Most modern nations have had the death penalty at some time and most have abandoned it. Indeed one difference between the current Muslim scourge and our own 'western' practices in handing out 'Judicial' death sentences can be seen largely as one of Time. One only has to go back 150 years in Britain, for instance and we could see people hanged at Tyburn or Coventry's Gibbet Hill infront of huge crowd of jeerers. Before that the French were quite adept with the Guillotine and the Anglos were even more gory with the 'hang, draw and quarter' practice. Occasions were funfairs.
But we are past all that now, aren't we? America still has some vestige still operating. Should the rest of the West follow suit and bring back the rope?
I do not think we should bring back torture or the more gruesome punishments but what are the arguments pro and con and what does a christian - a Catholic - have to say?
The debate wandered around with the occasional quite nasty utterances which needed a stern look and even a call to the Bouncer. But several points could sum up. I shall give my view later but you can gauge for yourselves here >>>
If the penalty is not severe, the act is bound to be repeated more frequently. The penalties for any crime are only a deterrent, there is no way to stop it 100%; but effective curtailment is crucial, so the consequence of breaking any law (secular/moral/religious) must be relative to the desired impact(in this case these highest)Its simple, yes of course.If they are willing to kill hundreds or thousands of people, to the point they'd give up their own life to do so, surely we can't be blamed for wanting to rid ourselves of such dangers? Terrorism is like smallpox, we just don't need it and it does nothing but bad, i say if you want to be a terrorist, fine, but you give up all your human rights and if caught i say we should be able to do whatever we want with you, what about your human rights i hear you ask? Well what about ours?
The warrior at war, even the footsoldier, may - indeed is encouraged to - kill the enemy. But what if the enemy is captured and can no longer act against you? To that I would hazard that in the field Rule 303 has been implemented on more than just the one occasion of Lt 'Breaker' Morant. What of the sentences given for captured terrorists? Is jailing for ten years enough? Should they hang? Guantanamo Bay went down like a lead balloon after a decade of whining and accusation and politicing.No they should not.No one deserves the death penalty, even terrible people who wish to only do us harm. We all have our beliefs and way of living and even though theirs is not right and causes problems and hurts others, it is not right to stoop to their level than turn around and say we are better than them when we just did the same thing.No, not all terrorists should get the death penalty.There are many lower level terrorists that commit terrorist crimes that are not extreme. It is for this reason that I do not believe that all terrorists should get the death penalty. Only those terrorists that commit crimes deserving of the death penalty should be executed for their crimes, not all of them.
What of the 'low-level' not-quite but wannabe terrorist who does not (yet) go blowing up folk or running them down in the street with a car or truck, but just limits himself to, say, raping dozens of young girls as part of a grooming and rape gang (as per Rotherham) that sees 'infidel' girls as 'meat'? Should they get suspended from a rope instead of suspended sentences? What for those who covered it up, lied, excused, enabled it?
What of the policies for having people who have left one's own shores to fight for and with a Terrorist organisation and now wants to come home? Should they be kept out, never to darken our doorsteps again or allowed home and hanged?
Is there a Moral Injunction against Capital punishment?
I turned to a Priest who was supping a pint: Fr. C. John McCloskey III
The Traditional Case for Capital PunishmentA group of Catholic publishers recently issued a joint statement urging an end to capital punishment. I have great respect for all of them – I have written for all of them at one point or another. I disagree with them on this issue, however. And it may be good to give some background about why I and many others disagree.
Most importantly, the Catholic Church’s Magisterium does not and never has advocated unqualified abolition of the death penalty.
The U.S. bishops have conceded that Catholic teaching has accepted the principle that the state has the right to take the life of a person guilty of an extremely serious crime. Even the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin – hardly a conservative – never stated that every criminal has a right to continue living, nor did he deny that the state has the right in some cases to execute the guilty.
St. John Paul II, although opposed to most applications of the death penalty, thought the same.Let’s hear what St. Augustine had to say on this topic:
“ . . . there are some exceptions made by the divine authority to its own law, that men may not be put to death. These exceptions are of two kinds, being justified either by a general law, or by a special commission granted for a time to some individual.
And in this latter case, he to whom authority is delegated, and who is but the sword in the hand of him who uses it, is not himself responsible for the death he deals.
And, accordingly, they who have waged war in obedience to the divine command, or in conformity with His laws, have represented in their persons the public justice or the wisdom of government, and in this capacity have put to death wicked men; such persons have by no means violated the commandment, You shall not kill.”
(City of God, Bk I, 21)Augustine also said that capital punishment protects those who are undergoing it from further sinning, which might continue if their life went on.
If this is not enough, consider the thoughts of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, on this topic. Citing Exodus 22, which specifies that certain categories of wrongdoers shall not be permitted to live, Aquinas unequivocally states that civil rulers can execute justly to protect the peace of the state.
St. Thomas finds frivolous the argument that murderers should be allowed to live in hopes of their repentance, questioning how many innocent people should have to suffer death while waiting for the guilty to repent.
