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An American Supreme Court decision “invoked a rarely used procedure giving (Anthony)Davis, (a man on death row), an opportunity to challenge his conviction” using what is called an original writ of habeas corpus.
Two of the Supreme Court Judges Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas opposed the decision writing:
This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent.
The post on the above linked blog “Think Progress” has gotten by now 140 comments. One those calls Scalia a “devout uber-Catholic” thinking with the twisted logic of medieval theologians.
But here I beg to differ, while the medieval religious courts had some more than questionable ways of “truth-finding”, something like torture, witch-marks or throwing people in rivers, if a defendant could prove his or her innocence it was always ground for stopping his or her execution and setting them free. Scalia´s twisted interpretation of the law would not even have stood up before the cruel courts of the Spanish Inquisition.
As for today, Antonin Scalia does not represent the opinion of the official Catholic Church, since besides opposing abortion, the Church opposes also all forms of death-penalty unless under the rare occasions, when there is no other way to prevent a murderer from committing more murders. In a modern fully functioning state with courts and prisons these occasions cannot occur after a murderer is apprehended.
Even in the United States, one of the few western nations, which still supports the death penalty, the support of Catholics for the death-penalty is waning and lies according to a 2004 poll by 48%.
“the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform”.
The cases where society could not defend itself, according to the Pope, “are very rare if not practically nonexistent”.
Now you might assume I´m taking the easy way out in defending the Church by refusing to acknowledge the members whose opinion I dislike as true Catholics. But this not what I do.
I do realize that Catholic believers and even Catholic officials like priests, bishops and Popes have been responsible for a lot of bad things in all those 2000 years of Church history. Some of those things were even done in the name of the faith.
But when a supposed “devout” Catholic does, says and writes things, which stand in total opposition to the Church leadership in the Vatican, in opposition to the local Church leaders, the American bishops, and on top of it contradict “natural law” and justice as is taught in the catechism as well as a general feeling for fairness, I absolutely refuse to accept my share of the collective responsibility for that guy.
Scalia wrote his minority opinion in the death penalty case in the Supreme Court not as a member of the Catholic Christian faith, but as the follower of an anti-Catholic philosophy. (A sign that Antonin Scalia is far from being a good Catholic is his all too close relationship with a man like Dick Cheney, going on hunting trips together while hearing a case involving Cheney, for instance.)
The same is true for Michael Novak, the so-called Catholic Neocon, the war-monger, Israel-firster and fanatical supporter of the privileges of the financial elite. They are pretend Catholics, behind a pro-life smoke-screen. They are actors who are supposed to get the real Catholics to support an anti-Catholic agenda.
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