|Ewoks, it’s what’s for dinner…|
Operative BAMF writes:
While I agree that it is right to wish for the conversion and redemption of Dr. Gosnell I also feel that the death penalty is the best way to accomplish that. I offer a quote, “Nothing focuses the mind like knowing that you will be hanged in a fort-night.” Right now what Gosnell needs is that focus, and considering the automatic appeals process, as well as further appeals, he will have a number of years to get that focus. Also important is his eventual just execution will demonstrate the terrible price to be paid by any who would engage in such crimes. Fr. John A. Hardon. S.J. offers an excellent defense here.
Operative BAMF, 501st Legion
Dr. J. apologizes for the delay. He was dealing with your rebel friends on a Jedi Academy field trip to the forest moon of Endor. Lil Resident took care of a bunch of ort hating hippies with extreme prejudice as is her wont. (More on the ort hating hippies later).
Dr. J. reviewed your link and does not disagree. The key word for Dr. J. is nominal opposition. You won’t be seeing him at any ‘Free Mumia’ rallies, nor holding vigil at any executions in his jurisdiction. That being said, he doesn’t believe he could flip the switch himself.
He agrees with the thrust of both your and the Catholic Church’s stance.
St. Thomas Aquinas made the classic defense of capital punishment. He reasoned that “if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good” ( Summa Theologica II, II, 64, 2). Certainly the crime had to be very serious, and the welfare of society was at stake. But there was no question about the moral validity of capital punishment.
There are folk whose crimes are so heinous that the world is a safer place without them. Dr. J. doesn’t care if they’re put to death or exiled to Ganymede to mine cobalt. The biggest problem with the death penalty as it currently exists in the US, is the appeal process is so protracted and sometimes politicized (e.g. Mumia) that it is a joke. While we all want a fair trial, it adds futility to the death penalty in some cases, which, in addition to Dr. J.’s own inability to pull the switch makes him wonder if we should put the worst of the worst away somewhere where they can’t escape and have to live out their days in hard labor without hope of parole.