Abortion, capital punishment and Troy Davis

Given all the news about the Troy Davis execution (and the relative lack of news about the execution of James Byrd’s killer – -where are his defenders, by the way?), I thought it was time to re-run this simple pie chart.  (First, though, be sure to read Ann Coulter’s piece about Davis, which has a lot of specific, accessible facts that anyone is welcome to try and refute.  Oddly, none of the mainstream media pieces I’ve seen on him mention any of her facts.  It is almost as if they have an agenda . . .)

My main point here is to note that if the people complaining about Davis’ alleged innocence were remotely consistent, they would be going insane over the “capital punishment” of roughly 20,000 innocent human beings in the U.S. this week.  Their crime?  Being unwanted by their parent(s).  And they are completely, indistiputably, 100.00% innocent of any capital crimes.  But they get no trials, no t-shirts and no sympathy from the mainstream media or the Left.  They are just destroyed and forgotten.

Oh, and on the capital punishment / racism angle, remember that the abortion rate for blacks is 3 times that of whites.  Yet the Left reflexively plays the race card on the Right?!


I was once asked why I am pro-life but not anti-capital punishment (I am in favor of capital punishment, but only if it is applied in a Biblical model). The pro-life / pro-capital punishment view is often ridiculed in the media and entertainment, and I have heard many Christians mock it as well.

The main reason I find the pro-life movement to be more important is shown in the pie chart above. Since the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision, there have been over one million abortions per year. I rounded down to a million and then calculated the weekly amount of 19,231 human beings killed per week. Then I graphed the average of 1 (one) death via capital punishment per week (actually, the average is about 0.65, but I rounded up). It took almost thirty years to mark the 1,000th execution since the Supreme Court ruled it was legal again.

So what you see is a rather odd pie chart. The capital punishment slice of the pie is almost invisible.

In a given week in the U.S., there are 19,231 deaths of completely innocent humans versus 1 death of a convicted murderer who survived an average of over 14 years of appeals, and whose guilt is virtually certain. (And this doesn’t even take into account the shattered lives of the  women/boyfriends/husbands/parents who live with the pain of having the abortions or encouraging someone to have one). That is why my energy would still be directed to the pro-life movement even if I thought that capital punishment was un-Biblical.

Actually, I am OK with unrestricted access to abortions – provided that the unborn get the same 10+ years of appeals that condemned killers do.

Or, to paraphrase Randy, I’m pro-choice as long as the unborn human being is the one making the life or death decision.

More on capital punishment here.

19 thoughts on “Abortion, capital punishment and Troy Davis”

    1. I stand by my “relative” comment, but thanks for the links.

      Byrd’s son is welcome to his opinions and I feel sad for him losing his father that way. But the Reuters piece read like something from the Onion. While complaining about the death penalty they trotted out these lines:

      His pending execution comes 10 years after Governor Rick Perry signed into law the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, strengthening punishments for hate crimes.

      . . .

      In a crime that touched off a nationwide effort to tighten punishments for hate crimes,

      . . .

      The crime touched off a firestorm of support in Texas and the United States for laws that would enhance punishments for crimes motivated by race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry.

      Technically that is true, but how do you “tighten” a punishment beyond execution?

      I also support the death penalty for those who killed Matthew Shepard (even though it isn’t clear that he was killed for being gay). Since I support a stronger punishment than those pushing for “hate crime” apparently the anti-CP folks are all homophobes.

      I appreciate that article making my point so clearly. Why do you need hate crime / hate speech laws if the punishments on the books are already (allegedly) too severe? Is anyone seriously claiming that if the punishments were lesser that is would have been more of a deterrent for Byrd’s killers?


      1. That’s a fallacious comparison and I think you realize that. Hate crime laws are sentencing enhancement statutes – none of them provide the death penalty for crimes. They simply recognize that there is more damage done to society by a hate crime (in that in terrorizes an entire community) than by other types of assault/harassment, etc. The death penalty in the United States only applies to homicide statutes which are untouched by hate crime legislation.

        Those of us opposed to the death penalty do not believe execution to be a “stronger” punishment but rather an unjust punishment that does nothing towards rehabilitation, restitution, or reconciliation.


      2. You could not be more mistaken. There is no fallacy here. By definition, CP opponents think the punishment is too strong. Therefore, I am in favor of stronger punishments for killers of blacks and gays than you. Deal with that, you racist homophobe! 😉

        Just another Liberal inconsistency that they are too blind to see.

        an unjust punishment that does nothing towards rehabilitation, restitution, or reconciliation.

        I’d love to hear what punishment you think will reconcile the killer with his victim. Update to comment: . . . or provide adequate restitution to the murder victim.

        And again, you must be a flaming pro-lifer if you are so anti-CP. The unborn get killed without an opportunity for any of those things — and they aren’t even guilty of anything except being unwanted!


      3. Technically that is true, but how do you “tighten” a punishment beyond execution?

        Reminds me of Herman Charles Bosman’s anecdote in “Cold Stone Jug”, a novel he wrote about his experiences in prison in Johannesburg in the 1920’s. He was on death row for a time (for killing his stepbrother) but later reprieved. On death row, the inmates had special treatment and got away with a lot more than other prisoners. One night, a warder, no doubt tired of the constant slagging he received at the hand of death row inmates, laid into Bosman and his cell-mate, telling them they would be in “serious trouble” if they continued their nonsense. Bosman, who learned his irony from Mark Twain, briefly pondered how much more trouble they could possibly be in.


