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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2013/ 28 Nissan, 5773

Taking great pleasure in the death penalty

By Christine M. Flowers

Christine M. Flowers


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Whenever the death penalty is debated, you are sure to hear opponents talking about the horrible possibility of an innocent person being killed. While I’d quibble with their numbers (there have been relatively few documented instances of wrongful executions) I’d agree that there is nothing more horrific, unjust or inhuman than a guiltless individual being forced to render the ultimate sacrifice. That reason alone should motivate each state legislature to seek a moratorium where it appears that the system doesn’t afford the necessary levels of due process and equal access to competent legal representation. Arbitrary punishments are never acceptable, even though retribution is not a dirty word.

After all, in a society that demands the separation of church and state, the Christian ideal of love thy murderous neighbor has no place in the civic sphere. To me, and many who work in the criminal justice system, the death penalty is a legitimate part of the social contract.

That’s why I took great pleasure in the announcement this week that prosecutors in Colorado were going to seek the death penalty for James Holmes, the man who went on a deadly rampage in an Aurora theater last summer and murdered 12 people in cold blood. Of course, whenever the government tries to execute one of its citizens a serpentine process of controls and protections is triggered, so it’s unlikely Holmes will have a needle in his arm in the near future. That, of course, presumes that he will even be convicted and of course, we are all innocent until proven otherwise. But the mere fact that the prosecutors decided to push for death as opposed to life in prison is a reaffirmation of life itself. Twelve lives, to be precise.

Holmes had offered to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. Prosecutors saw that as a publicity ploy. Whether it was that, or some twisted attempt at absolution, we as a society should be happy that someone is keeping vigil for the victims of violent crime.

Because they, ultimately, are the ones who are forgotten when we start wrangling about the death penalty. Those who deal in the lovely esoterics of compassion and forgiveness rarely have the courage to listen to the voices of those victims or embrace the anger and sorrow of their survivors. True, some of those survivors themselves plead for mercy and are heralded by the anti-death crowd as evolved and admirable human beings. But there are many others who see retribution as a legitimate function of the civil state, and think that if we excuse evil acts in the name of God or his secular counterpart, tolerance, innocent life is devalued. Ironically, many of the loudest voices in opposition to the death penalty would never deprive a woman of her right to choose death for unborn child.

Personally, I think there is something just as horrific as the possibility that an innocent person will be put to death: the possibility that a guilty person will be spared. Whenever a convicted criminal has been released from custody because his sentence has been commuted by an evolved and compassionate legislator, something in me rebels at the injustice. If we cannot demand an eye for an eye, at the very least we should be able to expect that the remainder of that criminal life should be made as difficult and joyless as possible.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Ask Kathy Boudin.

Boudin, who I am ashamed to say graduated from my alma mater Bryn Mawr, was involved in an armored car robbery back in 1981 that resulted in the deaths of three men, two police officers and a Brinks guard. She spent 22 years in prison before being released to resume her life, unlike her victims. Three wives were left widowed, nine children were orphaned.

Boudin was found guilty as charged, but never executed. If there had been any justice in the world, we would not be hearing about her job as an adjunct professor at Columbia University lecturing on the “politics of parole and re-entry.” In a society where the pieces fit together and make some sort of sense, Boudin’s body would have long become one with the earth and her soul would have settled into the nether regions described by Dante and Milton.

But this is not that type of society. Here there are those who demand justice for killers, but are willing to accept something significantly less than that for their victims. Here there are those who think it is an appropriate penance to spend two decades behind bars with all of the attendant privileges that notoriety brings, and then pay to hear that guilty exhibitionist talk about how we need to pamper the guilty. Here there are those who think that compassion is owed to criminals.

Fortunately, the prosecutors in Colorado have compassion for the rest of us.

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Comments by clicking here.

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Previously:



04/01/13: An easy prediction --- bet on the unpredictable
03/26/13: 'The personal is political' is no reason to change
03/19/13: A word to the whines --- it was just some high jinks
03/11/13: The Great Race Debate, revisited
03/04/13: Marriage goes beyond love
02/19/13: 2 women, and what they're fighting for
02/04/13: Sadly, Scouting seems poised to give up the fight
01/15/13: Reflections from Gettysburg
01/02/13: The mentally ill vs. those who love them
12/27/12: Rapper learns he's just another guy on probation
12/20/12: Cold, hard truth about the killer
12/10/12: When a warm heart meets a cold manipulator
11/22/12: Some women don't know how good they have it


© 2013, Philadelphia Daily News. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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