New Supreme Court Case


On to politics. The Supreme Court is considering a case about the Juvenile Death Penalty. This is the law that allows 16 and 17 year olds to be tried as adults and, if convicted, be sentanced to death. Let me go on record as saying I'm against the death penalty. I cannot see how any practicing Catholic or Christian can support the killing of another human being. There just isn't any justification. However, that is a different post. For me, at issue here is the rational behind the death penalty and it goes to the heart of the criminal justice system. Is our system about punishment or reform? Should we be looking at rehabilitating the criminal, or simply punishing them for the commision of a crime? I think in the case of the death penalty, the answer is the latter. More than that, I think the entire concept of the death penalty is more revenge than punishment. Consider a quote from a member of an advocate group for keeping the death penatly:

"The death penalty is reserved for the worst of the worst. It is not just for adults," said Dianne Clements, president of the victims' rights group Justice For All. "It doesn't matter how old the killer is. What matters is that your loved one is gone." (from ABC new article

The key statement is the last one. Since your loved one is gone, it justifies killing the person that took the life. Straight out of the Old Testament eye for an eye mentatlity. I'm sorry, but this is just another name for vengance. Forget for a moment the argument about whether it is less expensive on the taxpayer to keep the person in prison for life versus going through the appeal process for the death penalty. Do we want to be a nation that retaliates against it's own citizens? That's what we're really talking about here. Just remember, the killer is someone's son/daughter as well. There are no winners here.

Anyway, I hope the court bans at least the execution of juveniles. I made a lot of mistakes as a teenager. While killing someone is a major mistake, does the destruction of one life balance the loss of another?


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