Saturday, April 24, 2010

Two on the Death Penalty

  • "Zambian prisoners, including those on death row, will be able to learn to pray the rosary, as the result of an initiative from two United Kingdom charities," as "Aid to the Church in Need and the rosary charity Crown of Thorns, will be sending some 1,600 rosary booklets to Kamfinsa State Prison and Kabwe Maximum Security Prison" — Rosary Goes to Death Row. I oppose the death penalty in principle, but it cannot be denied that condemned criminals receive a certain grace knowing the hour of their death.

  • Critics deride this as "an Old West-style of justice that allows killers to go out in a blaze of glory that embarrasses the state" — Condemned Utah killer will face firing squad. I'm generally favor anything "that embarrasses the state," but it seems only fair to allow a condemned criminal "to go out in a blaze of glory" if he so chooses, rather than to be strapped to a gurney like an animal.
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    Blogger Robert Badger said...

    Utah also was, I believe, the first state to do executions after the U.S. Supreme Court changed its mind and started allowing them again.

    Some observers have long suspected that Utah's unique death penalty was rooted in Mormon church leader Brigham Young's teachings on blood atonement. Young taught that there are some sins so heinous that the blood of Christ is actually insufficient. Thus, in order for that person to be saved, his or her blood would have to be spilled. Murder was one of these. So was apostacy, adultery, and having sexual relations with someone of African descent.

    The state has long denied that this is the case. In fact, the first person executed after the Furman decision wasn't even Mormon. The LDS church would prefer to forget that blood atonement was ever taught and they would especially like to forget all of Brigham Young's teachings on race.

    6:09 PM  
    Blogger Steve Hayes said...

    I can't see that death by firing squad embarrasses the state any more than any other method currently in use.

    9:26 PM  

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