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The death penalty for heinous crimes is something I have strenuously argued for in the past. But no more. Not after the Central Park Jogger case. That was the one that tipped it for me, and the discovery of so many other “clearly guilty” parties that turned out to be innocent of very serious charges. More about that later. It used to really bother me that parole boards could “undo justice”, in my opinion, and turn a multiple-convicted felonious sociopath loose on the public, based on “good behavior” or how nice he talked to the board, or how he “cleaned up his act” and was now rehabilitated. And then, once loose, he would commit another similar crime, and the process would begin all over again. And again.
Here’s what the Church teaches about the use of potentially lethal force in defense of life, and about the legitimate civil authority to make use of the death penalty.
Even after reading Evangelim Vitae, and even after listening to John Paul the Great discussing this topic, I still felt that he did not fully understand the situation in America. Yes, it is possible to lock a serial killer away forever and keep him away from future victims, including those in prison with him. However, we all have seen how often that is simply not done here. In America, there is such a thing as a three or even more time offender for such serious crimes as kidnapping, rape, torture, murder, even first degree murder. I seriously doubt that that situation exists anywhere else to the degree that it exists here in America. We seem to have gone way too far in looking after the convicted criminal’s rights. I’m not denying that they have rights, but stating that there are limits to everyone’s rights, and no convicted murder should be granted more rights than those he denied his victim(s).
But then, the Central Park Jogger case happened. You may remember it; a lone woman was jogging in Central Park, New York City, and she was brutally attacked, beaten half to death, raped and left for dead. She was beaten so severely that her skull was broken, and she very nearly died. In fact, for some time, it was fully expected that she would die. It appeared that her assailant had fully intended that she die. By some miraculous intervention, she was eventually able to make a near full recovery, with health and well being restored, but not her memory of the event. Maybe it’s better that she doesn’t remember that.
Five black boys were arrested in short order for the offense, and they were tried for it. I readily admit that I had some very dark thoughts about them, and mercy was not among them. They all confessed to the crime. They were all convicted. If I had been on that jury, I would have fought hard for the death penalty for all of those boys. If I had been the judge, I would have had difficulty asking God to have mercy on their souls. The crime was so heinous as to be enraging. This was a crime that cried out to Heaven for vengeance.
But, they just went to prison, as is usual, it always seemed to me. Some years later, another common criminal confessed to the crime, saying that he had acted alone. And then, the whole case began to unravel, and to reveal a justice system of corruption and lies, and, over a period of time, with other similar cases coming to light, it turned me completely around on the issue. Those five black boys didn’t do it.
The first thing revealed was that the newest confessor to the crime submitted a DNA sample, and it matched the DNA found on the victim. Huh? There was DNA evidence found? And it didn’t match any of the five boys? And the court knew it? Why didn’t I know that? Why didn’t the public know it? Why didn’t the jury know it? Did the Judge know it?
Most important of all, why did these five young men confess to something they didn’t even do? They had all confessed. They wrote out and signed confessions. Can we ever depend on a signed confession in a court of law again? What came to light is that cops have ways of tricking people into confessions, particularly young people. Not only that, but defense attorneys will often recommend to their innocent client that they should sign a confession as part of a plea bargain. Hey, man, I know you didn’t do it, but they’ve got so much evidence against you that a confession is your best shot at a lighter sentence; it’s the best you can do under the circumstances, so take what you can get while you can get it.
It turned out that the five black boys were among a larger group who were doing something they all periodically did, which was called “wilding,” in which they mobbed-up and assaulted people, particularly white people, just to beat them up for being white. It might be a sort of poetic justice that they got the crap scared out of them and spent some time behind bars over this, but, the bottom line is, they never even laid eyes on the lady who was nearly killed. That’s what they were tried, convicted and sentenced for. And they didn’t even do it.
Evidence was withheld. Confessions were falsely obtained. In all probability, these five kids were probably the only ones of the “wilders” that the cops could catch, and they just stuck them with the rap for something completely unrelated.
My faith in the New York police is about gone. My faith in the whole justice system as applied in New York City is about gone. I wonder about it elsewhere in America. With the advances in DNA technology, periodically we see these cases where people, some on death row somewhere, are granted freedom because the DNA now proves that someone else did the crime they were convicted of. Not just a few times. For awhile, it was nearly a daily event. In some cases, even eye witness testimony was refuted by the new DNA evidence.
There was even one case in recent memory of a forensic scientist faking DNA test results to convict suspects that some police friends were “certain” was guilty. You can’t even trust the pathologists or the laboratories involved.
