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The Death Penalty Does Not Deter Liberals

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Liberals are compassionate people. That’s why they support abortion and oppose the death penalty. They figure it’s best to kill a majority of black children before they are born. If they did not, a small minority of those black children would later commit homicide. Liberals are not just compassionate people. They’re logical, too.

Because of their undying commitment to expanding abortion rights I always welcome moral advice from liberals. That’s why I was nearly moved to tears after I read a new report from Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Matthew Robinson. His “scientific” report asserts that the death penalty system in North Carolina costs millions of dollars a year and does not make our state safer.

What Professor Robinson does not report is that the abolitionist movement is the sole reason for the higher-than-expected expense and lower-than-expected deterrent value of capital punishment. The death penalty is expensive because abolitionists level costly appeals – even in cases where they know the condemned is guilty and has had a fair trial.

Put simply, the abolitionist wants to get rid of the death penalty regardless of guilt and regardless of process. And the impact of these endless appeals is predicable: It undermines the deterrent capacity of the death penalty.

If the liberal reader cannot understand why a fifteen year delay between crime and punishment undermines deterrence then just try this little two-step experiment: 1) The next time your fifteen-year old breaks a rule tell him he will be grounded when he turns thirty. 2) See if you can count to ten before he decides to recidivate.

Dr. Robinson also says that the death penalty “poses a serious risk to innocent people.” I have a similar concern with abortion. I think it might pose a pretty serious risk to innocent people. So, for me, the solution lies in the appellate process.

Here’s my plan: When a woman decides to abort, opponents of abortion should be able to file appeals on behalf of the baby. If we can just drag out the process for fifteen years or more then, who knows, we might be able to reduce the risk abortion poses to innocent people.

The learned Professor Robinson says that ''All the data point to one obvious conclusion … Our state's capital punishment system is broken, and our lawmakers should take a serious look at whether it is still serving the interests of North Carolina.'' Well, he’s right about that. We haven’t executed anyone in five years in this state. The abolitionists have certainly managed to break down the system.

Professor Robinson recently participated in a press conference with three other learned scholars - Dr. Frank Baumgartner and Dr. Seth Kotch of UNC Chapel Hill and Dr. Miriam DeLone of Fayetteville State University. They all agreed that the death penalty is both an ineffective and unfair punishment – although they said nothing at the press conference about the inherent unfairness of terminating 51% of black pregnancies in the name of “choice.”

''Among other things, this report shows us that the death penalty does not deter crime,'' said Professor Baumgartner. ''We haven't executed anyone since 2006, and the murder rate has gone down. If the death penalty isn't making us safer, why do we cling to this punishment?''

Baumgartner failed to mention that the crime rate rose every single year between 1967 and 1977 when there were no executions in America. He also failed to mention that after eighteen years of increases the crime rate finally leveled off in 1978. That was the year after the death penalty made a comeback in America.

Of course, we are all guilty of suppressing statistics when they make us feel somewhat uncomfortable. Every summer when ice cream sales increase the murder rate increases, too. But I don’t talk about it often. I really like ice cream. Did I mention that I like “social science” professors who make really complex statistical arguments?

Professor Robinson’s study asserts that decreased use of the death penalty has been followed by a decrease in murder. But that’s only half of the story. The increase in gun sales and issuance of concealed weapons permits has been followed by a decrease in murder, which has reduced the need for executions in North Carolina. But Robinson tries to keep things simple. He’s writing mostly for a liberal audience.

Robinson also asserts that innocent people are being wrongly sentenced to death. He notes that seven people have been exonerated and freed from North Carolina's death row since 1973. I’m glad he chose the year 1973 as a reference point. Since then, no wrongfully condemned person has been freed from a North Carolina abortion clinic. The criminal justice system is broken but, look, the health care system works just perfectly!

Robinson concluded a recent interview by asking, ''What do we get for all the money we spend on the death penalty?'' He humbly answered his own question saying, ''We get a punishment that is almost never used, that is mired in racial bias and that threatens the lives of innocent people. It defies logic to continue using a system like that.''

In recent years, the abortion rate has been dropping slightly – as has been the murder rate. Imagine if abortion were mired in racial bias or threatened the lives of innocent people. Then both logic and sanctimonious professors would defy its continued use.

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