I can't but wonder why Judge Scalia never commented publicly on the 4000 death penalties sanctioned by his court each day on the most innocent of us all since Roe v Wade 1973.
The number is (202) 863-8500
And that's exactly the same thing Planned Parenthood says about abortion. Hope you like baby-killers, because you're in league with them.
Here are the relevant excerpts from Evangelium Vitae
55. This should not cause surprise: to kill a human being, in whom the image of God is present, is a particularly serious sin. Only God is the master of life! Yet from the beginning, faced with the many and often tragic cases which occur in the life of individuals and society, Christian reflection has sought a fuller and deeper understanding of what God's commandment prohibits and prescribes.(43) There are in fact situations in which values proposed by God's Law seem to involve a genuine paradox. This happens for example in the case of legitimate defence, in which the right to protect one's own life and the duty not to harm someone else's life are difficult to reconcile in practice. Certainly, the intrinsic value of life and the duty to love oneself no less than others are the basis of a true right to self-defence. The demanding commandment of love of neighbour, set forth in the Old Testament and confirmed by Jesus, itself presupposes love of oneself as the basis of comparison: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself " (Mk 12:31). Consequently, no one can renounce the right to self-defence out of lack of love for life or for self. This can only be done in virtue of a heroic love which deepens and transfigures the love of self into a radical self-offering, according to the spirit of the Gospel Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:38-40). The sublime example of this self-offering is the Lord Jesus himself.
Moreover, "legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life, the common good of the family or of the State".(44) Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.(45)
56. This is the context in which to place the problem of the death penalty. On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely. The problem must be viewed in the context of a system of penal justice ever more in line with human dignity and thus, in the end, with God's plan for man and society. The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is "to redress the disorder caused by the offence".(46) Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfils the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people's safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated.(47)
It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.
In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: "If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person".(48)
Anyway, here is a transcript of Scalias comments on the death penalty
>> QUESTIONER: Good evening Dr. Keyes. My name is Matt Jimriskoe, and I am a senior here at Hilton High School. First of all I would like to say I have a lot of respect for you; however, I disagree with you on one issue. You are obviously a pro-life activist; you are a Catholic. I am also Catholic and pro-life. However, I don't understand how you can be pro-life and Catholic and also be in support of the death penalty. Can you please explain that?
>>KEYES: Well, actually I think what you would have to do is explain to me first why the two things fall in the same universe? In other words you talk about the issue involved in abortion as if it is somehow is the same or commensurate with the issue involved in the death penalty. I would argue on the face of it is we're dealing apples and oranges. Why do you think they are both apples?
>>QUESTIONER: Because they are both involving killing human life.
>>KEYES: Yes and no. But you have just abstracted from one of the most important difference that we must respect if we are in fact to respect human life. And that is the difference between innocence and guilt. The scripture does not enjoin us from all taking of life. Quite the contrary as a matter of fact. So in the Judeo Christian tradition, it is not all life taking that is condemned. As a matter of fact certain life taking in the old testament was required. It was willed by God. Demanded by Him. And as a matter of fact that we today would find quite atrocious it was demanded by Him and when his Israelites refused to deliver on his demand, he punished them. And so the Old Testament at least, doesn't frown on it.
And then people try to pretend that the New Testament does. Of course the central reality of the New Testament is what? A sacrifice. The sacrifice in fact of a wholly and completely innocent life for the sake of the remission of our sins. So at the level at the principles of justice we are going to accuse God, are we, of the ultimately injustice towards his own son? I hardly think so.
That suggest that we should be careful what we do in terms of our understanding of what the death penalty might pretend. I am not trying to be flippant here because this is a serious issue. It was made even more serious for me years ago when I started to reflect on Christ's actions with reflection--respect to the death penalty. This came up, by the way, in one of the debates because G. W. Bush, who has had to make decisions whether to carry out the death penalty in Texas was asked, given that he had said that his standard would be "What would Jesus do?"
I want you to think now, especially Christian folks in the audience, think about Christ and think about the death penalty. And answer the question in two words what would Jesus do with the death penalty? What would Jesus do--Don't cheat Andrew[Dr. Keyes' son]. What would Jesus do with the death penalty?
Well, let's make it easier. What did Jesus do with the death penalty? He accepted it. He accepted it. And by the way, he accepted it knowing exactly what he was accepting. He was, of course, accepting the will of God in the plan of God for salvation. That is true. But God works through human instruments and agencies. And one of those instruments and agencies Christ was confronted with in the course of the passion--Pontius Pilate. Representing the authority of Rome, right? And what is fascinating is in the dialogue takes place--there is one part where Pilate is pressing Christ and is trying to get him to speak. And Christ hadn't spoken. And Pilate gets--do you remember this? Pilate gets all frustrated? And he says to Jesus, he says--you know, he is trying to figure out why he is not answering him. He says, "Don't you know--Don't you realize that I have the authority--." It was the Roman--in Greek the word that refers to the "lawful right" the authority, to take your life, to put you to death.
