Kirsten Powers was and still is a Clintonian Liberal. She had some kind of conversion to Christianity and, subsequently, stopped favoring the legality of abortion. She now thinks it should be outlawed as murder. But otherwise, she uses her platform in the media to defend same sex “marriage” and the coercion of Christians to affirm the existence of such a thing. We’ll have to see if she comes to her sense or makes herself an anti-Christ propagandist.
But now she is trotting out the “conservative case” against the death penalty in USA Today, relating the arguments of an ostensibly conservative group, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.
She certainly couldn’t proffer a “conservative” argument for herself. Her own position is just to sneer at those who disagree and marginalize them by fiat insult:
Yes, support for death penalties has been dropping in a Pew survey — from 78% in 1996 to 55% last year. But this barbaric practice still enjoys strong preference among conservatives, with 69% expressing support in a June ABC News/Washington Post poll. Only 49% of liberals agreed.
This is pretty much as high an intellectual place as you will find in Powers. She’s learned a few syllogisms and conclusions for abortion but the rest of her worldview remains a haze of intuition and prejudice. Why is the death penalty wrong? Because it is “barbaric.” And why is it barbaric? Because it is wrong. It is remarkable to me that something that is such a “barbaric a practice” can be favored by 49 percent of Liberals.
Also, just for the record, if you want real barbarism, go look at our prisons. But no one wants to do that.
Which brings us to the “conservative” argument that Powers quotes to us:
The case is simple. Conservative policies are supposed to be … pro-life, fiscally responsible and limited government. We risk taking innocent life, it costs more than life without parole, and I can’t think of a bigger government program than one where you can kill your citizens.
First of all, problems with our justice system should not be confused with a case against the death penalty. They are logically distinct. And I don’t want anyone to tell me that it is OK if we have problems with our justice system because people are merely punished with a lifetime in prison.
Yes, some people can be later released who might be dead otherwise, but the possibility of making a mistake can’t be an excuse for not doing the right thing. And the ultimate argument for the death penalty is that it is intrinsically just for certain crimes (murder, mainly). So the question, “Can the death penalty be inflicted with more accuracy?” is not really the same question as, “Is the death penalty right for a crime?”
Next in this argument is the “pro-life” slogan. Only a psychopath thinks a restriction on killing the innocent entails a prohibition on justice. So I shall move on.
“…fiscally responsible and limited government…” Really? Prisons? Those are pretty much the opposite of fiscal responsibility and limited government.
It would be one thing if Powers believed the state should divest itself of all deadly weapons. But she doesn’t. And she won’t hear assertions that threatening with such weapons is “barbaric.” No, suddenly it is necessary and practical. After all, there might be a cake decorator in Arizona who doesn’t want to affirm Powers’ delusion that marriage can be a relationship between two persons of the same sex and, for that failure to parrot the new state orthodoxy, penalties must be imposed. These are imposed by judges who always have an armed entourage in the room to make sure you know that they have the power. There is no consistency in Powers’ emotional reaction to the death penalty.
What else does Powers have? She mentions a “botched” execution because of these ridiculous injection methodologies. It demonstrates the stupidity of trying to satisfy self-styled humanitarians that we use such methods. We should use the firing squad and get rid of the contraptions.
The bottom line is that the death penalty is a limit on the state and a turning over of the accused to God’s hands. It is directly related to why the state should be forbidden from inflicting torture. That is why a murderer of ten suffers no greater penalty than a murderer of one. At some point, the state gives up on the possibility of inflicting a punishment in this world and sends the offender to the next.