Can any part of the investigative process, let alone the litigation, be trusted any more? If a cop can “plant” evidence at a crime scene – anything from a gun to some item with the suspect’s finger prints on it – then a cop can even plant DNA evidence at a crime scene, or tamper with it later. If a cop or a DA can trick someone into a confession, and if a defense attorney can convince an innocent man that a confession is in his own best interest, then what the hell happened to the search for truth? All my life I’ve heard the old saw that says that every single person in prison claims that he is innocent of what he was convicted of.
Could it be true?
I’m sorry, but, “beyond a reasonable doubt” is no longer good enough for me in any capital offense. I would have to know with absolute certainty that the accused was guilty, or I could not vote for conviction so long as the possibility of a death penalty was present. There could not be the slightest shadow of a doubt before I could vote guilty.
Pray for the restoration of honor and integrity in America.
Pray for truth and justice.
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Saturday, March 09, 2013
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.
Date: Tue Nov 18 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
and name from
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.
Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages. .
Date: Fri Feb 21 08:35:17 2020
Death penalty is never the answer. It is contrary to basic human right to life. The main problems of death penalty are the irreversible consequences of it and the sheer power over a person granted to the government. In my opinion, death penalty is a fundamentally anti-American concept, if the American rights to life, liberty and prosperity mean anything.
"...In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution." - Thomas Jefferson.
Therefore, I submit that not only such a system is inhumane, but the potential for it's abuse is too big, given that there are human lives at stake. It is for similar reasons why we do not tolerate vigilantes and other judge-jury-executioner types - the potential for irreversible mistake is too great.
Date: Fri Feb 21 2020
From: Vic Biorseth
Capital offenses such as murder are inhumane; the death penalty properly applied is not inhumane. My problem is not with the justice of the death penalty for capital crimes; it is with the American justice system itself.
I just don't trust it any more. Look at all the crimes involved in the current ongoing criminal attempt to unseat the Trump government, and all the innocent victims of it, like General Flynn.
The whole justice system, top to bottom, is corrupt, and not worthy of our trust.
Date: Sat Feb 22 09:57:39 2020
The problem really does lie with the death penalty itself, rather then a given kind of justice system. I simply do not trust ANYONE with that kind of power over human life. Because, so long as an innocent cannot be killed, there is only so much harm to be done - at least, when the times change, there exists at least some possibility of redress for the innocents. But the death penalty completely eliminates any possibility of redress. And when an innocent is killed, what will the government drones say? "We didn't know"? Or, perhaps, an "Oops"? I don't know how it is exactly in America, but in my country, all of us know that government is to be trusted minimally or, better yet, never. All governments, no matter how efficient or constrained by law, consist of mere men. These men can be highly moral, duly following just laws to the best of their ability - but they are still mere men. And thus, they are open to mistakes. Something so irreversible absolutely requires a truly infallible arbiter of justice - and there exists no man that can fill such a role. So long as there are mere men making such life-or-death decisions, there can never be a complete trust in any justice system for something like this - therefore, prohibiting death penalty in all it's forms is a necessary constraint on all justice systems in the world.
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
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Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in
thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life:
and few there are that find it! Beware of false prophets, who come to you in
the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Jesus Christ; Matt 7:13-15
Arguments Pro and Con Pages
We love a good argument. Here are some of our favorites.
Argument: The Good, The Bad and The Pointless. On the Reasoned Argument. (In the absence of reason, there is no valid argument.)
The Arguments pro and con under girding the Catholic American Thinker. Foundational arguments pro and con under girding Western culture and the Judeo-Christian ethos.
Artificial Contraception: Tool of Materialism with which to destroy Monotheism.
Acceptance of Artificial Contraception marked the single most destructive turning point in the history of Western Culture, marking the end of moral norms, foretelling tolerance of anything at all.
Refuting the Origin Of Species pseudo-scientific theory of Charles Darwin.
If Darwin’s Origin Of Species is a true Scientific Theory then there must be a preponderance of evidences supporting it. Show us any of it.
Refuting the Repressed Memory Syndrome scientistic theory of Freudianism.
If Freudianism’s Repressed Memory Syndrome is a true Scientific Theory then there must be a preponderance of evidences supporting it. Show us any of it.
Refuting Marxism and sub-theories of Socialism and Communism, as Scientism.
If Marxism represents any sort of true Scientific Theory then there must be a preponderance of evidences supporting it. Show us any of it.
Refuting Separation of Church and State as a Constitutional Principle.
If Seperation of Church and State cannot be found in our Constitution, what makes it a Constituional Principle? Nothing. It is NOT a Constitutional Principle.
Argument opposing Sharia law as brutal, oppressive and murderous.
Opposing Sharia Law means opposing brutal domination, wife beating, child abuse and even bloody murder.
Our argument supporting the Rule of Subsidiarity, practicality and common sense.
The moral and organizational Rule of Subsidiarity is crucial to the rights of man and essential for freedom.