It is fascinating because in that passage, therefore, Christ is explicitly confronted by Pilate with his claim to have the lawful right to put Jesus to death. Now, based on what some people want us to believe, what Christ should have said at that point was, "No you don't." He should have said that. Based on what they want us to believe is he should have looked at Pilate and said, "No, you don't have that lawful authority." He could have said it on two grounds by the way. He could have said it on the grounds that people try to say would be the grounds we do it now, there can be no lawful authority in the state to apply the death penalty. I think he wouldn't have said that because he would have been on shaky ground. So he didn't. He could have also said something that would have put him on solid ground because none of us would suggest would we that it is okay to apply the death penalty to an innocent person. And Christ was surely an innocent person. He was the most innocent person imaginable. He was so innocent that he is more innocent than any of us could possibly be. He was free of the taint of our original sin, wasn't he? So there he was, the most innocent human being who ever existed and he is confronted by Pilate who says he has the lawful authority to put him to death. At the very least he could have said, "No, it is not a lawful authority because your exercise of authority is unlawful if you are putting me, an innocent man to death." Did he say that? Embarrassingly for those of us who would like us to think, otherwise he didn't say that. So what did he say?
And this is what gets most difficult of all. And I am not saying I know exactly to make of this. I would just suggest it to you as a passage to think hard about. Because it makes this whole issue of the death penalty a lot tougher than some Christians want to believe. What Christ says in response to Pilate's challenge is words to the effect that whatever authority that he, Pilot, has comes to him from above. And that phrase, from above, has, I think, a kind of clear ambiguity. It means from above--no. It means from above in the hierarchy of Roman authority and it is used in the New Testament to mean from the Father, God, from above. And so when Christ gives his answer he gives it in a sense that can be taken both ways. And he is basically confirming what we already know anyway that any authority exercised by Pilate or anybody else, comes by the Father's will. And that what it seems to me because it is a classic confrontation between innocence and the death penalty.
And Christ does not make the argument that some people would lead us to believe he ought to make. In fact, he makes a statement that undermines the premise of that argument and acknowledges that there is in the will of our Father, God, a place for the death penalty. So think about that because I think that is very important. Why would God make a place for the death penalty?
Could it be because he wants us to remember a couple of things? First, he wants us to remember the respect we ought to have for innocent human life. He wants us to understand that the Golden Rule, the measure by which you measure so shall it should be measured unto you. Isn't that what Christ said? I think he wants us to understand that he is not kidding about that. We don't want to take that seriously do you? Measure death to others, you have measured death to yourself. That is the logic of the death penalty. It is, kind of, a Golden Rule when it comes to respect for life. The blow you thought you struck against another struck home to your very heart. If that were literally the case, I think a lot of murderers would hesitate, don't you? But particularly the cold-blooded ones who are most deserving of the death penalty.
The other thing he might have wanted to remind us of, and I am just sort of a, you know, individual thinking aloud here, but he might have wanted us to remember that there is death and then there is death. And sometimes I think there is so obsessed with the question of physical death that we forget that it is not the ultimate death. See? The death that is involved in the taking of an innocent human life, is not just a physical death of the victim, is it? It is actually the spiritual and moral death of the perpetrator. And that death is far more lasting and significant if it is not remedied it the end by a repentant acceptance of the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ.
So I would--I would suggest--All I mean to say by all this is that this whole issue at a moral issue is far more complex than some people try to make out. But certainly, I think, at the level of my pro-life is not a problem at all. Because there is a distinction between innocent life and guilty life.
Now, admittedly, are we perfect people? Are we ever going to be absolutely sure that the judgment we made about somebody's guilt is the correct judgment? No. But we are not required in moral things to apply a perfection that we are not capable of. God does not require it. No one can require it. So we do the best we can with the nature that we have, and we make those judgments conscientiously as best we can. And if we do it conscientiously in a way that seeks justice, yes, sometimes we're not going to quite make it. And sad to say, and for this I think we need praying all the time and we need to remember, you see that is why God has mercy. He has mercy because we are going to make mistakes. Even with the best of intentions we are going to make mistakes.
But some of the people who think that for the reason you will sometimes make mistakes you therefore banish the death penalty and don't do your duty, are people who forget that there are limits to our responsibility. We must meet that responsibility within those limits and leave the rest to God. And that is the attitude that I take. That is the attitude that I take towards the death penalty. It does though mean that you want to--it has to be done as our Holy Father has said. It is one of those issues you approach with the greatest care. He has raised questions if whether or not, in fact, the judicial system that we have doesn't raise doubts about it at a practical level; whether any application of the death penalty in light of that system is going to be just. We see the situation in Illinois, which raises serious questions about that. But I would have to distinguish between those questions, which are questions about the sort of prudential reality of the system and its integrity, and question the principle with respect to the death penalty. The question of the integrity of the system is one that can be address how? By improving the integrity of the system. And that is within our power.
The question of the death penalty and principle, I think, has to be address in a way that in the end respects our responsibility to educate all the through the law, to the ultimate limit on their freedom. And that ultimate limit does consist in respect for innocent human life. And therefore the same principle I would ask to be respected with children in the womb is the one that in the death penalty I insist shall be respected in the law's execution. Thank you.