Wednesday, March 09, 2016

95% Death Penalty Support by Capital Murder Survivors

95% Death Penalty Support by Loved Ones of Capital Murder Victims
Dudley Sharp

(March 2015) Poll by Pennsylvania Office of the Victim Advocate found:

90% of victims' family members support the death penalty. 94% said the imposed death sentence should be carried out. (1)

Any state could, easily, do the same poll. I hope they do.

I don't know if this was a poll of all crime victims and their survivors or only death penalty eligible cases, which would, likely, produce the highest support.

Oklahoma City Bombing case and the 9/11 terrorism attacks:

 Oklahoma City Bombing case:

I am aware of 4 murder victim survivors who opposed Timothy McVeigh's execution.

That is 4 out of 1680 (10 times 168 murder victims) (2), or 0.2% opposed to execution.

Way under 5%, which would require 84 death penalty opponents, using my method (2).

"Survivors and family members took solace in McVeigh's death. Janice Smith, whose 46-year-old brother, Lanny Scroggins, died in the bombing, prayed with her children at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, then left after getting word that McVeigh was dead. ``It's over,'' she said. ``We don't have to continue with him anymore.'' Earlier, a silent vigil began without fanfare -- 168 minutes, one minute for each victim killed in the tragedy."
"McVeigh's execution was witnessed by 10 survivors and victims' relatives from the bombing . . .  Meanwhile, about 600 miles away, an estimated 300 people gathered . . . to watch the execution unfold on a large video screen."

McVeigh wrote that taking 168 lives, including those of 19 children, was a "legit tactic."  

quotes from The Lamp of Hope (Chicago Tribune), June 11 2001, 8:01 AM CDT, TERRE HAUTE, Ind. 


NOTE:  Anti death penalty activist Bud Welck, whose daughter Julie was murdered in the OKC bombing has stated  " . . . that the execution of Timothy McVeigh only ‘‘revictimized’’ the families of his victims."  and that " . . . a poll taken in Oklahoma City showed that 85 percent of the survivors wanted the death penalty for Timothy McVeigh. But several years later the figure dropped to nearly half, and now many of those who supported the execution have come to believe it was a mistake."

For years , I have been trying find any evidence that such statements were true, from Mr. Welch, via both phone messages and emails to him and through the staff at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.  Never has he replied, nor supplied any evidence, if it exists, nor have any of my internet searches turned up anything which confirmed Mr. Welch's claims.

9/11 terrorism attacks:

I am aware of 3 of the nearly 30,000 9/11 murder victim's loved ones who opposed either Bin Laden's death or those killed in drone strikes who were connected to 9/11 or who have voiced any opposition to a death penalty for any other 9/11 conspirators.

That is 0.01% opposed.

5% would be 1500.  I have only found 3.


Sadly, these two mass murders were so huge, it presented this opportunity to see what developed with a media that is always interested to find and publicize murder victim survivors who oppose the death penalty, specifically, in death penalty eligible cases.

When there are death penalty opponents whose loved ones were murdered in highly publicized cases,  the media jumps all over them.

I do my own google search for them, periodically, as well as inquire within the crime victim community.

When I get to 84 and 1500, respectively, I will re calculate. Likely, that will not be necessary.

1)"Widow of slain policeman adamant in support of death penalty',, December 13, 2015

2) I multiplied every murder victim times 10 to arrive at the number of close loved ones per murder victim.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Libertarians: Death Penalty Essential to Justice

Libertarian: Death Penalty Essential To Justice
Dudley Sharp

The Libertarian Party (LP) has chosen to oppose the death penalty, a decision based, almost exclusively, upon the inaccuracies of the anti death penalty movement, with the LP fact checking/vetting none of it.

Here is a refresher on the philosophical foundations of  Libertarian death penalty support.

quotes by Murray N. Rothbard - the Godfather of Libertarianism


Walter E. Block, PhD,  well known libertarian, Austrian Economist and The Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans and Prof. Roy Whitehead


Murder takes away all your property - your self  - and violates the second of the two primary axioms - the murderer violates non-aggression in the worst form - by committing murder.

Murder is, therefore, the greatest violation of libertarianism, with execution representing  justice for that violation.'

" . . . (killling) is not impermissible in self-defense, nor is it to kill those who no longer have entitlement to their own lives. Let the message go out, loud and clear: If you murder, you give up the right to your own life." (1)

"What the murderer has done, essentially, to his victim is, in effect, steal his life away." " . . . the murderer’s life is forfeit now, for justice is timeless." (1)

" . . . an  individual's most important and primary  property right consists of his ownership over his own person. To interfere with that right is to engage in an illicit taking . . .  in effect murder is the theft of a life . . ." (2).

" . . .the murderer loses precisely the right of which he has deprived another human being: the right to have one's life preserved from the violence of another person. The murderer therefore deserves to be killed in return." (3)

" . . . the instincts of the public are correct on this issue: namely, that the punishment should fit the crime; i.e., that punishment should be proportional to the crime involved. The theoretical justification for this is that an aggressor loses his rights to the extent that he has violated the rights of another human being." (3)

Victim survivors show 95% death penalty support. When the question to the public is "Do you support the death penalty for murder?" and the responses are -  sometimes - always -  or never - death penalty support is 80% or above (8).

