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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 March 8, 2005 / 27 Adar I, 5765

The Supreme Court's vexing elitism

By David Limbaugh


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In my last column, I discussed the Supreme Court's abominable decision outlawing the death penalty for murderers under the age of 18. I have a few more complaints.

First, much of the Court's analytical emphasis considers the plight of the offenders. Conspicuously lost in the equation are concerns for the victims and society at large, for whom the Court demonstrates a stunning disregard.

When I took Criminal Law in law school in the mid-Seventies, we studied the theories of punishment, including prevention, sometimes referred to as specific deterrence; restraint; rehabilitation; general deterrence; and retribution. Notice how each promotes the larger interests of society.

Prevention seeks to deter the particular criminal from committing future crimes by making his punishment unpleasant. If it works, society obviously benefits. The idea of restraint is to protect society from the particular criminal by isolating him through incarceration.

Rehabilitation aims to reform a criminal into a law-abiding citizen, thereby benefiting both the individual and society. With general deterrence, punishment is designed to prevent other wrongdoers from committing crimes because of their fear of similar punishment. Again, both the potential criminal and society benefit.

Retribution may strike some modern readers as barbaric, but it has always been a part of punishment's mosaic. But rather than thinking of it as society's sanctioning of the human instinct for revenge, understand that punishment serves society's legitimate interest in justice. It also promotes respect for the law and thereby suppresses society's appetite for vigilantism.

Without question, our courts should strive to protect the rights of the accused, and even the convicted offender, but they must not, in the process, ignore the interests of the victim and society, as the Court did in this case.

The Court not only ignored the interests of the victim and society. It also omitted from its analysis an intellectually honest appraisal of the Framers' purpose in outlawing cruel and unusual punishment.

Depending on which constitutional historians you believe, the Framers intended to prevent torture and abuse and/or arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory punishment by the government. They clearly didn't intend to establish a federal constitutional prohibition on capital punishment for minors. But then again, why would the Court want to trouble itself inquiring into the Framers' original intent when those 18th century barbarians had advanced so little in the "evolving standards of decency" continuum?

This case illustrates that courts ought to invoke the general sweep of a constitutional prohibition sparingly in order to avoid gross injustices in particular cases. Only an enormous amount of arrogance could lead the Court to preempt juries, which are infinitely better situated to make these exceedingly sensitive and important (life and death) determinations, and impose a general rule to apply in all cases.

In its feel-good zeal to protect "underage" murderers across the board, the Court issued a blanket rule negating in general what the jury specifically found in this case: that a 17-year-old has the mental capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his murder.

As Justice Scalia noted, it doesn't require a great deal of sophistication to know that murder is wrong. How much less does it take to understand the immorality of the compounding factors involved in this case?

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Indeed, the facts of this case obliterate the notion that murderers under the age of 18 lack the mental capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of their conduct. Here, for example, the murderers employed a substantial degree of sophistication by consciously considering the reduced likelihood of their escaping the death penalty because of their age.

The Court, in its insulting elitism, presumes to be better positioned than trial courts to protect the rights of criminal defendants. But the record reveals that the trial court employed meticulous safeguards to insure the rights of the defendants — as trial courts routinely do.

The record shows that the trial court instructed the jury that it could only consider imposing the death penalty if it found aggravating circumstances attending the murder — just plain vanilla murder won't get you executed.

The jury found not just one instance of aggravating circumstances, but three. The defendant committed the crime for pecuniary gain, to avoid a lawful arrest and with depravity of mind. The jury also found the murder was outrageously and wantonly vile, horrible and inhuman: The defendant and his accomplice threw the victim, bound, gagged and conscious off a railroad trestle into a river to drown. In addition, defense counsel argued mitigating factors, particularly the defendant's age, at length, and the jury was instructed to consider them.

The only cruel and unusual punishment inflicted in this case was by the murderers. The only arbitrary judgment rendered in the case was that of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in Washington and the media consider "must-reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.






David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of, most recently, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.

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