Seems that the UN is so doing:
New York, Nov 19, 2007 (CNA).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, said this week the recent resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly calling for an international moratorium on the application of the death penalty is a “relevant step” in the defense of life, although it only has “symbolic value” since it is not “an agreement that binds countries.”
The resolution, which was supported by 99 countries, with 52 voting against and 33 abstaining, “is very important, and it is gratifying that so many Catholic organizations have worked for this and thus they have the right to be pleased.”
“I am very happy,” Cardinal Martino said. “I was the Holy See’s representative to the United Nations for more than 16 years and during that time I collaborated in two efforts during the 90’s to achieve this moratorium: we worked very hard and we were discouraged when the votes were tallied, the project had to be withdrawn because the numbers were just not there. This time the numbers are there and for this reason I am very pleased.”
Mario Marazzit, a spokesman for the Sant’Egidio Community, said, “The vote is historic, because it is very strong moral pressure and it points to a standard that has become important for all of the countries that do not use the death penalty yet.” He said he was hopeful the resolution would have an impact on the laws in individual countries.
One does question the actual motivations of the UN in lining up against the death penalty – but more importantly, it allows us to ask the basic question of the anti-death penalty forces worldwide: Why do you want the death penalty banned?
I know, it seems obvious – because killing people isn’t the answer. The problem is that most people who want to spare the lives of guilty criminals are also in favor of ending the life of innocent, unborn children. This is especially true of the UN, which has essentially taken the pro-abortion fanatic line on how available abortion should be – on demand. If killing is wrong, then abortion is wrong – but that seems to be something the anti-death penalty movement almost entirely misses.
As for me, it is easy – I’m opposed to abortion, and the death penalty. The reason I’m opposed to it is because one can never be 100% sure of what a person deserves to have happen to him. Certainly, the guilt of those on death row is not in doubt – the mental gymnastics some people go through to try and claim that an innocent man is on death row are rather bizarre, and pathetic. But even the guilty have a claim upon our mercy – a small claim, to be sure, but still very real. I don’t support an outright ban on the death penalty because there may always be that circumstance where it is the only thing we can do in the name of justice, but on the whole I would see these men and women sentenced to a life in prison – and really in prison. I’ve got a prison regimen ready for them which will make them wish they were dead…unless, of course, they start to think about it and understand the debt they owe; such people will come to love their regimen as the basis of their path to salvation…those who don’t get it will, then, get nothing but misery, and that is just.
I doubt that most anti-death penalty people can give a strong defense of their view – they can mostly shout slogans and appeal to emotion, but I’ve yet to see a carefully reasoned justification for ending the death penalty except by those opponents who are also of the Culture of Lfe, and thus also opposed to abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia. During the 2000 campaign you migth recall how the left tried to cook up a death penalty case to embarras then-governor Bush – Bush couldn’t actually commute the man’s sentence (per Texas law), but that didn’t matter…the “heartless Republican” narrative was too dear to the left to allow facts to get in the way. So, they raised up a death row inmate as an exemplar of what is wrong with the death penalty. The only trouble was that even if the man wasn’t guilty of the particular crime he was eventually executed for, he had done enough horrid things (rape, attempted murder, etc) to make one commentor coldly, but accurately, note that he could choke in hell on the irony of it all if he was, indeed, innocent of the murder.
In the unwillingness of most death penalty opponents to embrace the full Culture of Life is their fundamental weakness – but this weakness, in and of itself, would be surmountable if the anti-death penalty people would stop trying to generate sympathy for entirely unsympathetic people. If anyone really wants to seriously curtail and eventually end the application of the death penalty in the United States, the first step would be to reform our prisons to the point where life in prison really meant life in prison – and was under a rule of extraordinary strictness and austerity. The argument will always be lost as long as killers are portrayed as victims – portray them as they are, insist upon their punishment, and appeal to the sense of mercy of the American people – that would be the way to take a stand against the death penalty in the United States.