"The libertarian takes his stand for individual rights not merely on the basis of social consequences, but more emphatically on the justice that is due to every individual." (3)

" . . . the libertarian theory of punishment is  one of compensation for the victim;  that is, the perpetrator is punished by forcing him to  compensate the injured party to the extent of the rights violation perpetrated upon him." "The reason for this is that libertarianism is predicated on an attempt to attain justice . . . " (4)

" . . . while it is impossible to place the victim back on the plane of life he was following  before the outrage,  justice  consists of at least attempting to do so as far as possible." (5)

"Each libertarian has his own foundation - or none - for private property and non-aggression. What we have in common are just these two axiom." (6) "If (libertarianism) has any one principle, it is that no one should initiate force against non-aggressors." (6)

"It is a crime and a disgrace that such criminals now enjoy air conditioning, television, exercise rooms, etc. They owe a debt to their victims’ heirs, who are now, to add insult to injury, forced to pay again, through taxes, to maintain these miscreants in a relatively luxurious life, compared to what they richly deserve." (1)

See "The Death of Punishment", by Robert Blecker, 2014


"Another common liberal complaint is that the death penalty does not deter murder from being committed. While it is impossible to prove the degree of deterrence, it seems indisputable that some murders would be deterred by the death penalty. Sometimes the liberal argument comes perilously close to maintaining that no punishment deters any crime — a manifestly absurd view that could easily be tested by removing all legal penalties for nonpayment of income tax and seeing if there is any reduction in the taxes paid." 
(Wanna bet?)" (3)

"If the prospect of even a small probability that the death penalty might be imposed for even relatively minor crimes does not put a severe dent in criminal behavior, then nothing will." (7).

"   . economists who ought to know better have found no statistically significant correlation between reducing the murder rate and being or becoming a death penalty state . . . that is only because murderers, like most of the rest of us, pay attention not to dead letter laws, but to actual penalties." (1)

Nobel Prize Laureate (Economics) Gary Becker: “the evidence of a variety of types — not simply the quantitative evidence — has been enough to convince me that capital punishment does deter and is worth using for the worst sorts of offenses.” (NY Times, 11/18/07)

"(Becker) is the most important social scientist in the past 50 years The NY Times, 5/5/14

The deterrent effect of the death penalty, as with all other severe sanctions, has never been negated and cannot be (11).

"It is fallacious to regard murderers as irrational: very few conduct their business in police stations." (1)

" When multiple regressions are run on murder rates, not against death penalty status, but with regard to actual executions, the evidence is consistent with the notion that such punishments reduce these crimes. This is entirely compatible with the economic principle of downward sloping demand: the higher the price, the less people wish to access. This holds for all human endeavors: cars, pizza, and, yes, murder too." (1, 11)

There are now 24 US studies finding for death penalty deterrence, since 1996. The studies finding for deterrence are considerably stronger than the criticisms of them. (9, 11)

"Nor is it possible not to regard murder as a stiffer penalty than life in prison.Were this not so, we would scarcely find the denizens of death row trying desperately to stave off, or better yet overturn, their executions." (1) 

Life is preferred over death and death is feared more than life. What we prefer more, deters less. What we fear more, deters more. Obvious (11).

 St. Thomas Aquinas: "The fact that the evil, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit the fact that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement.  . . .  if they are so stubborn that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from evil, it is possible to make a highly probable judgement that they would never come away from evil to the right use of their powers." Summa Contra Gentiles, Book III, 146.


"As for the costliness of executions, this is entirely a function of present judicial functioning, which can be changed with the stroke of a pen." (1)

Responsibly managed death penalty systems should be less expensive or no more than for life without parole, as detailed (10).

Virginia has executed 70% of her death row murderers since 1976, that being 111 murderers executed within 7 years of full appeals, with not even a hint of an innocent executed. Virginia's last execution took place on 10/1/2015, after 5 years of full appeals (10).

The Virginia death penalty protocol would be less expensive in every jurisdiction, than is LWOP, with 40-50 years of incarcerations, with massive costs in geriatric care, plus the cost credit, due on the death penalty side of the ledger, which allows plea bargains to LWOP, only possible with the death penalty (12).


1) “Death Penalty Essential for Social Justice”, Block, Walter E., The Maroon, 10/10/03, Loyola University (New Orleans)

2) p, 245,  Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 2003. “Taking the assets of the criminal to compensate victims of violence: a legal and philosophical approach,” Wayne State University Law School Journal of Law in Society Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall, 2003, pp.229-254;  (death penalty justified)

3) The Libertarian Position on Capital Punishment, Murray N. Rothbard, Libertarian Review, June 1978

This article originally appeared as "The Plumb Line: The Capital Punishment Question" in the Libertarian Review, Vol. 7, No. 5 (June 1978), pp. 13–14.

Rothbard's Profile

4) p 243, ibid footnote 2

5) p 244, ibid, footnote 2

6) "Libertarianism vs Objectivism; A Response to Peter  Schwartz", Walter Block,   pg 41, 42, Reason Papers Vol. 26 39, Loyola University, New Orleans

7)  p  248, ibid footnote 2

8) 86% Death Penalty Support: Highest Ever - April 2013
World Support Remains High
95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty

9) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives

10)  See Virginia and Utah within

Saving Costs with The Death Penalty