Regressives (my term for liberals, since they want to drag us backward) believe in capital punishment for unborn babies but not for adult criminals. In their world, a human being who is legally innocent can be dismembered in the womb, while a psychopath who has been convicted of murder should receive mercy and freedom.
Donald Trump has taken steps towards correcting this abominable state of affairs, first with regard to the sanctity of life by increasing protections for the preborn. And second, with regard to homicidal thugs by reinstating capital punishment for murderers in the federal system.
Last Thursday, Attorney General Bill Barr announced that the 16-year moratorium on the death penalty for federal crimes is over. (In 2014, Barack Obama instituted a further freeze on executions. Barr just unfroze it.)
He has ordered the execution of five inmates who are on death row for the crime of murder. The executions (they have exhausted their appeals) will take place in Terre Haute, Indiana, in December of 2019 and January of 2020. They will be executed using a drug which has been administered 200 times since 2010 and whose use has been reviewed by the Supreme Court.
Said the AG, “We owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.” He reminded Americans that he is simply enforcing “the law of the land,” enacted by Congress in both houses of Congress and signed by the president.
It’s worth noting that Barr has not forgotten that central to capital punishment is providing justice and closure to the families of victims whose lives have been irreparably damaged by the violence of the perpetrator. This is how the state demonstrates compassion - not by handing out goodies, but by procuring justice for innocent victims.
It is also the only antidote to vigilante justice. Folks won’t need to take justice into their own hands if the civil government is doing it for them.
The so-called “right” to execute innocent unborn babies is not the “law of the land” since it is simply the opinion of a Supreme Court which has no authority whatsoever to enact legislation. The Court could not enact “the law of the land” even if it wanted to since “all legislative authority,” according to the Constitution, is “vested in Congress.” Since “all” means “all,” there is simply no authority left over for the Court to enact a law of any kind.
But the law that provides the death penalty for certain heinous federal crimes is not the product of judicial opinion. It is the product of Congress utilizing its constitutional authority to pass laws through deliberation and debate.
The death penalty is clearly constitutional. The Fifth Amendment declares that no American can be “deprived of life” without “due process of law,” which means that an American can be deprived of his life if he has in fact received due process.
The death penalty is also clearly biblical. God authorized human government to carry out the death penalty in Genesis 9:5-6, where he says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”
The New Testament confirms this in Romans 13, where Paul writes that civil government “does not bear the sword in vain” when it carries out its divinely-ordained duty to punish criminal behavior. The state is “an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).
There are currently 62 inmates on federal death row, including the Boston Marathon bomber Dzokar Tsarnaev and the Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof. The families devastated by this Muslim jihadi and this white supremacist deserve justice, and they have already waited too long.
Only three federal criminals have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in 1988. The last execution came in 2003 when Louis Jones Jr. was put to death for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old female soldier.
All five of those now ordered to die were convicted for the murders of children.
The first to die will be Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist convicted in 1999 of murdering a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl. “After robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun, Lee covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks, and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou,” said the DOJ in a statement.
Then it will be Lezmond Mitchell’s turn to die for stabbing a 63-year-old grandmother to death and forcing her nine-year-old granddaughter to sit beside her dead body for a 35-mile drive. Said the Justice Department, “Mitchell then slit the girl’s throat twice, crushed her head with 20-pound rocks, and severed and buried both victims’ heads and hands.”
Next up will be Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl before dismembering, burning, and dumping her body in a septic pond. The DOJ added, “He also was convicted in state court for using a claw hammer to bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane.”
Alfred Bourgeois is slated to be put to death next, in January, convicted in 2004 of torturing, sexually molesting, and beating to death his own two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
And finally, Dustin Lee Honken is scheduled to be executed on Jan. 15, convicted in 2004 of shooting and killing five people: two men who planned to testify against him, as well as a single mother and her two daughters.
These men, sadly, cannot and should not escape the first death at the hands of men. But there is a second and final death that comes from the hand of God. May these men find peace with God that they may escape the second death that will come to every man whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.