Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Clearing Up a Misunderstanding

IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT: As you, my fabulous readers may recall, on March 18
I posted on this blog a stinging rebuke of Dudley Sharp, the capital punishment advocate
who had responded to my two articles on Sister Helen Prejean's visit to Milwaukee, her
work for abolition of capital punishment, and my own opposition to this form of punish-
ment. I posted my smackdown after e-mailing an invitation to Dudley Sharp to discuss
our differences on the death penalty, Dudley in advocation and your tenacious Peasant
in opposition, on February 8 and not hearing back.

My article of reproach drew another response from Dudley. He posted this to my comment

"More than happy to have an open discussion. I don't recall ever getting a note from you.
I don't refuse open discussions.

My suggestion of fact checking was based upon facts, not snobbery.

Sincerely, Dudley Sharp"

After promptly e-mailing Dudley to inquire as to why he didn't receive my e-letter, he
informed your dilligent Peasant that he had, in fact, for some inexplicable reason, lost
many of his e-mails in his inbox. It sounded like a mysterious technical hiccup; this IS
a very serious problem that can, and does, befall people who are online. Dudley has
both my sympathy and understanding, and I ask you, my beloved readers, to give him
yours as well. This, then, is the reason that I haven't heard from Dudley Sharp re: my
invitation to dialogue in cyberspace. Happily, we have been able to sort things out in
our subsequent e-correspondence (and of course his internet service cooperating all
the while!). I asked Dudley if he'd like to have the e-letter in question sent again and
he gratefully accepted. Upon his safely receiveing it, Dudley thanked me and he told
me that he could understand why I thought he was trying to play a game at my (and
your) expense. I said that we shall "wipe the slate clean" and begin again, and I ask
you, my beloved readers, to join me in giving Dudley Sharp a full and fair opportunity
to present his counterargument to my reasons for abolishing capital punishment.
After all, Your faithful Peasant established this blog for the sake of open and honest
discussion --- so now we'll wait to see what Dudley Sharp has to offer for his part in
our discussion of this controversial and riveting issue. We shall erase the past and
give our guest a warm welcome.

Now, since your friendly neighborhood Peasant is no technical wizzard, I shall post the
quoted content of our discourse here in this blog from our e-correspondence (yes, I
know we'll be taking a big risk, given what happened re: Dudley's e-mail woes, but
if in the meantime I discover a way to host the whole conversation right here on this
blog then of course I shall do so with alacrity!). For now, please join your favorite
Peasant in welcoming Dudley Sharp anew, and we'll await his offerings.

Let the dialogue begin!



  1. Thank you.

    I too would recommend folks read Sister Prejean's

    Dead Man Walking and Death of Innocents and

    would recommend these, as well.

    . . .makes you realize the Dead Man Walking truly belongs on the shelf in the library in the Fiction category." "Being devout Catholics, 'the norm' would be to look to the church for support and healing. Again, this need for spiritual stability was stolen by Sister Prejean." The Bourques, Victim Survivors, Dead Family Walking

    "On November 5, 1977, the Bourque's teenage daughter, Loretta, was found murdered in a trash pile near the city of New Iberia, Louisiana lying side by side near her boyfriend–with three well-placed bullet holes behind each head. "

    I. From Dead Family Walking: The Bourque Family Story of Dead Man Walking , by D. D. deVinci, Goldlamp Publishing, 2006, www.deadfamilywalking.com/ contact: T.J. Edler, 337-967-0840

    II. The Victims of Dead Man Walking
    by Michael L. Varnado, Daniel P. Smith

    comment -- A very different story than that written by Sister Helen Prejean. Detective Varnado was the investigating officer in the murder of Faith Hathaway. 2003

    III. Death Of Truth: Sister Prejean's book The Death Of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.

    Four articles


    quote: "The DNA report commissioned by O'Dell and his lawyers actually corroborates O'Dell's guilt. There is a three-probe DNA match indicating that the bloodstains on O'Dell's clothing is indeed consistent with the victim Helen Schartner's DNA as well as her blood type and enzyme factors." "There is certainly no truth to O'Dell's accusation that evidence was suppressed or witnesses intimidated by the prosecution."

    (b) "Sabine district attorney disputes author's claims in book"

    quote: "I don't know whether she is deliberately trying to mislead the public or if she's being mislead by others. But she's wrong,"
    District Atty. Burkett, dburkett(AT)cp-tel.net

    more at

    "Sister Helen Prejean & the death penalty: A Critical Review"

  2. The Peasant wants to thank you, Dudley, for
    the article links re: "Dead Family Walking:
    The Bourque Story of Dead Man Walking", and
    some related articles. I shall begin reading
    and studying them closely and shall have a
    response to them as soon as possible.

    One thought: even though it may well be that
    Joe O'Dell is in fact guilty of murdering
    Loretta Bourque, why can't he be punished by
    simply locking him up and tossing the key?
    And to make his life behind bars as spartan
    an existence as possible, so as not to burden
    the taxpayers with providing him with any comforts that may lessen the sting of priva-
    tion which is, and should be, at the core of
    prison life?

  3. I have no opposition to life without parole. However, in death penalty cases the jury or judge decides, as they did with O'Dell.

    The real issue is Prejean's lack of accuracy.

  4. I'll certainly look into Sr. Helen Prejean's
    statements and advocacy work conerning the O'Dell case. Of course I'll also read your
    articles whose links you sent me. I've had
    a merciless schedule of late but am carving out a block of time at last to read these
    articles and will give you my thoughts on
    them forthwith. Again, your faithful Peasant
    is most grateful for the articles.

  5. I have not been receiving notification of your posts. I will re subscribe.

    Thank you for providing this forum.