Seeking Justice: "Capital Punishment Divides Republican AG Candidates in Virginia"
Commonwealth of Virginia prosecutor Tom McKenna has an interesting post on this year's Republican race for Attorney General of Virginia, which pits two social conservatives - one favoring the death penalty and the other a Catholic who opposes it - facing off against each other:
... What was mildly surprising is not that the left opposed the bill [which would expand the death penalty to include non-triggermen, such as John Allen Muhammed, who avoided capital punishment because his accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo was the actual triggerman] but that a Catholic, homeschooling, social conservative, Ken Cuccinelli, who is running for state Attorney General, argued that "we're killing enough people in Virginia," ...My Comments:
Sadly, Mr. Cuccinelli, who should garner alot of support from social conservatives, will lose his bid for the Republican nomination for AG, in part because of his opposition to capital punishment. The "moderates" of Northern Virginia (his home) won't reward him for it because on all other social issues he's solidly pro-life-- and horror of horrors, a homeschooler (you know, one of those). And the downstate Repubs will wonder why we should have an AG who opposes capital punishment when one of the AG's most important responsibilities is to defend capital convictions vigorously in the state and federal appellate courts.
By default then, the nomination will fall to John Brownlee, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, a social conservative, and someone who believes in the appropriate use of capital punishment.
I suspect Mr. Cuccinelli has been hoodwinked by the American Catholic Bishops and other Catholic liberals into believing that he cannot support capital punishment and remain a loyal Catholic, a lie debunked by yours truly here and elsewhere on this blog.
I know that many readers of this blog will take issue with my friend Tom's views on capital punishment. Indeed, I have come to oppose the death penalty, myself, NOT because I think it inherently wrong or unjust - I don't, but because, as a prudential matter, opposing the death penalty makes arguing on behalf of a culture of life much easier. I got sick of getting bogged down in arguing the REAL distinctions that exist between abortion and capital punishment, and decided that, along with the Pope and his Bishops, it was preferable to oppose capital punishment.
That said, I'd like to make 2 observations about Tom's post:
(1) If you're going to have a death penalty, surely Tom is absolutely correct in pointing out that it makes no sense to allow a non-triggerman like John Allen Muhammed to avoid it by virtue of the fact that Lee Boyd Malvo was the guy doing all the shooting; and
(2) Let's see if all those self-proclaimed "consistent ethic of life"/"seamless garment" Catholics who seem to be able to come up with a myriad of reasons to support pro-abort Democrats can put aside their tribal loyalties and bring themselves to support an anti-abortion and anti-capital-punishment Catholic Republican. [Sound of crickets chirping]