The Sexual Revolution: Sexual Freedom, or enslavement and degradation?
The Sexual Revolution was supposed to free us, rather than enslave us, and uplift us, rather than degrade us. It was a lie from the beginning; it degraded whole cultures and attacked human dignity.
Our argument against Earmarks: the infamous Line Items of Pork Barrel Politics.
Legislative Earmarks feed corruption through skimming, lobbyist paybacks, hidden political agendas and more, by providing a huge political Pork Barrel feeding frenzy.
You cannot legislate morality is the false claim of the immoral.
We MUST legislate morality, as long as the legislature is representative of the people. Otherwise, what is legislated reflects the whim of the dictator(s) of the moment.
The religion as a private matter argument that cannot stand the light of day.
Claiming one’s religion as a private matter is a neutral thing, unless the one with the claim is in authority over us, as an official or a “representative” politician.
Our arguments against un-Constitutional Gun Control laws, rules and regulations.
The British feared that, absent "gun control", the militias in the colonies could become as "regulated" and fearsome as the British "Regulars" themselves.
Renouncing the great Communist Lie in its older, current and newer forms.
The whole “Communist Dream” is a lie; the history of “Communist Revolution” is a lie; virtually everything about Communism is just one big elaborate flagrant categorical lie.
Our argument supporting the Fair Tax as a sensible and practical Tax Revolution.
Fair Tax presents the possibility of a real, popular, voter-supported, tax payer supported, grass-roots supported Revolution in America, and a radical change for the better.
Argument against Public Education, which is, in fact, Government Indoctrination.
Public Education equals State Indoctrination, pure and simple. Education is beyond the scope of government and not what our government is constituted to do.
Argument against National Health Care, which is, in fact, Socialized Medicine.
National Heath Care equals Socialized Medicine, pure and simple. Medical Practice is beyond the scope of government and not what our government is constituted to do.
Values Versus Ethos: If we are not a Christian people then what the hell are we?
Obama set up the values versus ethos argument. He declared that we are not a Christian nation, but a nation of citizens with “values”. What are these values and where did they come from?
Being pro choice or pro woman's right to choose equals being pro abortion.
Saying you are pro choice, or pro right to choose, is saying you are pro abortion. Period. Pro choice equals pro abortion.
Warning all bourgeoisie: Obama will destroy the middle class.
Take fair warning all bourgeoisie, i.e., members of our vast middle class: the Marxists despise you and intend to conquer you once and for all.
The English national language of the United States of America.
There is no good argument against an English national language for America. What other language should we all speak here?
We argue against income minimums and caps, and for a free and private market.
Income minimums and caps are Marxism’s “moral” bait to gain popular support for Socialism on the path to typical Marxist absolute dictatorship.
Our argument against unions and for a more open and free marketplace.
Arguing against unions and other free market interventions is seeking greater excellence in market goods, services, employees and employers, through free and open competition.
The Thinking Catholic responses to questions re perpetual virginity of Mary.
From the "brothers of the Lord" to "The Davinci Code" to the word "until" in Matt. 1:24-25, the ancient Hebrew cultural notion of Professed Perpetual Virginity is doomed to be repeatedly challenged.
The contentious issue of Infallibility of Papal and Church teaching.
On matters of faith and morals, and matters relating to Divine Revelation, our central Catholic trust is in the Infallibility of the Holy Ghost, Peter, and The Church, acting together.
Our argument against fads, fashions, popular trends and herd instinct.
If speaking against fads makes me square, un-cool or un-hip, then so be it. All fads are, in microcosm, expressions of rebellion against tradition.
What does normalized, mainstreamed, open homosexuality say about us as a people?
Our argument against open homosexuality is an argument for the continuance of Western Civilization, and the Western Culture Ethos and the normative family.
The Marxism of Obama: Marching America into another Socialist dictatorship.
Vic Biorseth describes the self-documented Marxism of Obama which is still not widely recognized among the American citizenry. Obama “change” is Socialism, pure and simple.
Catholic Marriage Annulment: Is it merely the Catholic version of Easy Divorce?
Ecclesial law regarding the Catholic marriage annulment process has not changed, yet the numbers of annulments granted in America have rocketed. Why?
Opposeing affirmative action / equal opportunity programs as racist. Affirmative action (racial preference) requires racial exclusion, which is, definitively, racism.
Against diversity for the sake of diversity. Why do Marxists always seek more?
Our argument against diversity for the sake of diversity, which weakens and ultimately replaces ideology and ethos.
Against political moderation: America was not founded by indecisive moral wimps.
Political Moderation provides neither leadership nor opposition, but merely a moral drag that historically prolongs moral debates and ends up hurting morality.
The Death Penalty: Is our justice system too corrupt to be trusted with it?
