Dead Wrong: Death Penalty Opponents
The following article was written and submitted by Dudley Sharp -
In no way do I believe the Montana legislators who are sponsoring the death penalty repeal bill are being dishonest. I, simply think they are wrong and that some of their anti-death penalty collaborators have been less than forthcoming.
I encourage fact checking of all points on all sides.
1) The Innocence Fraud
Depending upon review, some 25-40 actual innocents have been discovered and released from death row, since 1976, not the fraudulent number, now 142, that death penalty opponents have been spewing for over a decade.
That means the death penalty is 99.6% accurate in convicting the actually guilty and, so far, 100% successful in releasing them upon appeal, a record of accuracy, possibly, unmatched by any other sanction in the world.
So too, we find similar false claims with regard to the innocent executed.
2) Saving Costs With the Death Penalty
As a general rule, no one fact checks the death penalty cost studies. If you do, you find many are either completely unreliable, because there is no true apples-to-apples comparison to life without parole and /or they are deceptive, with findings contrary to what we have heard in the public square.
Could all states have a responsible death penalty protocol that was similar in costs to life without parole? Of course -- If all states had a protocol like Virginia's, with 72% (or 108) of those sent to death row being executed, within 7.1 years on average, it is likely all states would save money by so enforcing the death penalty.
Are there any reliable studies comparing death penalty costs to life without parole costs in Montana? No.
3) There is Broad Support for the Death Penalty
For our worst capital murders 95% of the families of murder victims support the death penalty, that is what the anecdotal evidence shows. This is not surprising, as 80% of the general population also supports the death penalty for our worst capital murders.
The polling confusion arises, as many polls ask only about death penalty support for all murders, for which about 90% are not death penalty eligible.
4) Justice: The Eternal Reason to Support the Death Penalty
---- Saint (& Pope) Pius V: "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).
---- Immanuel Kant: "If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death.". "A society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else's life is simply immoral.
---- Pope Pius XII; "When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live." 9/14/52.
---- John Murray: "Nothing shows the moral bankruptcy of a people or of a generation more than disregard for the sanctity of human life." "... it is this same atrophy of moral fiber that appears in the plea for the abolition of the death penalty." "It is the sanctity of life that validates the death penalty for the crime of murder. It is the sense of this sanctity that constrains the demand for the infliction of this penalty. The deeper our regard for life the firmer will be our hold upon the penal sanction which the violation of that sanctity merit." (Page 122 of Principles of Conduct).
---- John Locke: "A criminal who, having renounced reason... hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or tyger, one of those wild savage beasts with whom men can have no society nor security." And upon this is grounded the great law of Nature, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." Second Treatise of Civil Government.
---- Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "In killing the criminal, we destroy not so much a citizen as an enemy. The trial and judgments are proofs that he has broken the Social Contract, and so is no longer a member of the State." (The Social Contract).
---- "All interpretations, contrary to the biblical support of capital punishment, are false. Interpreters ought to listen to the Bible’s own agenda, rather than to squeeze from it implications for their own agenda. As the ancient rabbis taught, “Do not seek to be more righteous than your Creator.” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7.33.). Part of Synopsis of Professor Lloyd R. Bailey’s book Capital Punishment: What the Bible Says, Abingdon Press, 1987.