Friday, June 18, 2010


"A Utah firing squad shot to death a convicted killer early on Friday in the third U.S. execution by that means since 1976.

Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49, was pronounced dead at 12:20 amMountain Time (0620 GMT) after being shot in the chest by a five-man firing squad at the Utah State Prison in Draper, a suburb of Salt Lake City, Steve Gehrke, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Corrections, told reporters.

Gardner was condemned to die for the murder of an attorney during a bloody 1985 escape attempt and chose the firing squad as his means of execution before it was banned by the state and replaced by lethal injection.

..."I find it barbaric," Bishop John C Wester of The Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City said in an interview.

"If you're going to do the death penalty, lethal injection would be the more humane way," Wester said, adding in reference to the firing squad, "It emblazons in our consciousness the violence that guns wreck on our lives."
DNA India

Gardner's daughter was on TV this morning and said her father chose the firing squad because he lived by the gun so he should die by the gun.

That, Bishop Wester, is not barbaric; it's just, and in it's own way, poetic. This was a man that understood the damage he had done and accepted the penalties due for his actions. This is the reason for the death penalty. It's not about revenge or retribution. It's about justice.

I used to be, when I was younger and much more idealistic, vehemently opposed to the death penalty. I no longer am. And it's the teachings of the Catholic Church that have brought me to my conclusion.

Society has a right to impose the death penalty.
This is the teaching of the Church. John Paul II was opposed to it and when the Catechism was published he had his opinion included. And I don't disagree with his assertion that if society can protect itself from the criminal through means other than death, it should. The thing is, I've come to believe that by not acting swiftly and with justice by executing those convicted in capital cases we are doing society a grave disservice. This is because society will not be protected.

If we could take the person convicted of a capital crime and put him on a work farm with other lifers, and make sure none of them see the light of freedom ever again in their lives, then fine. Be we won't. We'll let him get all lawyered up, at our expense. We'll get the media and celebrities writing articles and going on TV spouting off about how the person is innocent or wasn't raised right or didn't eat enough green beans when he was a kid or some other psycho babble excuse for his reprehensible behavior. The killer becomes a celebrity and all the little killer wannabe's look up and admire his celebrity and how he's gamed the system. All the criminals he's in prison with will figure that the punishment for killing somebody isn't so bad because the celebrity in the next cell over is meeting with hot Hollywood babes and getting his name splashed all over the place. The lesson the cons and the wannabe's take away from all this is that there really isn't any serious punishment for murder so if you need to kill the victim of your next crime to cover your tracks, why the hell not?

Can someone please explain to me how this protects society?

Wouldn't we be safer if the killer knew that when he got caught he'd get a fair trial and if convicted he'd be allowed a review of the case by qualified attorney's and judges, which really shouldn't take that long, and if everything is in order he will be taken out the day after the review is complete and hung in the town square, in full view of the wannabe's? Don't you think that maybe the in your face reality of punishment, swift and sure, for the crime committed, wouldn't go at least some distance towards convincing some, maybe most criminals, that killing the victim to cover the crime may not be the smartest idea? Don't you think that the picture of that guy jerking and shaking and crapping all over himself at the end of the rope might just pass through their mind?

So until we figure out a way to keep ourselves safe from convicted killers, truly and completely safe, I say hang the bastards. I don't take this lightly and I wish it didn't have to happen but this isn't a perfect world. Life is hard enough when we all play by the rules. We don't have time to mess with those that won't.

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  1. I agree 100%:

  2. You are welcome, Catawissa.

    I wrote a followup just in case anyone objects by saying that God's punishment of Jezebel is "Old Testament" and not the "New Covenant":