you justify murder.
Anonymous said…
Anon 6:09

A 6 month old baby cannot survive without the love and care of it's mother.....should the mother kill it for convenience sake?
Anonymous said…
anon 9:15

We'll pray for you. You need all the help you can get
Anonymous said…
10:52 - I don't have to justify what you believe because that is all it is - your belief. Why don't you explain to me why you have the right to decide what I should and should not believe? This is America, not Iran.
Why don't you explain to me why you have the right to decide whether a 12-year-old girl, who was impregnated when her stepfather raped her, has to follow through with a pregnancy when her physical and mental health are both in danger? Why don't you explain to me why such personal decisions are any of your business?
Then again, don't bother. Because, as hard as it might be for you to believe, few people, if anyone, care what you think.
Anonymous said…
You just don't get it, nor do you want to.

And what makes you think that anyone cares what you think or believe?

Your not worth any more of my time.
Anonymous said…
11:03 - You do that, and while you're at it, pray that you will gain the ability to understand that not everyone believes the same way as you do, and pray for the ability to accept that other people have the right to their own beliefs.
And when you don't have anything better to say, you can always bring out the "you need help" routine. It isn't very effective, but it is a way out.

Oh, and 11:27 - You misspelled you're again.
Anonymous said…
Oh No!!! It's the spelling police!!!

You're(note the correct spelling) under arrest for mispelling a word on a blog site.

Oh my God!!! NO!!!!

YOU'RE ridiculous...
Anonymous said…
11:47 - Thanks. I work at it.
Anonymous said…
11:17, you are spot on.

This country will lurch towards the state of Iran as we continue to take a MINORITIES religious beliefs and thrust them upon society as law. Of course, hasn't happened yet but this gets back to the discussion of the 10 commandments (3 laws?) and evolution.

By the way, the earth has to be older than 6000 years old. Look at Gordo.
Anonymous said…
this has nothing to do with our religious beliefs!

It's about not supporting murder.
Anonymous said…
Anon 11:29 - There are arguments that can be made against abortion, but just calling it murder doesn't work. Please shore up your argument with facts instead of spouting emotional rhetoric. Then people will at least respect what you have to say.
Anonymous said…
Then what do you call ending ones life?

I'm sure you'll come up with something lame like "choice"

You'll have to do better than that to convince a pro-life state.
Anonymous said…
Anon 1 p.m. - A Pro-Life State? I think you're a bit premature in making that statement.

The following is a July 31, 2006, AP story:
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - South Dakota voters are leaning against the state’s tough new ban on abortions, a poll released Monday shows.
The statewide survey of 800 registered voters found 47 percent opposed the strict ban, while 39 percent favored it. The remaining 14 percent were undecided. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
...
If voters reject the abortion ban at the ballot box, they would effectively repeal it.
Monday’s poll also asked voters who said they would reject the ban or were undecided how they would vote if the legislation allowed abortions in cases of rape or incest: 59 percent said they would support it, 29 percent said they would still reject a ban, and 12 percent were undecided.

You can read the entire story at
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14122769/

Enough said.
Anonymous said…
I guess we'll see in November!
I don't trust the polls
Anonymous said…
Yes, 8:58, pray and your god will deliver you in November, 2 weeks before the rapture.
Anonymous said…
I bet Anon 8:58 trusts the polls when the results are in his or her favor.
Anonymous said…
wrong! don't trust the polls no matter what
Anonymous said…
"Why don't you explain to me why you have the right to decide whether a 12-year-old girl, who was impregnated when her stepfather raped her, has to follow through with a pregnancy when her physical and mental health are both in danger?"

It is a tragedy that some of the good people of South Dakota are having this type of scenario crammed down their throats by the pro-abortion side. Until the step-father is held accountable for his actions, the raping will continue. Abortion is a means of covering up heinous crimes. It is terrible to think that anybody is capable of raping a little child, but abortion perpetuates the abuse.

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