Saturday, December 03, 2005

The 1000th victim

From today's NRO. (Hat tip to Mike B for this article.) As we mark the 1000th execution since 1976, a comparison with a different kind of state-sanctioned killing of human life.
Early this morning, December 2, 2005, probably just a few hours before most readers were arriving at work or school, the 1,000th victim died, the result of a highly controversial Supreme Court ruling from the 1970s authorizing the application of deadly force to a human being.

Despite the opposition (and for sound reasons) of many, the judicially sanctioned execution took place in a routine manner, just like the 999 deaths that preceded it.

Despite the evidence of the natural and social sciences, establishing that such acts — besides the most-significant morality issues — only serve to corrupt civil society and do nothing to solve the nation’s most pressing social concerns, the relentless engine of death continued this day, like it has many times in the past, to reap its deadly toll of human life.

Despite the long-established ethical principle that health-care workers should first “Do No Harm,” the instruments of medicine were used Friday morning, not to save a human life, but to take one.

And, tragically, horribly, before the day is done, another 2,500 more human beings will be destroyed.

I am not talking about the execution this morning of the convicted North Carolina murderer, who became the 1,000th victim of capital punishment since its restoration by the Supreme Court in 1976, but about the 1000th victim of abortion on demand authorized by the infamous Roe v. Wade case in 1973. But it did not take almost 20 years to reach the gruesome milestone of 1,000 dead from abortion, for such a number is reached every day;it is reached several times a day.


So, if 1,000 dead from capital punishment since 1976 deserves to be marked, what should we as a society do to mark the approximately 37,000,000 dead from abortion in that same period?

If capital punishment should be abolished for ending the life of 1,000 human beings, then what should we do about a practice that ends millions of lives? It's something to think about.
I think it should be obvious to even a casual observer that there is a very small overlap between those who oppose abortion on demand and who also work to end capital punishment. One tends to be a politically conservative group, the other liberal. Goes to show how far we are from really having a culture of life, I guess.


assiniboine said...

Really? Those who oppose abortion on demand also favour the death penalty? I hadn't realised.

It would greatly help, of course, if those on death row were, by and large, nicer people. A few more DNA-evidenced discoveries that the innocent were being executed would help the cause. A curious imbroglio here in Australia the last couple of weeks over yet another foolish Australian caught in Southeast Asia trafficking (or even in possession of) narcotics and in this case hanged in Singapore last Friday for being caught in Changi Airport with a traffickable amount of heroin. Despite a vast diplomatic effort by Australia together with pleas for mercy by Catholic bishops and the Pope. Needless to say, opinion in Australia is almost evenly divided over whether he ought to have hanged or not, given what he did and where he did it.

Gashwin said...

Of course it would help if those on death row were nicer. But, of course (and I know you're not arguing contrary to this) the point isn't that they shouldn't be executed because they're saints, but because it's unjust, and continues to promote the culture of death.

As to the observation: it's certainly true of Europe. Outside most Catholic circles, anti-abortion and anti-capital punishment types rarely meet.

assiniboine said...

I would have thought that in Europe the point was somewhat moot, really. At least in the UK, as in Australia and Canada, where the capital punishment issue was retired long ago.