Friday, October 07, 2005

Death Penalty - A matter of life, death and social standing
September 26, 2005
Michael Lenza sounds like a reluctant opponent of the death penalty.
"I wish I could say the death penalty is fair, the worst people get it; if its a crime of passion, we're not executing them; we're not executing children; were not executing somebody that's mentally retarded or has severe mental disabilities," he said. "But we can't say that. We just can't."
Lenza has the facts and figures to back up what he says. The Bluffton University sociologist spent 6 years analyzing 19 years of capital murder cases in Missouri.
He concluded that when it comes to sentencing in death penalty cases, "almost everything matters except the crime." What matters most, his findings suggest, is the relative value society places on the defendant and on the victim.
Lenzas presentation Friday was based his doctoral dissertation, a study of the death penalty in Missouri from 1978 to 1996.
He examined 9,857 homicides which resulted in 152 death sentences. He found that defendants were more likely to be sentenced to death if they were young, poor, black or had a previous criminal record.
He found a black defendant who killed a white victim was 3 times as likely to receive the death penalty as a white defendant with a black victim.
Lenza's findings track with numerous other studies. A California study published last week suggested the race of the victim could be the most telling factor: A death sentence was most likely when the victim was white, far less so when the victim was black or Hispanic.
"When the jurors decide guilt or innocence, they're looking at the case. Then the trial stops. Then they have a new (sentencing) trial, and it's about the social relationships and the social standing of the defendant," Lenza said.

Loose CanonsRole Reversal
The anti-war, anti-Bush MSM both here and abroad have reached a state of near-rapture. The president's problems, Tom DeLay's indictment, the diminishing support for the war and the growing (and healthy) fight between fiscal conservatives and big government Republicans has enthused them like nothing since the last helo lifted off from the American embassy in Saigon. They're ready to declare conservatism over. But, like the Washington Post's reports that Rep. Mike Pence's "operation offset" was dead, they will be proven wrong if actions take the place of speeches.
A little-noticed role reversal has occurred in American politics. The MSM are performing the service that Heritage, AEI, Cato, and the Hoover Institution provide for conservatives. The media have filled the political and intellectual vacuum that left the Dems entirely bereft of ideas, able to say nothing other than "no." Today the opposition party to the Republicans is not the Dems but the mainstream media itself. They write, they speak, and the Dems follow.

Diesel Deliverance
"We could be driving powerful, stylish vehicles that get 35-45 mpg -- if we lived in Europe."
So don't buy a hybrid car anytime soon.
And they call this a crack down?
Gay priests 'must prove chastity for three years': Vatican
An upcoming Vatican document on gays and the priesthood says men who demonstrate homosexual tendencies cannot become priests unless they can show they have lived chastely for at least three years, an Italian newspaper reported today.

I heard it through the grapevine.
At least how we used to find out about the latest gossip. Now we get in from online, not the grapevine.
New draft translation of Mass prayers distributed to bishops
ROME (CNS) -- A new draft translation of the main Mass prayers in English has been distributed to bishops and was auctioned off Oct. 5 on eBay, the Internet auction site.

Too bad Terri Schavio's judges didn't hear this.
Italian man "understood everything" during 2-year coma
Oct. 06 ( - An Italian man who had been in a coma for 2 years has awakened and reports that he had been fully aware of his surroundings while he was comatose.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Government failure, private success
by Michael D. Tanner
"While the response to hurricane Katrina has uncovered failures of government at every level - federal, state, and local - it has also revealed again the amazing generosity and effectiveness of America's private charitable efforts."

I've often thought exactly what this article says. You can't force people to be charitable by taxing them.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Harriett Miers? Who is she?
It seems all the media frenzy today is about who Harriett Miers is. Has the country reached the point where only unknowns can be nominated and successfully seated on the Supreme Court? The fear of being "Borked" keeps the most qualified from ever wanting to be nominated. Can't the Democrats remember that they lost the election in 2004 and stop their guerilla tactics on judicial nominees? The liberals who can't win an election and use the judiciary to get their way are not acting in the best interests of the nation.
A Case Of Life And Death
The Supreme Court opens its new term with arguments in a case whose implications could not be more profound
By Liz Halloran
"The future of Oregon's 1994 Death With Dignity Act is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. This week, with John G. Roberts sitting in the chief's chair, the court opens its new term with arguments in Gonzales v. Oregon.
Balance of power. The central legal question in the case is fairly straightforward: Can a federal official charged with enforcing drug laws disregard the will of Oregon voters and bar physicians from prescribing lethal doses of controlled substances?
Gonzales v. Oregon will be this term's "premier federalism case," says Jonathan Adler, a Case Western Reserve University School of Law associate professor. Whatever its makeup, the court faces a full plate of controversial issues. Abortion, the religious use of drugs, and military recruiting on campuses are all on the court's new docket."

I think this case is as important for the pro-life cause as Roe v. Wade was for the pro-death cause. This Oregon law is a slippery slope that has to be stopped. I don't want our country to end up like the Netherlands.