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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Saturday, December 01, 2007
 
The Death Penalty

Five people were murdered pleading for their lives in the Wendy's massacre. The killer was John Taylor. He was sentenced to death but he was re-sentenced this past week to life.(AP News)

New York State's legislators run on the platform of support for the death penalty but the last execution was in 1963. The state's law then, like all death penalty laws was declared unconstitutional in 1972 by the United States Supreme Court. Since the composition of the judges of New York States is uniformly liberal and adverse to the death penalty, the following pattern has been repeated three or four times since 1976:

  • Legislation is passed attempting to pass the Court's criteria for a constitutional death penalty.
  • Someone is convicted.
  • The law is found to have a defect and the sentence is overturned.
  • Legislators are outraged and vow to write a bill that corrects this defect.

The sort of plain language death penalty laws other states have has already been found to be unconstitutional in New York, so each new death penalty law has very specific process directions to prosecutors and judges that are a legal minefield. I suspect that the law is becoming so complex that it gets sabotaged each time as it is being drafted by hiding something in it that offers a pretense for overturning it down the road.

The specific defect in the Wendy's Massacre case was the instruction mandated by the law to be given by the judge to break a deadlock, namely that the judge instructs the jury exactly what the law says will happen to a defendant if the deadlock is not broken. This instruction itself, or maybe its mandate was unconstitutional. We're back to legislative outrage phase listed above. It's law-writing whack-a-mole.

New York is not alone in states where the de-facto legislature is its high courts. Before we move on to discuss the death penalty as matter of Catholic morality, I want to bring up this item in the news and the practical impossibility of there being an actual execution in New York state.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:33 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The Courage of Eleazar (2 Mc 6:18-31)

“At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense; many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar had gone over to an alien religion.

Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life, they would be led astray by me, while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age.

Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men, I shall never, whether alive or dead, escape the hands of the Almighty.

Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age, and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws.”

The hill he has picked to die on is the one held by Antiochus IV Epiphanes who demands he eat pork.

Reading from Mass of November 20, 2007.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, November 29, 2007
 
The Golden Compass

I hope this film gets the same poor reception as Redacted. If you are not keeping up, read the latest the Catholic League has to say about the spin waged to deny that it's anti-Catholic and anti-Christian to the core.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007
 
Presidential Election

At this point I have not picked anyone to support from the 8 in the Republican party. No one seems to be perfect, but all (except one) could get my vote and I could campaign for any of them. The Democrats are incapable of getting my vote. '''I am, without apology, a single issue voter.'''

Pro-life without ambiguity.

    Mike Huckabee: I like him a lot, but as governor of Arkansas, he doesn't have the experience. He's been called a tax-raiser. He polls well only in Iowa. Electability zero. Duncan Hunter: great as a Congressman. Electability zero. Tom Tancredo: great as a Congressman. Electability zero. Ron Paul: on everything but abortion, an embarrassment

Pro-life with ambiguity.

    Mitt Romney: he switched from being pro-choice to being pro-life. I know what his explanation is. I'm not buying it. On everything else, he's good. John McCain: no leadership at all on pro-life and he played "Maverick" games with judicial appointments. He's paying the price now for not being a team player with the agenda Republicans. Electability: near zero. Fred Thompson: before he announced, I sent him a donation. He just doesn't create any enthusiasm. He would be in the above group if he announced that life begins at conception or that he supported the human life amendment, even symbolically. Electability: near zero.

Pro-abortion with ambiguity.

    Rudy Giuliani: he signals that he'd appoint justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Ted Olsen and some other pro-life legal brains are in his corner. If it came down to Rudy, Hillary, and a pro-life third party candidate, I'd be on Team Rudy.

Pro-abortion without ambiguity no one.

I wrote the above without reviewing what other Catholics have been writing on their blogs. After I read them, I will be back on this topic.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Extreme Catholic 2.0

This is a relaunch of Extreme Catholic. At this point I again have the time to devote to creating a blog that people will want to read on my observations of the the world, and in particular the media, and popular culture as its relates to my Catholic faith. As I wrote in my first blog entry on December 17, 2002

I’d like this blog to be interesting to the reader, provide some insight into the Catholic faith and it’s interface into our present time and culture, express my opinions about politics, media, and technology with a balance of logic and humor. In my first post I’d like to acknowledge the help and inspiration from Mark Shea and Rod Dreher who have given me the encouragement to add my voice to blogspace. For the greater glory of God, begin.

I will cleanup the left column stuff as time permits. It's long out of date but I suspect readers are here for the unique content. My prayer today, is one I share with many Catholic bloggers: it is to have the time to work on this blog without neglecting the obligations of my life.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com