Happy 2010! I trust everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a wonderful
New Year's Eve and Day.
I've got some exciting news for anyone who will be in Milwaukee on Thursday,
January 14. Sister Helen Prejean, well known for her work to abolish capital
punishment in the U.S., she of the "Dead Man Walking" movie fame, will be
in town to address the gathering for the 7th National Cathedral Ministry
Conference. The annual event is being hosted this year by the Cathedral of
Saint John the Evangelist (where your favorite Peasant is a parishioner).
Sister Helen will devote her presentation to her ministry, in which she assists
the prisoners on Death Row in states with the death penalty, their families,
and the families of the victims of the condemned prisoners, as well as her
efforts to end the death penalty.
Now I realize that many conservatives are in favor of capital punishment for
heinous crimes, i.e. murder. I, too, held this position for many years, but in recent years I have become aware of compelling reasons to cease my support
for this mode of punishment for deadly felons which include but are not at all
*People convicted of capital offenses on the flimsiest of evidence; some even
on manufactured evidence (which is really not evidence at all!), as well as
*Judges who refuse to hear appeals or retry cases because of selfish political
motives, i.e. looking good in opinion polls close to election time.
*Governors who refuse pardons for those on Death Row, even with compelling
facts and or new evidence having come to light which could prove innocence,
for these same aforementioned reasons.
*Courts which ignore the diminished state of capacity of some defendants
tried for capital offenses, i.e. mental retardation, brain damage, etc.
You get the idea. But DO NOT get the idea that The Peasant is less than
rock-hard on crime and criminals! One can be uncompromisingly tough
here, and still draw the line at state-sanctioned killing of killers and such.
Life sentences without parole would certainly stop convicted killers from
further staining our streets with any more victims' blood. And most
importantly, a life sentence can be reversed in case of any errors in the
prosecution of the defendant or the emergence of new evidence proving
innocence. An execution is irreversible; its deadly results are forever.
Sister Helen will be appearing at 10:00 AM at the Pfister Hotel, at
424 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee (P: 414-273-8222), just a few blocks
SW of the Cathedral (P: 414-276-9814). Again, this is on Thursday morning,
January 14. Sister Helen will give her address on the 7th floor of the Pfister
in a gathering hall there. Admittance to see her is $10 per person, payable
on arrival. If you have any questions, call the Cathedral or the Pfister.
Meanwhile, look for your loyal Peasant to address the issue of abolishing
capital punishment in my next posting. There are solid reasons for
conservatives to oppose capital punishment, and some of them will surprise
you. Indeed, many conservatives do oppose the death penalty, and on the
other side of the political coin some liberals support it. So you can see that
this is not at all a Left vs. Right battle. It is, rather, a Right vs. Wrong battle.
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