Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Anti Victim: Anti Death Penalty Movement

Anti Victim:  Anti Death Penalty Movement 
Dudley Sharp 

Can you be anti death penalty and pro victim? 

Of course, many are and this is not about you. Consider that the death penalty is sought for justice (1), as are all sanctions,  and that more innocent lives are, additionally, more protected with the death penalty and, therefore, more innocent lives are lost without the death penalty (2). 

Anti Victim: The Anti Death Penalty Movement  

This is about the anti death penalty movement and those who chose an anti victim strategy. 

Neither the truth nor innocent murder victims nor their loved ones will stand in the way of those anti death penalty activists, who must save murderers lives, at any cost. 

An anti death penalty strategy and mantra could well be:

"Our efforts are so harmful to murder victim's families, you must stop the death penalty". 

1) Murder Victims' Families Against The Death Penalty (MVFADP) : More Hurt For Victims Families 

"MVFADP are, actively, seeking to deny the moral and legal option to pursue the death penalty to those who have lost loved ones to murder and who support the death penalty. Thus, the MVFADP are, intentionally hurtful and divisive, when they need not be." (3).

"Instead of being divisive and hurtful, why can't MVFADP, a vast minority (4),  just say, "we oppose the death penalty, but respect your right to support the death penalty in your case."? MVFADP won't support other victims in that fashion because their sole goal is to save all murderers, not to help any victims who feel differently (a vast majority (4)  but, in fact, working against them." (3). 


2) Making Murderers the Victims: The (imagined) Horror of  Ohio's Dennis McGuire Execution 

There are so many of these cases, but here is a recent one, which made many headlines. 

"The Horror is that anti death penalty folks and their allies in the media will have 10,000 more articles about the imagined suffering of this executed rapist/torturer/murderer than they did about the real suffering of his victims, Joy Stewart, her husband Kenny, unborn child Carl and their families and friends.

There is no indication that McGuire was in pain, at any time, or that he was conscious after the first 1-3 minutes of the 25 minute execution process, as pharmacological realities would dictate (5). 

Yet, virtually all anti death penalty groups presented this case as evidence of the suffering of the murderer. 

There is every indication that Joy Stewart was conscious throughout the eternal horror of her savage rape and murder. McGuire forced Joy from her car, choked her, attempted to rape her vaginally, raped her anally, slashed her throat so deeply it severed both her carotid artery and jugular vein, all the while Joy realizing the horror of her own death, as well as that of her unborn child. 

The baby’s name would have been Carl, his mother’s grave marker shows. 

Joy's husband, Kenny, committed suicide within a year after their murders." (5) 

3) Making Guilty Murderers "Innocent": Incredible Harm to Murder Victim's Families --  Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy  

The innocence frauds of the anti death penalty movement are epic in scope and over time (6) and are well known to both sides of the debate. When death penalty opponents falsely proclaim guilty murderers to be innocent, do they give any thought as to how that impacts the murder victim's families? Yes.  It is impossible for them not to know how hurtful those frauds are. 

While death penalty opponents main concern is that  murderers must live, no matter the cost, the harm to victim survivors could, easily, be part of their strategy. Anti death penalty folks , often, use harm to victim survivors, as a reason to call for an end to the death penalty, even if those anti death penalty folks are the cause of that harm. 

Just like their stating that the long delays in appeal are harmful to those victim survivors, when it is death penalty opponents, themselves, who do all they can to create that delay. 

An anti death penalty strategy and mantra could well be:

"Our efforts are so harmful to murder victim's families, you must stop the death penalty". 

4) Sister Helen Prejean: Murderers are more harmed than are murder victims or their loved ones 

a) "After years of activism with murderers and their victim survivors,  Sr. Prejean finds that there is no greater suffering than being a guilty murderer on death row. Did she consider the mental suffering of a parent who lost their innocent daughter to a rape/murder or, possibly, the mental (and physical) suffering of that girl, as she was being raped and murdered?  Of course the sister considered it and she made her choice - the murderer." (7) 

"Over the next 36 hours, (Holly) Washa was tortured and raped in a Seattle motel"  "(the now executed rapist/murder) Brown was arrested four days later in California, after a brutal rape and knife attack on a 33-year-old woman in a hotel there. That victim lived to call 911."  ("Relief found in killer's execution", John Ferak, (Omaha) WORLD-HERALD, September 15, 2010, 6:14 am)

b) The parents of rape/torture/murder victim Loretta Bourque, a "Dead Man Walking" Case, state:

 " . . .makes you realize the Dead Man Walking truly belongs on the shelf in the library in the Fiction category." "Being devout Catholics, 'the norm' would be to look to the church for support and healing.

