Monday, January 18, 2010

Republicans Against the the Death Penalty- A Growing Movement

Hmm this is a very interesting post here at A Conservative Anti-Death Penalty Push?

The huge name here is Richard Viguerie

This has been going on for a number of years but has largely gone unnoticed.

I think I have a Sam Brownback view on it. Against it except in the most extreme cases.

Why has this happened? Well for many reasons.

No doubt the innocence project has played a role.

Bill Clinton in 92 running back to Arkansas to sign the death warrant on a mentally challenged guy during the Dem Primary might have taken the whole issue off the partisan table and strangely let more discussion occur.

The more Libertarian influence on the Republican party and conservative movement has played a role. They have never been big fans.

The whole Catholic/ Evangelical dialogue in conservative circles. Some major Catholic conservatives have had unease about State execution.

Orthodox Catholic Bishops ,like Chaput of Denver to name one ,that has earned the respect of many on other issues that at least people listen to his views on this. He is one of many.

Regardless what once used to be a huge issue (Let fry them) has been much more muted than we saw in the 80's.

Imagine if we could have a discussion like this on abortion at the state level. That is one reason why Roe must be overturned.


dudleysharp said...

Very Weak: Conservative Argument Against the Death Penalty
Dudley Sharp, contact info below
August, 2009

Mr. Viguerie makes a very weak argument for repeal of the death penalty. (1) It is, in fact, classic anti death penalty speak dressed up as something slightly different, but the same old non substance - the king's new clothes.

1) Mr. Viguerie writes: "I’m a Catholic. Because of my Christian faith, and because I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I oppose the death penalty."

Sharp replies: There is no conflict with Catholic/Christian faith and support for the death penalty. There has been nearly 2000 years of biblical, theological, traditional and rational support for the death penalty within the Catholic Church. Even today, a Catholic in good standing can support the death penalty and an increase in executions, based upon their own prudential judgement. I would ask Mr. Viguerie to review the requirements of his faith, re the death penalty.

see "Death Penalty Support: Modern Catholic Scholars"

2) Mr. Viguerie "I’m a conservative as well, and because my political philosophy recognizes that government is too often used by humans for the wrong ends, I find it quite logical to oppose capital punishment."

Sharp replies: Because some seek any goal for the wrong ends, doesn't mean that the death penalty is not sought, most often, for honorable ends, the just and appropriate sentence for the crime committed. As Mr. Viguerie does not have a case for an opposite finding, he gives no support for ending the death penalty, with his statement.

3) Mr. Viguerie: "The fact is, I don’t understand why more conservatives don’t oppose the death penalty. It is, after all, a system set up under laws established by politicians (too many of whom lack principles); enforced by prosecutors (many of whom want to become politicians—perhaps a character flaw?—and who prefer wins over justice); and adjudicated by judges (too many of whom administer personal preference rather than the law)."

Sharp replies: Mr. Viguerie, the same arguments can be used against all legal sanctions or anything established under law. You provide neither argument nor evidence that the death penalty is not, most often sought and given by honorable persons for honorable reasons. Furthermore, 80% of US citizens support the death penalty for true, capital, death penalty eligible murders. Again, Mr. Viguerie provides no foundation to oppose the death penalty, with his statement.


dudleysharp said...


4) Mr. Viguerie: "Conservatives have every reason to believe the death penalty system is no different from any politicized, costly, inefficient, bureaucratic, government-run operation, which we conservatives know are rife with injustice. But here the end result is the end of someone’s life. In other words, it’s a government system that kills people."

Sharp replies: Yes, they do have reason to believe it is different.

4a) Costly/inefficient: Rebuttal. Virginia executes in 5-7 years. 65% of those sentenced to death have been executed. Only 15% of their death penalty cases are overturned. With the high costs of long term imprisonment, a true life sentence will be more expensive than such a death penalty protocol. Therefore, again, Mr. Viguerie does not provide a solid reason to oppose capital punishment. Improve the system in other states.

See: "Cost Savings: The Death Penalty"

4b) Injustice: Rebuttal. Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty? Unlikely. Therefore, this may be the least likely government program to end, based upon Mr. Viguerie's reasoning.


"The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents"

A Death Penalty Red Herring: The Inanity and Hypocrisy of Perfection, Lester Jackson Ph.D.,

"The Innocent Executed: Deception & Death Penalty Opponents"

The 130 (now 139) death row "innocents" scam

Mr. Viguerie, a very weak non-case, indeed, for death penalty opposition.

1) "When Government Kills: A conservative argues for abolishing the death penalty", by Richard A. Viguerie, Sojourners magazine, July 2009

Dudley Sharp
e-mail, 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally