Friday, March 13, 2015

Rebuttal: Catholics Call For End to Capital Punishment

Rebuttal of Four Catholic Publications Call For End to Capital Punishment
Dudley Sharp

Hendel stated that she did forward to the other publications.     
---------- Original Message ----------
Subject: Rebuttal: End to Capital Punishment
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 15:52:13 -0500
To: Caitlin Hendel, CEO/President, National Catholic Reporter
Please forward to the Editorial Boards of America magazine, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, and Our Sunday Visitor
bcc: All editors NCR
Re: Part #1 and #2 combined  

Rebuttal to:
Editorial: Catholic publications call for end to capital punishment, NCR Editorial Staff, ncronline, Mar. 5, 2015
From: Dudley Sharp
One of the major problems with the Church's newest teachings on the death penalty is that neither the Bishops, nor any other Catholics, opposed to the death penalty, appears to fact check anything the anti death penalty movement produces, resulting in error after error presented to the flock, undermining the truth. You must fact check and consider opposing facts (1) to find the truth. As a rule, on this topic, the Church will not do that.
The Bishops have accepted anti death penalty claims, as gospel (small "g"), even when they conflict with Church teachings, as described.
"NCR" is for quotes from the referenced op/ed, with my reply as "Sharp reply".
NCR: "Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will hear arguments in Glossip v. Gross, a case out of Oklahoma that challenges the most widely used lethal injection protocol as being cruel and unusual punishment."
Sharp reply: That is untrue. as found within Glossip, Oklahoma has adopted many new additional protocols, which are unique to Ok - not the most "widely used" and are those which will be the areas of contention at SCOTUS.
NCR: "Our hope is that (the Glossip v. Gross case) will hasten the end of the death penalty in the United States.
Sharp reply: SCOTUS will only look at the specific new protocols, within Glossip. All different protocols, of other jurisdiction will survive, be that alternate lethal injection methods, gas, hanging and firing squad, which exist in other states, the federal government and the military.
Based upon the facts, detailed within the 10th Circuit ruling (1/12/15), against the plaintiffs (the Oklahoma murderers on death row), it appears most likely that SCOTUS will reject their appeals, as well, and accept Ok new protocol. (NOTE: That is what occurred).
In addition, it appears possible, if not likely, that Ok will adopt a nitrogen gas (NG) protocol, prior to the SCOTUS decision. NG has already been approved in an Ok legislative committee. (NOTE: This is, now, Ok law).
NG has none of the downsides of any other method, NG is a completely painless execution method, as well as providing an endless supply, which cannot be withheld (1) and which may be adopted by all states, which wish to minimize delay, legal challenge and costs.
NCR: Archbishop Thomas Wenski, of Miami stated, "... the use of the death penalty devalues human life and diminishes respect for human dignity. We bishops continue to say, we cannot teach killing is wrong by killing."
Sharp reply: For about 2000 years the Church has taught that the death penalty is based upon the value of innocent life and an abiding respect for the dignity of man (2).
What the Archbishop is, now saying, is that for 2000 years the Church supported that which devalued human life and that which diminished respect for human dignity, a claim which no knowledgeable Catholic can or should accept.
The Archbishop is just repeating standard anti death penalty nonsense which has no respect for Catholic teachings and tradition.
One wonders - why he raises false anti death penalty teachings above Catholic teachings, a common problem for many of the bishops.

The Archbishop states: "We bishops continue to say, 'we cannot teach killing is wrong by killing'. "
Sadly, they do.
The Bishops are just repeating, again, common anti death penalty nonsense.
We all know that murder is wrong, even if there is no sanction.
The Bishops are unaware that sanction doesn't teach that murder is wrong - Church morality and tradition, as well as clear biblical texts teach that murder is wrong.
Sanction is the outcome of that moral teaching. Those are the rational and traditional teachings, which, somehow, the bishops have discarded and replaced with this anti death penalty nonsense. 

How and why?
Execution of murderers has never been declared immoral by the Church and never will be (2). The foundation for the death penalty is justice, as with all sanctions for all crimes.
These inexplicable gaffs may cause good Catholics to wonder when reason and tradition deserted their leadership.
NCR: Boston Cardinal Seán O'Malley stated: "Society can protect itself in ways other than the use of the death penalty,"
Sharp reply: Cardinal, the proper standard is what sanction is most just for the crime committed, what the Church has called the primary consideration (CCC 1995, 2003) and what sanction provides greater protection for innocents.
The death penalty provides greater protection for innocents, in three ways, than does a life sentence (3).
One example:

There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since the 1930s (3).
Just since 1973, from 14,000 - 28,000 innocents have been murdered by those known murderers that we have allowed to murder, again - recidivist murderers ( two recidivism studies covering two different periods) (3).

My guess is that none of the Bishops are aware, because they haven't looked, as with EV and CCC.

NCR: "the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church . . . include a de facto prohibition against capital punishment."
Sharp reply: First, the de facto prohibition is based upon several errors (4).
Secondly, as the most recent death penalty teachings have been confirmed, by the Church, as being a prudential judgment, any Catholic may reject the Church's latest teaching on the death penalty (4), honor the Church's teachings of the previous 2000 years, and seek more executions, based within justice and the fact that executions offer greater protections for innocent lives (4).     
NCR: "(The death penalty) is also insanely expensive as court battles soak up resources better deployed in preventing crime".
Sharp reply: It is all but guaranteed that the publication's editors blindly accepted the anti death penalty material on the costs of the death penalty and fact checked nothing, just as with the bishops.
Since 1976, Virginia executed 108 murderers (70% of those sent to death row), within 7.1 years, on average, a protocol that would save money in all jurisdictions (5).
It is irresponsible not to fact check in any public policy debate, especially one where a religious flock is depending upon the truth, Fact check the cost claims and the studies, next time (5).
NCR: "Admirably, Florida has halted executions until the Supreme Court rules"
Sharp replies: Of the many options that Ok has for execution protocols, one of those. primarily, being considered, in the Glossip case, is nearly identical protocol in Florida, which is why Florida suspended executions.. Florida has had no problems with that protocol.
NCR: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf declared a moratorium on the death penalty until he has received and reviewed a task force's report on capital punishment, which he called "a flawed system ... ineffective, unjust, and expensive." Both governors also cited the growing number of death row inmates who have been exonerated nationwide in recent years."
Sharp reply: Virtually all of the problems that Pa. has had are based upon a judiciary, which has no respect for the death penalty law. Only three executions have occurred within Pa, since 1976, all of whom were "volunteers" who waived appeals. allowing executions. The judges will, otherwise, not allow any executions and/or will overturn the cases, also stopping executions. See Virginia, above, in contrast.
The Governor only made official what everyone knew that the judges had already done.
You may be happy with the judges, but be careful what you wish for, with judges that flaunt the law, simply because they don't like it, becoming dictators in robes, not ruling guided by the law, but, instead, ruling to spite the law.
NOTE: Politics at play. The five Governors who have suspended executions are all Democrats, as, additionally, were/are the Governors that, in recent years, signed laws to repeal the death penalty, after Democratic majority legislators passed the bills. I believe all those governors support abortion, an intrinsic evil within Catholic teaching, whereas the death penalty is not and any Catholic can support more executions and remain a Catholic in good standing, the opposite of those who support abortion.
NCR: "In a statement thanking Wolf, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said: "Turning away from capital punishment does not diminish our support for the families of murder victims. ... But killing the guilty does not honor the dead nor does it ennoble the living. When we take a guilty person's life we only add to the violence in an already violent culture and we demean our own dignity in the process."
Sharp reply: The Archbishop is factually wrong on all points. 

It appears that about 95% of murder victims families, in death penalty eligible murder cases, support the death penalty (6). The Church's lack of support is obvious. The Church has a 2000 year history of support for the death penalty (7), which means support of the executed party, that mercy and expiation are crucial in that process, offering the greatest of restoration - salvation, as reviewed in detail (4). As Church teaching makes clear, executions counter a violent culture and fully recognizes the dignity of both the innocent victims and the unjust aggressors, which is why the Church's 2000 year history of death penalty support completely overwhelms any rejection of it (3).