 Again, this need for spiritual stability was stolen by Sister Prejean."  (7) 

c) " . . . despite repeated claims that (Prejean) cares about crime victims, (she) implies that the victim's husband was a more likely suspect but was overlooked because the authorities wanted to convict a black man."  " . . . a Federal District Court . . . stated that 'the evidence against Williams was overwhelming.' " "The same court also did "not find any evidence of racial bias specific to this case."  (7) 

It can, hardly, get much worse. 

5)  How grotesque can an anti death penalty person be? 

Defense attorney Thomas Ullmann defended Steven Hayes in the capital murder trial of the three rape/torture/murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who was raped and strangled to death, along with her two daughters, 17-year-old Haley and 11-year-old Michaela. Michaela, who was sexually assaulted. Both girls were burned alive and died of smoke inhalation. Dr. Bill Petit was beaten with a baseball bat, suffers permanent injuries, but survived. He is the sole survivor from his immediate family.

When the day came for sentencing Hayes to death, what did Ullman say?

"Today when the court sentences Steven Hayes to death everyone becomes a killer. We all become Steven Hayes." (8)

Ullman said that with Bill Petit, the extended Hawke/Petit family, loved ones and friends in the courtroom. Ullman called all of them Steven Hayes, as well as all others who find the death penalty a just and appropriate punishment for horrendous crimes.

The moral decay of Ullman's statement is hard to fathom, as is the profound cruelty of when and where he voiced it (8). 

6) Sparing the lives of guilty murderers over saving more innocents from murder

The latest anti death penalty mantra is, "If just one innocent can be spared from execution, we must end the death penalty."

Well known anti death penalty scholars "(Charles) Black and (Hugo Adam ) Bedau said they would favor abolishing the death penalty even if they knew that doing so would increase the homicide rate by 1,000 percent.", which means their choice would be to spare the lives of 1300 guilty murderers (executed from 1973-2013) over saving an additional 6.3 million innocent lives, taken by murder (9).


Ernest van den Haag interviewed well known anti death penalty activists, asking them, if it was proven that 100 innocent lives were spared per execution, via deterrence, would you still oppose the death penalty. All said yes, meaning, based upon our 1300 executions (1973-2013), they chose sparing the lives of 1300 guilty murderers over saving the lives of 130,000 innocents from murder (9). 

Saving guilty murderers, no matter the cost in innocent lives. Incredible, but true.

7)  How grotesque can an anti death penalty corporate environment be?

In January 2000, Benetton, an Italian clothing company, launched a campaign - "We on Death Row" that focused, only, on death row inmates, in an anti death penalty effort.

Oliviero Toscani, for 18 years the creative director of Benetton. created this grotesque campaign, featuring 26 death row murderers, rapist/murderers, multiple and serial murderers and torturer/ murderers, responsible for, at least, 45 murders of innocents (see crimes, here:

There was no remorse for the crimes, no remorse for innocent victims.  Zero.

A morally grotesque "advertising campaign".

The moral outrage was so overwhelming that the campaign, waged in 13 languages, around the globe, on billboards and magazines,  costing $20 million, was withdrawn.

Tocania was proud, both before and after the moral outrage.

Toscani, maintains the state is even more brutal than the murderers. "Any serial killer is an amateur compared to state of Texas." (Paraphrase: "Catalog Of Killers: Benetton Creates A Controversial Ad Campaign", staff, 5/30/2000)

It is a standard example of anti death penalty willful blindness to the obvious moral differences between innocent victims and their guilty murderers, between crime and punishment (10).

8) Murder Victim Survivors as Hateful Vengeance Seekers 

"The whole idea, by anti death penalty activists, is to create an image of murder victims' survivors, who support the death penalty, as emotional, hateful, unthinking vengeance seekers, as opposed to thoughtful, loving and grieving people who seek justice through a proportional, just sanction - a sanction that also saves more innocent lives  --  a call for justice and mercy."

 It seems never ending that anti death penalty folks say the death penalty has a foundation in revenge and hate (7 & 10), thereby calling those murder victims survivors, who support the death penalty, hateful vengeance seekers.  

Just another hateful strategy.

9) The Death Penalty Isn't Closure 

"The concept of emotional "closure" via execution is, often, a fantasy perpetrated by anti death penalty folks, just so they can denounce it, with a talking point, as in: "Those supporting capital punishment claim that closure is a major reason to support the death penalty - but there is no closure."  (11) 

The closure is in the justice of the execution, the end of appeals and the relief that the murderer can no longer harm, again.

"I know of no victim survivor who believes that execution could bring that type of closure. How could it? No punishment can, nor is that the intention." (11)

"Ina Prechtl, who lost her daughter Felecia Prechtl. to a rape /murder said, after watching Karl Chamberlain executed: "One question I ask myself every day, why does it take so long for justice to be served?" It took 17 years for the execution." (11) 

"(Kidnap/rape/murder victim) Cheryl Payton's sister, Susan Payton, said, "On this (execution) day, we're uncertain that you could define today as closure. It is like a chapter in a book that you just read the next chapter and you hope that the next chapter might be better" ' (11) 

"There may not be closure today. I think there is peace," said Judge Brendon Sheehan said, after the execution of his father's murderer. (11)

10)  If Executions Provide Expiation, Murderers are More Victimized, by Allowing Them to Live 

For the religious, there can be no greater restorative justice than salvation, more likely with the expiation of execution (12). 

Romano Amerio: “The most irreligious aspect of this argument against capital punishment is that it denies its expiatory value which, from a religious point of view, is of the highest importance because it can include a final consent to give up the greatest of all worldly goods."

"This fits exactly with St. Thomas’s opinion that as well as canceling out any debt that the criminal owes to civil society, capital punishment can cancel all punishment due in the life to come. His thought is . . . Summa, ‘Even death inflicted as a punishment for crimes takes away the whole punishment due for those crimes in the next life, or a least part of that punishment, according to the quantities of guilt, resignation and contrition; but a natural death does not.’ " (12)

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).

"paramount obedience".

Quaker biblical scholar Dr. Gervas A. Carey agrees with Saints Augustine and Aquinas, that executions represent mercy to the wrongdoer:

“. . . a secondary measure of the love of God may be said to appear. For capital punishment provides the murderer with incentive to repentance which the ordinary man does not have, that is a definite date on which he is to meet his God. It is as if God thus providentially granted him a special inducement to repentance out of consideration of the enormity of his crime . . . the law grants to the condemned an opportunity which he did not grant to his victim, the opportunity to prepare to meet his God. Even divine justice here may be said to be tempered with mercy.” (p. 116). “A Bible Study”, within Essays on the Death Penalty, T. Robert Ingram, ed., St. Thomas Press, Houston, 1963, 1992.

and on and on and on  . . .


1)  3300 quotes of moral, rational and religious support for the death penalty 

2) The death penalty protects innocent lives, in three ways, better than does life without parole (LWOP). Enhanced due process, enhanced incapacitation and enhanced deterrence. The first two are unchallenged. Enhanced deterrence is, unreasonably, challenged.  The anecdotal evidence that the death penalty deters more than LWOP is overwhelming. In addition, life is preferred over death, death is feared more than life - a truism for, nearly, all. 



The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter?  A Review of All Innocence Issues 



3)  a) Murder Victims' Families Against The Death Penalty (MVFADP) : More Hurt For Victims Families 

       b) Rep. Renny Cushing: New Hampshire 

4) See FOOTNOTE (2) 95% Murder victims' survivors death penalty support
US Death Penalty Support at 80%: World Support Remains High 

5) The (imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution 

6)    The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy 

7) Sister Helen Prejean: A Critical Review 

8) How Grotesque Can An Anti Death Person Be? 



The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter?  A Review of All Innocence Issues 

10)   a)  The Death Penalty: Neither Hatred nor Revenge 

          b)  Killing Equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents 

12)   a) The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation