Dr. Michael L. Ford
7 November 2007
Last night, I sat at my kitchen table trying to catch up with the local news. Reading the Opinion & Comment page of the local weekly newspaper, The Haralson Gateway-Beacon, I was greatly irritated by the editorial of Winston Jones titled “Time to end capital punishment.” It is amazing to me how many people get paid to write down their opinions without the slightest grasp of the subject they are opining about!
When I turned on the t.v. the following afternoon and heard the news that Inmate Michael Mazza had shot and killed Deputy Paul Rein while he was being transported to court I knew Mr. Jones allegations in his article had to be answered. You see, Inmate Mazza had a long history of armed robberies and was already serving a life sentence when he killed Deputy Rein. He is one of those menaces to society who has not been dispatched to the justice bar of a righteous God, but has instead been allowed to stick around to create further sorrow in this world.
Mr. Jones repeated the debunked arguments using about every worn out cliché common to the anti-capital punishment crowd seeking to manipulate gullible people to his point of view. Original thinking was not to be found in his article at all. For instance, in his desire to manipulate opinion he used the old ploy of naming the most disagreeable nations that still execute people. He did not reveal that 64 nations currently employ capital punishment and several are considering bringing it back.
One of the ridiculous claims you always hear, and he was not at all reluctant to use, is all forms of capital punishment are cruel and unusual. Punishment cannot be unusual unless it is rare. As a wordsmith Mr. Jones should be aware of words’ meanings, but if he paid attention to that the force of his arguments would be diminished. One thing I have noticed is people of a liberal bent are more interested in making their argument than paying attention to such facts. As far as being cruel is concerned: people are generally executed in the United States for afflicting far more grievous suffering upon their fellow humans than they receive from the State for their evil. This does away with another one of the arguments he presented; capital punishment is not about revenge, it is really about justice, giving people what they earned.
Mr. Jones mentioned that the Supreme Court showed “promise” in 1972 “when it ruled capital punishment violated the Constitution and halted all executions.” Tut tut, sir! You did not tell your readers there had been a voluntary moratorium on executions between 1967 and 1972. What the Supreme Court did in 1972 was set up a situation where death penalty laws had to be rewritten. The keyword to describe the Supreme Court, the year Rehnquist joined it, was liberal. They seemed more acquainted with basing their decisions on their own ideas and foreign law than following the Constitution of the United States. I would not use them as my poster children for any cause I wanted to argue for no matter how much they favored it.
In a further effort to manipulate people, Mr. Jones labeled inventors of execution devices as “sick” and “sadistic.” It is interesting to me that he would characterize Thomas Edison who did so much to benefit humanity, besides the electric chair, in such a light. As a matter of fact the reason the State of New York led the way in establishing electrocution as the approved form of execution was because it was considered less painful than hanging. Maybe the writer did not know that and is just plain ignorant and not really trying to deceive but I have my doubts.
Mr. Jones, like many who oppose the death penalty, favors life in prison without parole. He argues that it is cheaper than the endless appeals condemned people make. I have my doubts about his facts on that, but the reason there are endless appeals is because the bleeding hearts have junked up the system with their activism. He does not take into consideration the numbers of lawsuits generated by Inmates every year or the numbers of crimes committed by Inmates within prison walls. You never see the people opposed to capital punishment lining up to become Correctional Officers and risk their lives every day dealing with criminals either. Every person opposing capital punishment should spend a year guarding these people and then let us see what tune they sing. Finally, I resent people trying to claim capital punishment is somehow unchristian. When you check the track record of their attitude toward Christianity it is usually found lacking and their knowledge of Bible doctrine deficient.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113