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February 3, 2006

Senator Brownback questions death penalty and culture of life

As detailed here, a subcommittee of Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon held a hearing to facilitate "An Examination of the Death Penalty in the United States."  And this interesting article about the hearing details that Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, is seriously questioning the appropriateness of the death penalty in light of his commitment to a "culture of life":

"If use of the death penalty is contrary to promoting a culture of life, we need to have a national dialogue and hear both sides of the issue," Brownback said at a Judiciary Committee hearing he held. "All life is sacred, and our use of the death penalty in the American justice system must recognize this central truth."...

Brownback conceded he lacked a "cogent or coherent" response on where the death penalty fit into society, noting that it could be defended if it were used sparingly, only in the cases of heinous crimes in which there was no other way to protect society.  "You'd have to question whether that is how it's used at the current time," Brownback said. "In other situations, it's hard to defend."

I wonder if Senator Brownback has checked out (1) the stunning editorial series from the Birmingham News, entitled "Choosing Life in a Death Penalty State," which closes with this commentary extolling our criminal justice system to embrace a culture of life rather than a culture of death, or (2) the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' on-going Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty and its recently potent report entitled "A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death."

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February 3, 2006 at 07:42 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Feb 27, 2006 12:13:43 AM


The article says that the legislature should "Take away the power of circuit judges to impose death sentences when a jury recommends a sentence of life in prison without parole." I think this might be a bit outdated.

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