I opened with answers to the Chairman's questions regarding the death penalty. After reading numerous sources and doing two rebuttals, I realized that my answers changed, slightly. I am more in favor of the death penalty than I was before.
My rebuttals showed that while there is a chance an innocent person might get a death sentence; the chance of an innocent person actually being executed is nil. Also, it is important to point out that having a death sentence overturned for a life sentence does not mean the convict was innocent. We are working all the time to improve our legal system to insure the safety of all our citizens.
The death penalty isn't the only institution that contains risks in exchange for social benefits. We, in fact, use far more dangerous institutions that take the lives of innocents by the hundreds every day, like the three or four tons of lethal metal we call automobiles for example. After all, how can we accept the average 44,000 people
a year death toll in this nation due to car wrecks for our personal conveniences when the very tiny risk of wrongful executions is so unbearable?
To enjoy the privilege of using cars, airplanes, or any other device that improve the quality of our lives, we accept the risks and deaths that are caused by them in order to reap their full benefits. The same concept applies for the death penalty only on a far lesser scale. As long as we're entitled to endanger hundreds of innocent lives daily for our personal conveniences, then surely we should be allowed to take lesser risks for something far less selfish and self serving like public safety.
One of the most favored arguments against the death penalty is "Violence doesn't solve anything" or "Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong?"
If I didn't satisfy you yet, I will try once again using my husband's favorite author, Robert Heinlein:
"The idea that "violence doesn't solve anything" is a historically untrue and immoral doctrine. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. People that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
As to the other, I mentioned earlier that murder is the unlawful killing
of an innocent person and the death penalty is our legal and constitutional response to unlawful killing
and other truly heinous crimes like terrorism.
Yesterday reminded me why the death penalty must always be available. Paul Johnson, Jr. was kidnapped by terrorists and brutally beheaded.
As if that wasn't good enough, they took pictures
and posted them on their website. Do you think life without parole is sufficient for cutting off a man's head, sticking it on his back and plunging his face with the knife used to sever his head?
Finally, I submit that the death penalty is not cruel, not unusual and fully constitutional. I've explained in earlier writings why I feel it isn’t cruel and unusual but C. Justice Earl Warren can explain it legally.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, in Trop v. Dulles:
"Whatever the arguments may be against capital punishment, both on moral grounds and on grounds and in terms of accomplishing the purposes of punishment.... the death penalty has been employed throughout our history, and in a day when it is still widely accepted, it cannot be said to violate the conceptional concept of cruelty".
On constitutionality, I present you with the Fifth Amendment and a couple more really smart judges. I highlighted the areas in the amendment that I feel support the death penalty.
The Fifth Amendment
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Former Justice Marshall McComb of the California Supreme Court wrote in 1972:
It is my opinion that the death penalty is constitutional, as determined...in innumerable cases. therefore, since it is the duty of the Legislature of the electorate, and not the judiciary, to decide whether it is sound public policy to empower the imposing of the death penalty, it is my opinion that if a change is to be made, it should be effected through the legislative process of by the people through the initiative process.
US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia confirmed this analysis in 1997 when he said:
"No fewer than three of the Justices with whom I have served (Justices Brennan, Marshall, and Blackmun) have maintained that the death penalty is unconstitutional, even though its use is explicitly contemplated in the Constitution. The Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments says that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law; and the Grand Jury Clause of the Fifth Amendment says that no person shall be held to answer for a capital crime without grand-jury indictment."
For people who truly value public safety, there is no substitute for capital punishment.
I'll leave you with the words of the SCOTUS when they reinstated the death penalty:
"the decision that capital punishment may be the appropriate sanction in extreme cases is an expression of the community's belief that certain crimes are themselves so grievous an affront to humanity that the only adequate response may be the penalty of death. "
Rosemary Esmay, Iron Blogger Republican