Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Death penalty

To-day, I have come to the conclusion, that, I feared for some time, that, I might. I can not support the death penalty in the United States, nor perhaps anywhere.

The classical personification of Lady Justice is, that of, a woman, blindfolded, holding, both, scales and a sword. The symbolic metaphor is, that, while weighing the case in hand, no outside influences are in play, and, if warranted, the sword, which is at rest, is available for execution. This makes for a clean logical exposition.

Fiat justitia ruat coelum is a legal maxim. At first, it would suggest to many, that justice no matter what the circumstances, and consequences may be, will be done; but then, how is justice defined? Well yes, if justice means fairness and equity; but what if justice means only an official ruling and command? Then what is decreed, whether it is truly ‘just’ or grandly unjust, must be done.

Seneca writes* of the governor Gnaeus Piso and his justice. A soldier returns without his companion. Piso sentences him to death, as the sentence is about to be executed, the soldier in charge sees the presumed dead companion. This man returns to Piso and tells the tale. Piso has all three executed. Piso was not to be contradicted.

Now, we do not live in pagan imperial Rome. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote an opinion in January 1993, in which, he, with Clarence
Thomas concurring, state innocence is not a reason to deny the execution of a man, Leonel Torres Herrera. The, supposed, pro-life, justice’s words:
... reluctance of the present Court to admit publicly that Our Perfect Constitution lets stand any injustice ... embarrassing question ...
Herrera was executed the twelfth of May 1993, in Texas. In the year 2000, the governor of Illinois, George Ryan made the statement:
We have now freed more people than we have put to death under our system.
He said this after a 13th person, whom was to be executed, was shown to be innocent of the crime he was sentenced to. Since Illinois had revived the death penalty, 13 years previous, 12 had been executed. There had been students of journalism, in the class of a Northwestern professor, that had investigated death penalty cases. This academic exercise had shown the governor of the faulty course of justice in his state. Now as one who has read, and considered, the dangerously, subversive, collection of documents, that the church calls, the New Testament. I have to conclude: that Jesus is against such killing, as He is with all killing. Divine Mercy, and obeying the precepts of God, forbid killing; and that includes judicial killing.

The governments of man, and the state, and that includes the United States are not christian institutions. Arguments then, can be made for such killing, but not as christians. Now, besides the Illinois, Texas and Scalia points, it is also true: the United States has more people imprisoned, by absolute number and by percentage, than of any land; another mark of american exceptionalism. Why is this country so criminal, or so imprisoned? There is something gravely in disorder, here.

There is not a uniform system of justice in this country. There is too much caprice, too much imbalance and unbalance. The chains that hold the scales have been broken. The legal system, that impacts the average person, is not the legal system, that impacts the special people of power, influence, wealth and the politically separate. There has been eight years of criminal government leading this country. A new administration, this time legally installed, will be here in a fortnight. There has been little talk of visiting justice upon the wrongdoers. Bi-partisanship is rubbish, when the one party only transgresses, and dictates, and the other tries collegiality, and does not pursue justice, while the former party is unrepentant and contentious.

There is no one imprisoned, in this country, who has broken more laws than the current, now ending, administration. Then there are all their collaborators, minions, underlings and enablers. Truly, no one in America, has more blood on their hands, than bushjr and cheney. They have been a menace to the entire world. If they are not even investigated, let alone convicted and tried ― how can anyone be capitally charged?

The historian Jean Bodin† was read by Thomas Jefferson. In his mention of the knez and the slovene people, before their christianisation, and loss of independence, they found the embodiment of the social contract. Every year (later only on his initial installation), the knez (duke) of the slovenes took the oath to lead his people from the people, on the Knežji kamen, sedes Karinthani ducatus, as his throne underneath an oak. If he was to be found wanting in his leadership, he was to be executed (it is not recorded when this stopped).‡ The leader of his people was responsible to the people. We have no such system of responsibility.
*De Ira, Book I, Chapter xviii. 41 a.D.
Method for the Easy Understanding of History, 1566, Six livres de la Republique Paris, 1576. Also written earlier, a chronicle by John of Viktring (Johannes Victoriensis, Abbot of Viktring/Vetrinj), †1347, Liber certarum historiarum.
The last enactment of this was in 1414, for the next candidate (that inherited the office was the Habsburg emperor, Frederick III, whom would not).
noto bene: The last president, Bill Clinton, knew something of this democratic practice.

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