While capital punishment is not justifiable as an act of vengeance,.....
according to Aquinas it is justifiable to help secure the safety of the community by removing a dangerous wrongdoer and deterring others from his example; in addition, it is an act of justice, allowing expiation for the wrongdoer’s sin.St. Paul in his hearing before Festus says, “If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death.” (Acts 25:11)
Very clearly this constitutes an acknowledgment on the part of the apostle to the gentiles that the state continues to have the power of life and death in the administration of justice. And of course when we first encounter Paul (Saul at that point), he is cooperating in the stoning to death of St. Stephen for the crime of blasphemy.Pope Pius XII said, “In the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life.”The Catechism of the Council of Trent, composed under the supervision of St. Charles Borromeo, stated: “Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thou shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.”None of the figures mentioned above were bloodthirsty individuals. All probably would have agreed with several modern popes that great care be used in modern conditions in applying the death penalty. But it’s doubtful they would have supported abolishing it.Indeed, for any son or daughter of God, it is a great grace to know the time of one’s death, as it gives us the opportunity to get right with the Lord who will judge us at our death.
Now as a (possibly, trying to be) Good Catholic Knight, I take the Magisterium quite seriously. It is the basis of what in secular terms became English Common Law. Like that law system, based upon precedent and argument over ages, it may differ in some respect from Canon Law, or as in secular terms, Statute Law. But in all event is it based upon 'Authority.Perhaps many people have been saved in this way by the death penalty. Who knows what would have happened if they had been allowed to linger in this life, one day possibly killing other people?And there are other, utterly unexpected effects. The great Catholic convert and evangelist Frank Sheed wrote a book called The Map of Life. In one edition of the book, he tells of a man sentenced to death for murder. After reading Sheed’s book, the man wrote Sheed that, if what he had put down in that book about heaven and forgiveness was true, though he was offered clemency by the State, he decided to allow the execution, because he would be going to heaven now as a Catholic convert.
I do not wholly agree with some outmoded 'Authority' edicts. Ceasars are long gone and we do not have any obligation to render unto them. The State is no longer overseen by a King who might wish to claim a 'Divine Right', a dubious enough concept. Most modern western States are democratic in some manner, and it follows that God did not appoint any MPs or Congressmen:
I did and you did.
I may sometimes make foolish choices and I know full well that you do.
They answer to us. Now it may be that for some of us, God's hand may have nudged us to vote for a Good person, but that is more Hope than Known.
I have mentioned before my own view that God allows much of which He disapproves. I cannot for the life of me (now and in the Hereafter) accept that God appointed Pol Pot.
I see no need whatsoever to go by any Authority that takes away my own.
I answer and will answer, personally to God. He will hold me accountable, not some MP in New South Wales or Arkansas.
So whether we hang terrorists is MY decision, and yours. We shall agree or disagree. But we shall be accountable.
"So, Sir Knight", asked one customer.
"Just what IS your view?"
Yes. Terrorists should be hanged.
Or dispatched by some means, with finality.
It should be done and seen to be done, but not as a spectacle.
But that is not all. I do not like the death penalty, as most reasonable people do not either. But there are necessities of society and of the Spirit. These need to be considered.
The death penalty, as with all penalties, is to punish and deter others It punishes for a crime, in this case so heinous, one of such emormity that it calls for not just loss of freedom but being removed from life altogether. Seeing a miscreant punished may deter others from miscreance too. Many lesser penalties also seek redemption - or in civil terms, rehabilitation - a chance to become a useful and reasonable citizen. This latter aspect must be available, for a time at least, even for a terrorist.
And the miscreant, in this instance a murderous Muslim, intent of being the best Muslim he can be, terrorising with killing, deeply imbued with a creed so horrific and wicked, who cares nought for his own life and even less for innocent victims, needs to be punished severely.
He or she should be locked away for five years, in a man-made purgatory.
One does not need to emulate the abject cruelty and physical mutilations that he would give to his victims. But his purgatory should be punitive. Isolation. Never to speak with a human being again. At least not for a long time.
Sent to Coventry.
This in fact was a punishment handed to Some Englishmen of yore. One hypothesis as to the origin of this phrase is based upon The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England, by Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon. In this work, Clarendon recounts how Royalist troops that were captured in Birmingham were taken as prisoners to Coventry, which was a Parliamentarian stronghold. Indeed, the dungeons under St Mary's Hall saw many men locked into darkness and left to die of starvation.
His living conditions should be sparse. He should be hosed down in pig fat on arrival so he knows he must abandon any thought of going to meet Allah.
His diet should be non-Muslim.
He should be subjected to 24/7 Bible readings from just the New Testament. Christian hymns too. These should be piped into his cell and he have no way of stopping them. (they can be at a whisper while he sleeps). Films should be projected onto his cell wall. The Passion of the Christ would be a good start of a long list. He should be given a Bible when he asks for it, after one year.
After a year of isolation and mindbatheing he may be offered a chance to convert from Muslim to Christian.
Then he can be hanged.
The sooner he converts the sooner he gets hanged. It is something for him to look forward to. (Of course, the conversion must be sincere).
And his family? What of them? No Muslim stands much of a chance of avoiding becoming a psychopath, being born into an evil, psychotic society, totally immersed in hatred and violence. It is there from birth in his family. He does not act his terrorism as a rebellion against his parents but in accord with their deeply held and lived beliefs in the destruction of 'Infidels'.
His entire extended family should be deported.
His mosque should be closed down and any objectors deported.
That might be a deterrant too, and at least it will thin-out the numbers of possible future wicked next-door neighbours.
People who stride the streets holding signs like those above, making threats and calling for wicked punishments should be arrested and deported.
I did say you might not like my dark thoughts.
But what of your own?
What say you?
I shall pour your drink while you think.
I shall await comments.