On this date, January 8, 2011, a gunman by the name of Jared Loughner opened fire killing six people in Tucson, Arizona. Unit 1012 remembers them every year on this date.
Top Row (Left to Right): Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard & Dorothy "Dot" Morris; Bottom Row (Left to Right): John Roll, Gabriel Zimmerman & Christina Taylor Green
To honor the six victims of the 2011 Tucson Shooting , We, the comrades of Unit 1012 would like to write a rebuttal essay to Mark Osler in his article, ‘The Death Penalty and Why the Arizona Murders Should Trouble Christians’.
The second debate re-opened by Jared Loughner is that over the death penalty. Most Americans, including most Christians, support the death penalty. This support too often is unchallenged by the fact that an unjust execution is at the center of our faith, and that Christ himself came upon a legal execution and stopped it (in John 8).
REBUTTAL: Please see this post from Force 1109 Blog on rebutting the John 8 argument. Jesus was besting his adversaries, not speaking out against capital punishment. For Jared Loughner to be put to death, it was not unjust at all. He is guilty beyond any doubt!
There will be a riotous cry to kill the killer, as is so often the case with high-profile murders. The basis for this cry will be nothing more than an urge to exact retribution, since there is no deterrent value in killing someone who wants to be a martyr -- if anything, it has the opposite effect. What we will achieve is nothing more or less than a satisfaction of our bloodlust.
How can we justify, as Christians, a killing that is nothing more than bloodlust? Doesn't Christ call us the other way? Yes, it is against our essential desire for retribution, but so much that Christ taught was restraint against our base instincts.
REBUTTAL: Blood lust? No way, Unit 1012 follows the Bible and we know that God demands death for murderers as he is a loving God. To call those Christians that support execution of evildoers bloodlust, is not just insulting but a perversion of Justice. As usual, Mark Osler should stop using scriptures to empathize and sympathize with murderers and totally ignore the victims.
Like so many of Christ's teachings, his moral challenge to a legal execution, when examined closely, makes sense. After all, what we revile in the killer is that he has killed. How, exactly, does killing him break that chain? We can argue that he killed innocents and he is guilty, but in this case we should remember that Loughner probably thought his Congresswoman was guilty of outrageous crimes against our country. He wanted to smite this enemy. Our smiting him in turn solves no problem. Rather, it only exacerbates the problem as others like him see his execution as martyrdom.
Timothy McVeigh was similarly motivated to strike out at a government he was taught to hate. A large part of his anger built on legal killing by the government (in the Branch Davidian episode). We executed McVeigh. It apparently did nothing to deter Jared Loughner.
REBUTTAL: How, exactly, does killing him break that chain? Execution as a martyrdom? The answer is this, murderers and terrorists make lousy martyrs (not even one at all). Good martyrs are war heroes (like Bishop Gorazd) and Christian Martyrs. Unit 1012 supports putting him to death because of Justice and Protection, we know that no punishment (even LWOP) could deter him from his crime. If executing McVeigh did nothing to deter Loughner, we can argue that life imprisonment would do nothing to deter either. If McVeigh was given only life imprisonment, do you think Loughner would be deterred from LWOP to commit the shooting? The answer is No.
No punishment is deterrent for mass murderers who want to achieve ‘martyrdom’, that is why Unit 1012 supports the death penalty for Justice and Protection. Anybody who studies the case of Amrozi the Smiling Assassin will understand that capital punishment puts fear on the criminal more than life imprisonment.
|Amrozi the Smiling Assassin being escorted by police officers.|
Perhaps we should have listened to Bud Welch. His young daughter, Julie, was killed by McVeigh and his bomb. Welch felt the hatred and fierce hunger for retribution we might expect, but he came to see the uselessness of executing McVeigh. As Welch put it, "It was hatred and revenge that made me want to see him dead and those two things were the very reason that Julie and 167 others were dead."
REBUTTAL: Unit 1012 knows that Bud Welch was the only one of the 168 victims’ families of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombings, who oppose capital punishment. The vast majority of the 167 victims’ families did support executing Timothy McVeigh. He is now dead with The Legion of Doom: The 13 Dead Terrorists.
As people who get angry (we all do), it is hard to accept that hateful words can inspire horrible actions, and that our urge to retribution in blood might be wrong. Yet, Christ so often calls us to do the hard thing, not the easy one. This is one of those times.
REBUTTAL: Jesus Christ who is also the God of the Old Testament, wants the government to smite evildoers. Perhaps Mark Osler should learn from the following history about executing killers who are guilty beyond any doubt:
We, the Comrades of Unit 1012, prefer the justice system in pre-World War II era, where they can execute those guilty in a swift and sure manner. We got this information from Lester Jackson’s article: ‘The Modern Elite Ruling Class Notion of Justice: Cruel and Unusual Punishment of Victims’.
President William McKinley died on Sept. 14, 1901, eight days after being shot by Leon Czolgosz, who was caught in the act and confessed. On Sept. 23, Czolgosz went on trial and was sentenced to death three days later. He was executed on Oct. 29, 53 days after the crime and 47 after the president’s death.
Leon Czolgosz shoots President McKinley with a concealed revolver. Clipping of a wash drawing by T. Dart Walker.
Unable to get near his first choice (75), President Herbert Hoover, Giuseppe Zangara settled on President-elect Franklin Roosevelt. On Feb. 15, 1933, Zangara’s errant shot hit Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who died on March 6. Caught in the act and having confessed, Zangara was executed on March 20, 1933 after 10 days on death row and 14 days after his victim died.
On July 2, 1881, Charles Guiteau shot President James Garfield, who died on Sept. 19. Immediately caught, Guiteau boasted of his deed. He was placed on trial for murder on Nov. 14 and found guilty on Jan. 25, 1882. After an appeal rejected May 22 and a denied request for an orchestra to play at his hanging, Guiteau was executed on June 30, 1882, nine months after his victim died.
Another capital case which had a swift and sure execution was that of Rashid al Rashidi, which the execution took place on 1 year and two months from the murder.
Do you notice that this terrorist in Egypt was executed 9 months after being sentenced to death and 1 year and 9 months after the murders, swift and sure!
In conclusion, Mark Osler, please think of the six victims murdered than think of keeping this evil man alive, Jared Loughner. Please see this quote from World War II Christian Martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.quoteswave.com/picture-quotes/410567)
In memory of the six people who were killed that day, please see four of our blog posts:
2. JARED LEE LOUGHNER THE 2011 TUSCON SAFEWAY SHOOTER
3. GUILTY WITHOUT ANY DOUBT AT ALL: JARED LEE LOUGHNER WILL OUTLIVE HIS VICTIMS!
4. TED NUGENT ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT