I dno’t know quite how this became such a popular “argument”, but bringing up the death penalty in arguments about abortion, somehow trying to paint the pro-life side as hypocritical, is stupid and illogical.
(1) There’s hardly a 1-to-1 correspondence between people who are pro-life and people who are pro-death-penalty, even though both are stereotypically republican positions
Pro-choice and pro-life are completely different things. Being pro-choice is simply a legal decision and has no moral component.
While I don’t agree with pro-lifers in any way - I don’t think the embryo is a person and I don’t like their methods, I can see that, if they do believe the embryo is a person, then all abortions are murder.
Pro-choicers (like me) are just assuming that they are right about what constitutes life and are only arguing about who has the right to authorise terminations.
So like you I am pro choice but in some circumstances I am pro death penalty.
You just cited a big argument for people like me who do (at least in part) link the two arguments.
There have been way too many innocent people put to death. Hell, even one is too many. Death is one punishment that is completely unreversable. So long as we have an imperfect justice system, the death penalty should not be used.
Where are all the people fighting for those innocent people?
It is entirely possible to (a) believe that an embryo is a human live, (b) believe that the mother’s right to cease to be pregnant trumps the embryo’s right to life, and (c) believe that killing the embryo under these circumstances does not constitute murder. People killed for non-malevolent reasons are NOT murder victims. Just as soldiers have the right to kill enemy combatants even when it is not self-defense, just as employees of the state have the right to execute people sentenced to death in a court of law, women may be considered to have the right to kill in order to abort a pregnancy, and that is a perfectly valid position to hold. Bringing yet another argument to the effect that “See, It Is Too a Human Life” to the table, as if that immediately leads to the inescapable conclusion that abortion = murder, is tiresome and boring. Even if you produce solid research indicating that embryos can learn 17 languages and earn the Nobel Peace Prize in utero, it’s irrelevant for those of us who are pro-choice and who have long since acknowledged that the embryo is alive and human, so can we please move on? Thank you.
I don’t see anti-abortionists who support the death penalty as necessarily hypocritical, though I’m not sure whether a good Catholic would agree.
Emphasis added. The hypocritical part comes in when camp (2) opposes a death penalty moritorium in the teeth of evidence that the innocent are being executed by the state. Such death penalty advocates would not fear that the moritorium would never be lifted, since for them respect for life would take precidence. (They might of course support the lifting of the moritorium at a later date, but that’s a separate matter.)
I suspect that there are other camps unmentioned by Max. They might believe in a State that punishes wrongdoing, but don’t worry too much about miscarriages of justice. Control is the virtue here, not life. This POV isn’t hypocritical. I’m sure there are others.
Somewhere, in a recent thread, there’s a post referring to this very concept as attributed to P. J. O’Rourke, who uses the same argument to paint “pro-choice” as being hypocritical. I assume that the OP finds this equally stupid and illogical?
It is if they are Catholic. Just as being pro-choice or pro-war in Iraq or pro-euthanasia is. When people like my family members insist that they are against abortion because of the Church but embrace the death penalty or unjust wars, that’s hypocrisy.
I agree that there’s not an obvious moral contradiction, like being for Free Silver and Gold Standard at the same time. I think it’s supposed to expose the hypocrisy of the Republican party platform. It’s just as easy to use those two issues to expose the hypocrisy of the Democratic platform, if you ask the loaded question of why Democrats care more about the rights of murderers than innocent children (of course, that begs the question by presuming that embryos are ‘children’). As someone is very on the fence on both issues, I can see how anyone can be for both abortion and the death penalty, against both (like any good Catholic), or for either one and against the other.
Do you have a cite for this? Not people let off death row because they were found to be innocent, that’s the system working properly, people who were actually executed and then later proved innocent. I’m aware of 1 case where a witness recanted his testimony years later, after the condemned had been put to death, which is still a long way from him being proved innocent.
Yea, blah, blah, blah. Life is imperfect and any one of us could be killed by any number of stupid things at any time. The link you gave lists 6 cases under the heading of “Executed But Possibly Innocent”. 6. Out of over 1000 people executed. They are an anti-DP site, if there was even a remotely reasonable doubt about guilt in other cases, don’t you think they’d be up there? Even if all 6 were really and truly innocent, that still means that better than 99.994% of the time the condemned was guilty. I can live with that margin of error. I can’t at the moment think of any other human enterprise that has an (potential) error rate that vanishingly small.
Modern conservatives see such a list -long or short- and conclude that the system is working. Personally, I find it interesting that then number of exonerations sharply increased after 1998, moving from 2.96 to 7.60 exonerations per year. Either the quality of the initial trials declined for a certain cohort, or there was a systemic increase in the ability to detect judicial miscarriage.
The best way to understand US death penalty policy would be to reopen a sample of the old cases.