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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Connecticut Gubernatorial Race and the Death Penalty

There was jubilation last week when twelve Connecticut jurors found villain Steven Hayes guilty on 16 of 17 counts for his involvement in the 2007 Chesire Home Invasion which included the brutal rape, kidnapping, and murder of the Petit women. In every niche that contained an internet connection, we followed the case via Twitter for nearly two and a half weeks, as journalists from local and national networks tweeted the minute by minute testimony, body language, and reactions from the proceedings in a way that allowed us to see and feel what was happening in the courtroom. When the jury cried, we cried, and when the verdicts were read – we cheered. And darn it, we cheered loudly!

But the verdict is only a chapter in a long ongoing saga; there is much more to come. On October 18th the jury will reconvene to start the penalty phase of the Hayes trial - which includes the possible decision to put Hayes to death for his heinous crimes. I make no bones about this one; I strongly believe that Hayes should die by lethal injection. While Connecticut has only executed 127 people since 1639, I have no problem making Steven Hayes number 128, and his buddy - Joshua Komisarjevsky number 129.

Connecticut, as we all know, is a very blue state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 20% margin, but notwithstanding steady voter loyalty to the Democrat Party and its principles, Connecticut residents also support the death penalty by a 2-1 margin, perhaps more. One can argue that this is a paradox of sorts given that Republicans tend to support Capital Punishment while Democrats are usually soft on crime and criminals – and champion theories of experimental reform and reduced punishment. Yet this particular crime has struck such a chord with people that it’s served as a reminder as to why the Death Penalty exists. These horrid crimes were committed against women and children in a shocking manner that I won’t go into here.

Last year the heavily Connecticut State Legislature sent a bill to end the Death Penalty to Governor Jodi Rell (R) which she promptly vetoed citing that some crimes are heinous enough to warrant Capital Punishment. The bill to abolish the death penalty passed the Connecticut House by a frightening 90 to 56 margin, but passed the State Senate by a tight 19 to 17 margin. If for no other reason, we were lucky to have Governor Rell in that position to stop the liberal’s mad proposition.

But liberals are a like a mutating virus – relentless, and hard to kill. And this issue is figuring front and center as a part of this year’s Gubernatorial Race. Democrat Dan Malloy has already vowed to push for removal of the death penalty, while Republican Tom Foley has voiced support for the continuing the Death Penalty. The clear evidence of these positions has been confirmed during their last two debates between the hopefuls. If being a career politician, and big Government, tax and spend policies weren’t enough to disqualify Malloy, then his decision to embark on a crusade to remove the death penalty (against the will of the people) certainly is. And despite the evidence of the certainly of guilt by Steven Hayes (admitted), Malloy is unmoved by the details and horror while bragging that he’s been some big time prosecutor. Well, maybe not so big time after all, it appears.

The two groups that tend to be activists for death penalty abolishment are left wing liberals, and religious fanatics who misrepresent Biblical teaching to support their point of view. In fairness, Christ said nothing for or against capital punishment which was certainly far more prevalent during His time than in ours. Christ could have easily spoken out on the matter if he felt strongly about it as he often did with other cultural topics. In Roman times even thieves suffered crucifixion, an act that often resulted in death. In Matthew 22:21, Christ said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s." Christ could have referenced the 12 commandments, or any decree He wished, and instead directed followers to simply follow the law – regardless of its mandates.

History shows us that Democrats have led us into war more often than Republicans. The result of declaring and enacting war is the obvious legal mandate permitted to soldiers to burn homes, destroy property, take hostages, injure and kill the enemy. Liberals use the argument that the state has no right to condemn and put someone to death; however, when it comes to war – which results in murder on a massive scale, they forget this argument all together. So it’s clear that the state does have a right to mandate death after all; and any argument contrary to this is to ignore the obvious. In fact, taking it a step further – war often kills more than enemy combatants – often innocent persons are killed, as a result of combat. And my argument at present is to find fault with acts of war, but rather to expose the inconsistency in the argument that the State doesn’t have a right to condemn men to death. Military tribunals are also empowered by the State, and are further evidence of precedence where the State can sentence men to death.

And for those who argue that the Death Penalty isn’t a deterrent, I challenge them to provide evidence of how a crime was committed by the condemned after they were permanently removed from society via execution. Capital Punishment is both a punishment and a deterrent.

This week we will hear that Hayes’ defense attorneys will try a new tactic to help him escape the ultimate punishment. They will claim that pursuing the death penalty costs the State of Connecticut $3.1 million dollars and that the State can’t afford the cost of the process. Of course, the cost of the trial has nothing to do with the guilt of the villain, or morality of the punishment, and is nothing more than a shady backdoor approach to find a way to allow Hayes to escape absolute justice. If the process created by the State is too expensive, than it is up to the State to find a way to reduce the cost rather than abandon the process, and let murderers, rapists, and villains avoid the will of the people.

Leading up to Election Day, Connecticut residents have a lot to think about in light of how their Government has functioned, and what they can expect from those balloting for election. But one thing is clear, if you believe that people like Steven Hayes deserve Capital Punishment for heinous crimes they commit – like those on the poor Petit family, then don’t consider Dan Malloy. If you want justice for criminals – support Tom Foley. Connecticut, the choice is yours.

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