Tuesday, January 29, 2008

MCC and the Death Penalty: A Case for It

As we know, there is a push among many Catholics to end the Death Penalty.

Here is what the Catechism says:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."

However, there are some who commit crimes so heinous, so egregious that the only way the pubic will ever be safe is via the death penalty.

Take the case of Brandon T. Morris:

A state prison inmate who shot a correctional officer in the head while the officer pleaded for his life was sentenced to life without parole yesterday, to the displeasure of the victim's family and co-workers who had hoped for a death sentence.

After shooting Officer Wroten with the guard's gun early in the morning of Jan. 26, 2006, Morris briefly took a hospital visitor hostage, carjacked a taxi and forced the cabbie at gunpoint to drive him into nearby Pennsylvania, where the car crashed. Morris fled back into Maryland, where he was captured in an industrial park.

Given the amount of effort that it will take to guard him, as the article rightly points out, this is the perfect case for the death penalty.

The MCC instead of working to abolish it, should support it in specific circumstances, such as Brandon Morris, Jeffery Dahmer and the Unibomber.


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