Jun26

More on Death

Posted by Dave on 06/26/06  ~  Posted in: Capital Punishment

In the Supreme Court ruling on the Kansas death penalty that I just wrote about, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a separate opinion defending the death penalty:

The American people have determined that the good to be derived from capital punishment ? in deterrence, and perhaps most of all in the meting out of condign justice for horrible crimes ? outweighs the risk of error. It is no proper part of the business of this court, or of its justices, to second-guess that judgment, much less to impugn it before the world ...

How do these people become Supreme Court Justices and be so completely ignorant? Does he believe that if the American public believes something, it must be true? And further, I am not convinces that the American public believes what he says they do.

First of all, study after study has shown that the death penalty is simply not a deterrent against violent crime. For Justice Scalia to even pretend something different is either complete ignorance or a blatant lie.

Second of all, how dare he say that deterrence and "meting out justice" outweighs the possibility of error? Does he understand what an error means? An error in the death penalty means that an innocent person dies at the hands of the "justice" system. Or in other words, at the hands of each and every one of us.

Third, Scalia claims that it is not proper to "second-guess" the judgment of death. Really? Not fair? Is it not the role of the Supreme Court to assure that justice has been done? In turn, does this not mean that it is very proper to second-guess the judgment when justice has been wronged? Or when innocent people are being murdered? On top of that, one of the roles of the Supreme Court is to uphold the Constitution, regardless of what the "American people" believe. Just because the American people may believe that the so-called benefits of the death penalty outweigh the possibility of errors does not mean that it is the right thing to do. And Justice Scalia knows that.

I would love to have a lunch with Justice Scalia. And just ask him a few simple questions:

  • Does the Supreme Court answer to the people or the Constitution?
  • Do you know the difference between a democracy and a republic?
  • Why is your view on the "American people" in relation to abortion different than your view in relation to the death penalty?
  • How the hell do you consider yourself pro-life?

Once again, I sure am glad that this nation has "pro-life" judges on the Supreme Court. Aren't you?