Here, again, a bishop neglecting Catholic teachings, which, specifically, conflicts with his dependence upon secular anti death penalty positions.       
NCR: "Archbishop Chaput reminds us that . . . (it is death penalty supporters) who add to, instead of heal, the violence." Very much like "Mercy Sister Camille D'Arienzo: (mothers of murdered children) wouldn't want another mother to suffer what I have suffered.' Their hearts, though broken, are undivided in their humanity."
Sharp reply: This is common anti death penalty speak which is contrary to Catholic tradition, as well as the facts.
From 14,000 - 28,000 additional innocents are murdered by those known murderers that we have allowed to murder, again - recidivist murderers, since 1973, in the US (two different recidivism studies, from two different periods) (5). Countless murders and other violent crimes are committed, worldwide, every day, by those known unjust repeat aggressors that criminal justice systems have not properly restrained (Google search: crime recidivism)., both in complete contradiction to CCC 2267's ". . . very rare, if not practically non-existent" claim.
By not executing murderers we are encouraging and receiving more violence, more innocents harmed and murdered (9) and, quite clearly, have put the unjust aggressors much more at eternal risk (8), by allowing so many to harm, again, as we know many often do, and as per St. Thomas Aquinas and historical facts.
NCR: "Advocates of the death penalty often claim that it brings closure to a victim's family."
Sharp reply: It is unquestioned that execution brings closure for many (10); the closure of the end of the case, the appeals, with the accomplishment of justice in the cases and, from a compassionate standpoint, we all know that only execution provides the closure of preventing any possibility that the murderers will ever harm and/or murder, again, as recognized within the latest CCC. Such is not only a great relief for those who wish to protect more innocents, but it is also a large step for those who care about the eternal salvation of the unjust aggressor, the most important restorative consideration.
NCR: 'The facts of the case in Oklahoma -- which echo reports from Ohio and Arizona -- were especially egregious."
Sharp reply: This is completely false (7) and just represents another example of the Bishops and these publications not fact checking, instead, blindly accepting anti death penalty nonsense, showing disrespect for the truth, as well as for the serious nature of the discussion.
Oklahoma's problems were ones of complete incompetence, not the drugs, as is well known. The evidence, in Ohio and Arizona, is that both executions took a long period of time, as per the nature of the drugs used (11), and that there is no evidence of suffering on the part of either murderer (11).
It is astounding how little these four publications and the Bishops care about the truth, a real problem for their readers and flock. They should start fact checking.
NCR: "We join our bishops in hoping the court will reach the conclusion that it is time for our nation to embody its commitment to the right to life by abolishing the death penalty once and for all."
Sharp reply: Again, just a thoughtless parroting on anti death penalty nonsense, with no recognition of Catholic teaching. Is this good for the Church and any Catholic?
The Church's death penalty teachings are that the execution of murderers is based within reverence for life and recognition of the dignity of the murderer, facts never mentioned anywhere within this op/ed, but well known by all those contributing to the op/ed.
The right to life, as the right to freedom, are based within a recognition of our commitment to the social contract, of being responsible citizens, who obey the law.
Violation of the law by unjust aggressor may result in incarceration or execution.
All sanctions are based upon that which we treasure - execution and life, incarceration and freedom, fines and money, community service and time/labor.
Catholic leadership, inclusive of both Bishops and publications, has a unique responsibility to Catholic teachings and tradition, making this op/ed just another of many that have avoided both, along with fact checking.
Neither ignorance nor deception are welcome in any public policy debate. Both are, particularly, troubling when dealing with eternal matters.
How often has the Church taught that Truth is paramount? When has She not.
You have the means at your disposal to teach and discuss the Truth, "Means" have no value if you do not exercise them.
1) Intro. Basic pro death penalty review:
The Death Penalty: Justice and Saving More Innocents
2) For more than 2000 years, there has been Catholic support for the death penalty, from Popes, Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, church leadership, biblical scholars and theologians that, in breadth and depth, overwhelms any teachings to the contrary, particularly those wrongly dependent upon secular concerns such as defense of society and the poor standards of criminal justice systems in protecting the innocent.

The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation
See Catholic references within:
New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming    
3) The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues
4) Current Problems: Catholic Death Penalty Teaching
Most recent Catechism (last amended 2003)
6) 86% Death Penalty Support: Highest Ever - April 2013
World Support Remains High
95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty
7) New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming
8) The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation
9) The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues
Murder Victims' Families Against The Death Penalty: More Hurt For Victims Families