Last night, after the Gosnell verdit, I had an intellectual debate with myself to see if being Pro-Life and supporting the Death Penalty can be cabatiable with each other. I normally do this when the debate about both seem to come up. Not often in the same debate, but I think Gosnell case is a reason to call attention to how a lot of conservatives can have the same stance on both.
Of course the small debate not only re-enforce my stance on both issues, but afterward I needed to get this down somewhere. Since I don't normally post political stuff on my site, instead I will come here.
The whole debate comes down to a couple of things: I, like many of my conservative brother and sisters, fundamentally believe there is a HUGE difference between Good and Evil. And the difference between Killing and Murder.
And Murder, in my honest opinion, is an unforgivable crime and sin. Oh you can seek absolution for this from a priest and God himself, but not from the victim. Any other sin or crime and the still-alive victim can, if they want, forgive the person who did them harm. I know this because my cousin hit me resently and since he admitted his crime, I now forgive him. I have learn that forgiveness is more for victim, because without it, it breeds hate. A victim of murder cannot forgive the one who harm them. Family and people who knew the victim may forgive the murderer themselves, but they cannot forgive the murderer on behalf of the victim. This actually might trigger vigilantism in extreme cases and that is anarchy.
I don't have a problem with the death penalty, because it is not vigilantism or a revenge killing. A jury of twelve good men and women, who have nothing to do with the case, must first all convict the accused of premeditated (or 1st Degree) murder after a fair trail and then only recommend to the judge if they should get the death penalty. After the judge has made the decision on the death penalty, then there is a long appeal process. Sometimes people spend 20 plus years sitting on death row.
But you're pro-life?!
Yes. As I said, I believe in Good and Evil. And as I explain above, without justice or a sense of closure, then hate will grow in people hearts. This breeds the evil that I call vigilantism and anarchy.
Our justice system is indeed bureaucratic beyond belief, but it is not broken. Not yet. If it was broken, then we would have vigilantes everywhere. I stop reading superhero comics when I realized how broken their universes law enforement and justice systems must be.
So, at least to me and many others, being pro-life and supporting the death penalty is not a contraction. I value life and thus there needs to be a deterrent to premeditated murder AND to vigilantism. I guess John McAdams of Marquette University/Department of Political Science said it best:
"If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call."
Wait, you only support the death penalty on grounds of premeditated (or 1st Degree) murder?
"Indeed, the decision that capital punishment may be the appropriate sanction in extreme cases is an expression of the community's belief that certain crimes are themselves so grievous an affront to humanity that the only adequate response may be the penalty of death." -Supreme Court of the United States of America
Yes. I personally think the death penalty should only be use for the most horrific of premeditated murder cases. In most cases, life without parole is enough. For 2nd Degree, I'm incline for life without parole. For Manslaughter, I support life with possibility of parole.
I don't care if other nations or states don't have the death penalty, but I just rather live in a state that does.
But Gator, what if there is an innocent person on death row?
Possibility. Since humans are flawed, our system of justice functions on how we work it. However in the end, I believe if someone is innocent, then the system will vindicate them either by the jury or through appeal.
I also believe that sometimes the guilty go free alot of times.
Is suicide murder?
Yes. It is the most unforgivable of them all. Someone who committs suicide cannot repent to anyone at all for what they have done.
So is Abortion murder?
Abortion as birth control? Yes. This is premeditated murder in my book, because the reasons are completely selfish in nature. The child has done nothing wrong, committed no crime, he or she has not even sinned. There is always adoption.
Abortion to save the life of the mother? No. There is no choice in the matter. If a crazy person is shooting up a place and someone kills that person to stop more death and destruction, that is not murder. If you kill someone in war, this is also not murder. Only a doctor should be making this recommendation. However medical science has come a long way in premature birth care, so hopefully this should be rare.
Abortion because the conceived was done in rape? No. For one, I think it would be horrible to be conceived though hate and not love. A rapist should not profit from their crime. And that child could be a reminder to the mother of the rape she went through. She can chose to keep the child if she wants or put it up for adoption, but abortion in these cases is not a selfish choice. I think rape is still under reported however. Most rapist don't just rape once, they do it again and again.
So there you have it. This is not an attack on people who are pro-life and against the death penalty, just why I am pro-life and support the death penalty.