  1. “By definition, CP opponents think the punishment is too strong.”

    Really? That’s what you really think is motivating people opposed to the death penalty? That’s it’s “too strong”? Wow. Talk about a straw man argument. The opposition to the death penalty is based on principles that is it unjust, not that it is too strong.

    I won’t respond to you if you won’t even stay on topic.


    1. “I won’t respond to you if you won’t even stay on topic.”

      I reluctantly accept your commitment not to respond. I hope you have a great weekend and you are welcome to comment on future threads.

      I will also point other readers to the original topic.

      And I will also trust that they can see the obvious, which is that the death penalty is the ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime, and that those who oppose it think it is too strong.


    2. P.S. You are still welcome to address this: I’d love to hear what punishment you think will reconcile the killer with his victim or provide adequate restitution to the victim.


      1. Well, to be fair, I think the argument against CP in that regard is that there IS no adequate restitution to the victim, including the killer’s death. It’s not so much that it’s “too strong” but more that it serves no meaningful purpose…which is where the notion of “unjust” comes from.

        CP doesn’t “avenge” or balance out the act for the victim, it is really for the rest of us (the families of victims, society at large, etc). It makes us feel justice has been served, etc. The victim of a murder is dead already…a sense of justice on his/her behalf is, at best, an assumption.

        In fact, I would tend to partly agree with Michael’s notion that CP does nothing in terms of “rehabilitation, restitution, or reconciliation” with the caveat being that it depends on the lens which you are viewing both restitution and/or reconciliation…since it can be viewed in a singular “one-for-one” context or in a broader context of public or familial good.

        That, to me, is why that very notion misses the point, as the argument for CP isn’t about rehabilitation, it’s about whether or not one believes rehabilitation is possible at that point and viewing the other “Rs” through that broader lens. It’s basically assuming justice is better served by ending the life of a violent and dangerous individual rather than letting said individual either continuously waste taxpayer money or worse, be released and offend again.

        I also agree that many anit-CP stances are highly hypocritical (aside from the obvious lack of balance between those that are “pro choice” and anit-CP) as they tend to victimize the offender and make a myriad of excuses on their behalf and ignore the effect on the victim and society.

        It often stems from, in my experience, a dissatisfaction with the prison system’s role as a whole ( a justified gripe IMO) and using CP as an example of what’s wrong with it. That leads into a whole separate argument though.

        Personally, I feel that CP is an issue that doesn’t have a clear cut moral “right or wrong”…as long as your stance and base is consistent. That’s another problem with a lot of anti-CP arguments (and the original point I believe Neil was making):

        It’s not inconsistent or hypocritical to be pro-life and pro CP since the argument against abortion is for the protection of INNOCENT life, which is NOT the basis for the CP debate. One can disagree with such a stance, of course, but to do so on the basis of calling it hypocritical is a fallacious argument. It is, however, highly hypocritical to state a typical moral objection to CP (that is, on the basis of racism, unjust killing, unfair process, etc) while ignoring abortion, especially when you consider the lengthy appeals process the convicted see before even reaching that point. In other words, the correlation is not a two-way street.


      2. Well, to be fair, I think the argument against CP in that regard is that there IS no adequate restitution to the victim, including the killer’s death.

        Oh, I love that one. As if the point of CP were resurrection of the murder victim, as opposed to punishing the one who did it and making an example out of the criminal. Back in the good old days, a person held his temper in check for fear of “getting the chair.”

        It’s not inconsistent or hypocritical to be pro-life and pro CP since the argument against abortion is for the protection of INNOCENT life, which is NOT the basis for the CP debate.

        It boggles my mind that anyone even needs to explain this. Seriously – there’s a man or woman left alive who doesn’t see a difference between a helpless infant, and some maniac who’s murdered an innocent person in cold blood? Good grief, if a person doesn’t grasp this, he doesn’t belong in a voting booth, I can tell you that.

        If anything, there’s far more consistency in this position than in the one that supports abortion but opposes capital punishment. It’s those people who have some explaining to do.


      1. Hi Roxeanne!

        Someone wise pointed out, that the greatest betrayal of the public trust a government can commit….is to allow someone to live who won’t stop killing people.


  2. And there’s a bill in Michigan where children would have to get their parents’ permission to get a happy meal with French fries rather than fruit. What, we need permission to get French fries now, but children have the right to get abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent??? What a jacked-up thought process!

    Your pie chart is shocking and horrific.


    1. I am not even sure what the pie chart has to do with anything. Even it it were exactly the other way around, what the hell does it prove?

      *ONE* abortion is one too many. One execution less than the number of convicted death-row inmates, is one too few.

      It’s like our Founding Fathers wrote about the struggle against King George: Proportion and numbers haven’t got anything to do with it. It’s the principle of the thing – no taxation without representation for instance. It doesn’t matter if the tax rate is one percent or one hundred.


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