sCreech howl

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Whenever issues of public ethics and morality emerge in politics, it's a safe bet the Reverend Mark Creech will not be far behind. If you're not familiar with Creech, you should be. Standing on a stack of Bibles tall enough to match his out-sized ego, this extremist theocrat appears to have influence that exceeds both his intellect and his integrity.

Creech's latest web-based sermon, like most of what he has to say, is grounded in a certainty about life that only blind faith can inspire. While we mere mortals struggles with issues of life and death and right and wrong, Creech knows the truth and is happy to spread his wisdom for all to see. His topic of choice is the death penalty.

The primary purpose of the death-penalty is not revenge. It is retribution. In On Capital Punishment, William H. Baker notes: "Retribution is properly a satisfaction or, according to the ancient figure of justice and her scales, a restoration of a disturbed equilibrium. As such it is a proper, legitimate and moral concept. Scripture makes a clear line of distinction between this doctrine and feelings of personal hatred by forbidding such feelings and the actions to which they would lead. Capital punishment as a form of retribution is a dictate of the moral nature, which demands that there should be a just portion between the offense and the penalty."

Let's grant for a moment that Creech's point is valid. Let's assume that there indeed should be a "just portion between the offense and the penalty."

If that's true, then obvious questions must be asked - questions currently being posed by proponents of a moratorium on executions in North Carolina. Is it "just" to execute an innocent man? Is it "just" when some murderers are not executed because they had top notch defense teams, while poor, black and disadvantaged murderers are more likely to pay the ultimate price?

Reverend Creech seems to think that's a distinction without a difference. He goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on dissecting the finer points between retribution and revenge, without once addressing the real questions at hand.

If the death penalty is just retribution, which it is, then it should be administered. If the death penalty can never be administered by a flawless judicial system, which it cannot, then suspending executions to improve its administration will never make it more just.

I'm not aware of anyone who is arguing that the death penalty can be administered by a flawless judicial system. That is a red herring of the vilest sort and it is not the issue those seeking a moratorium are focused on. Their issue is this: Can our system be more fair than it currently is? Given the state-sponsored killing spree currently underway, the considerable controversy about the mental capabilities of some of those being executed, and some fundamental issues regarding race in terms of who gets death and who gets life, there is no question that our system could be improved.

The Reverend Mark Creech is a charlatan of the very worst kind. He manipulates words to make the Bible conform to his own extremist political agenda. The Jesus who saved my soul at the age of nine would be ashamed to be represented by such a man.


Simple facts

Simple facts such as rate of conviction being tied very closely to race of the victim are a big deal.
Simple facts such as the case where it took a guy over 30 minutes to die, all the while in excrutiating pain, using the same drug mix we use in this state are a huge deal.
Simple facts can convince anyone that we need to fix the system. If you want to argue against abolition that is one thing. To argue against reform is beyond dishonest.

"Keep the Faith"


I'm tired of the death penalty debate. This seems like such a no-brainer to me. We can't be 100% sure that it's the right thing to do.

So don't do it.

It costs money to keep criminals in jail.

So fix the system that produces so many criminals.

Frickin' duh.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi


There's a whole lot of debates I'm tired of. Unfortunately, the bad guys don't give up. Guys like Creech are relentless in their zeal and they have a direct line that runs through their peanut brains from god to a significant number of policy makers.

Death Penalty

Write the Governor! This month our tax dollars are used for inflicting the death penalty.

Also, anyone know how the gubernatorial candidates stand on this issue?