The death penalty is too strong a sentence when serious questions exist re the truthfulness of police, prosecutors, defense attorneys and even forensic scientists.
Constitutional America: The argument for a return to basic rule of law. The arguments for a return to the Constitutional America intended by the Fathers and expected by the People through their Representative Government.
The Population Problem: A Real Problem, or a typical Scientistic Myth?
If England has a higher population density than China, and Hong Kong's is higher than Bangladesh, then maybe the real problems are not related to any over - population problem.
Definition of Marxism: Total control of means of production, including workers.
The definition of Marxism describes the social, economic and governmental philosophy of Karl Marx, co-author of the Communist Manifesto.
Anti-American Politics, pure and simple, describe Democrat Party strategy.
Anti-American Politics are practiced by all Leftists. Marxism, at any level, is antithetical to the very idea of America. To be Marxist is to be an anti-American.
The Godless Left leads the young and naive to their utopian Hell.
For an honest comparison of the effects on youth, we need to look to the history of the Godless Left versus the Religious Right.
My anti anti-American arguments are attacks on falsehoods, in support of truth.
American Communists hide their true identity and disguise themselves as anti anti-Communists. Using their playbook, I hereby identify myself as an anti anti-American.
Deliverance From Evil goes to the heart of the hot political debate in America.
Americans increasingly pray and work for deliverance from evil, as they slowly wake up to a threat that is not merely political in nature.
Background history of the recent Catholic reformation (revolution?) in liturgy.
Reform of the Liturgy began with good intentions toward minor changes, yet almost permanently trashed Latin, and Chant, and, etc., etc., etc.
Our definition of pro American goes considerably deeper than the dictionary. Anyone, anywhere, may be a patriot. Definition of pro American: one who loves and adheres to the American Constitution.
Our definition of anti American goes considerably deeper than the dictionary.
Anyone, anywhere, may oppose nationalism or national pride. Definition of anti American: one who ignores or opposes the American Constitution.
Islam is the enemy; the non-Islamic world just dosen't know it yet.
I keep saying that Islam is the enemy here, and you keep not wanting to hear it. But it's true.
A submission of the “The Church is rotten to the core” argument and its basis.
If indeed the church is rotten to the core then all is lost; unless, of course, the statement is untrue.
Our argument opposing Libertarianism as an amoral conservative vote-splitter.
Opposing Libertarianism may seem counter-intuitive until you realize that it’s just another form of moral relativism.
Why is this American Christian nation not called a Christian nation?
This American Christian nation is oddly referred to as something other than a Christian nation. Why?
Argument Against the Anti-American UN: Why do we support such an antagonist?
The staunchly anti-American UN has a major goal involving world governance, and America is in the way of that effort.
Either limit the scope of government or limit citizen liberty.
Scope of government has broadened so much that there is now little of the living of life that is not subject to regulation.
A fatal false premise is a deadly logical trap for the mal-educated person.
A Fatal false premise with broad general consensus will always trump reason, evidence and critical thinking.
Faith versus Atheism: Is atheism really just a silly superstition?
The Faith versus Atheism argument is at the root of every other important argument.
“Are you saved” might be the conversation starter with a devout Protestant.
First, are you saved; then, are you saved by having been “born again” (but not by Baptism) are the two popular questions of Protestantism.
Is the Bible the sole authority for teaching Christianity?
If Holy Scripture is the sole authority for Christian teaching, then, where does it say that in Holy Scripture?
Marxism Socialism Communism – what’s the difference between them all?
Marxism Socialism Communism are all mistakenly held to be different things, but they are one and the same.
Can we outlaw Marxism in the USA and still be a free thinking society?
I say we can and should outlaw any ideology that seeks the elimination of Constitutional America.
Can we outlaw Islam in the USA and still be a free thinking society?
I say we can and should outlaw any ideology that seeks the elimination of Constitutional America.
Is faith alone the sole requirement of salvation?
Luther’s dictum says that man is justified by faith alone. Is it true?
Argument for Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
The Federal Reserve Act did not prevent the Great Depression, so why does it still exist?
Argument to Repeal Amendment XVI, the Income Tax Amendment.
Repeal Amendment XVI and the very idea of progressively taxing income.
Argument to Repeal Amendment XVII and the Politicizing of the Senate.
We need to repeal Amendment XVII and restore our Senate to its original status.
Toward a return to argumentation; the lost art of reasoned verbal combat. A return to argumentation requires a return to critical thinking. Is it too late for Western man?
Secularism is clearly "the enemy" in the culture war; so, what, exactly, is it? Secularism is an aggressive and very pro-active form of atheism, in that it not only disbelieves, but it actively attacks belief itself, on all fronts.
"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others."--St. Francis of Assisi
Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand
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