Sl"Empirical evidence against capital punishment is unattainable, since statistics are helpless to determine the number of would-be murderers who are restrained by the thought of exezution. In those countries where earthquakes are frequent. it is customary to impose martial law at once. and shoot down those murderous thieves who issue forth at the breakdown of law and order. Number unknown.
They are the criminals who, in normal times. are restrained from murdering citizens in their beds. by the routine service of the police. The same sentimental statesmen who have abolished capital punishment for murder. because murderers still murder, have illogically retained it for spying and treason, although spies continue to spy, and traitors commit treason_ Shall we cease to punish the Hatrys and Jabez Balfours, because crooked financiers still ruin thousands?
I would be interested to learn how Fr. Tidmarsh would answer those objectors who might urge that. since many souls die in mortal sin, notwithstanding the warning of the Lord and His Apostles, hell is useless. Must we yield to the pagan atmosphere around us?
The late Mgr. Benson (died 1914) wrote a futurist novel, in which he depicted the Papal State as alone retaining the death penalty. The rest of the world had abolished it, while legalising abortion and euthanasia (a fancy Greek word for the murder of the aged, incurables and other "useless burdens on society").
It is regrettable that no correspondent has drawn our attention to the terrible risk to the soul of the murderer's victim. Hamlet's father bewails how he was "cut off, even in the blossom of my sins", and without the Last Sacrament. "Oh, horrible, horrible; most horrible. If thou bast nature in thee, bear it not". But then, Shakespeare lived in the old Catholic tradition.
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