Death for Gosnell?

Clear-thinking pro-lifers know that’s not the answer.

The Anchoress has details:

Prosecutors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania announced today they will seek the death penalty for abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who faces charged related to killing a woman in a botched abortion and killing babies infanticides.” [. . .] prosecutors notified his attorney, Jack McMahon, that they will seek death by lethal injection if a jury finds Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder in the counts he faces. Gosnell faces a third-degree murder charge related to the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar from a botched abortion Gosnell performed. Mongar died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the doctor.

As those who get their news from alternative sources, and not the mainstream media may remember, Gosnell did a lot more than botch an abortion

What Gosnell is charged with will never match what he appears to have done, but, quite properly, prosecutors can only go by evidence.

If you remain unaware of what investigators (who were actually looking for evidence related to drug trafficking) found when they entered Gosnell’s abattoir-for-humans, read the Grand Jury’s Report, if you can take it.

Nevertheless, I would defend this man’s right to live his life out in prison, rather than watch the state take his life. His life is not anyone else’s to take. For pro-lifers, this is a no-brainer.

And he may need many years and much time, in order to understand the enormity of what he has done, and allow his heart to be turned. He may need time for conversion and salvation.

Amen.  Check out the rest.

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12 responses to “Death for Gosnell?”

  1. You are right Deacon and God forbid he was executed it would just make him a martyr for the pro-choice side.

  2. Greg:

    I’m with you on this. I will put something up likely Saturday as a follow-up to my rather long post on forgiveness, mercy, and justice. It’s not easy to take an unpopular stand, even when it’s right.


  3. Personally, I think he needs to be executed, if found guilty. I believe women have choice and control over their bodies. His execution would most certainly NOT make him a martyr in my eyes.

  4. Hello Deacon Greg and a Happy pre-Lent.
    Great article.

    I wouls ask: When does the killing stop?

    Im beginning to prime myself a bit for lent and started reading a book by a kindly old Franciscan OFM. The ash Wednesday readings are a startling truth of what Isaiah was trying to tell the pious of the day, you know, the ones who do all of the ritual observances perfectly, but miss the whole point completely. Some scholars think that this is the kind of writing that got Isaiah killed. He meant: what is it, in ourselves, that continuously disables us, from coming closer to God? Isaiah tells us that God prefers another kind of fasting. One kind might be, “letting go of our sense of entitlement.” I believe this is the kind of entitlement that would give us a sense of personal permission to murder people who murder others. (Revenge) Or give approval for others to do the murdering on our behalf. (Perhaps hiring a hit man) Perhaps approving of capital punishment. This passage if read for what it is, would not have been a big hit with the pious, temple Conservatives of Isaiah’s day, or the self rightious, pompous, self-regarded religously perfect of (our) day. To those who pass judgement and say you can’t be Catholic and pro-choice, you (might) be right, but I would also say that your walking a very dangerous line by approving of capital punishment and your self-assumed perfectnous. And I really do not care if your a Bishop, or a member of the roman curia and I dont think Isaiah would have particularly cared either.

  5. Deacon Greg,

    I am as ardently opposed to the death penalty as I am to abortion. They are equally hateful in my sight.

    That said, I joined Alveda King and the National Black Pro-life Leadership at Gosnell’s shop of horrors on Monday for the National Day of Mourning for the African American Community. The evil there was palpable, and the thought of his murdering hundreds of babies in that manner (he’s only charged with the killing of seven babies born alive), simply beggars the imagination.

    When I came home and heard the news today, I was surprised by my response. I was glad to hear it, and glad to hear that three of his employees may well face the same.

    It’s at once an understandable reaction, and at the same time it causes me to wonder, to question just what it is about this case that riles pro-lifers so.

    Do we want nice, clean, antiseptic, cooly professional killings of babies in the womb? What was it about Gosnell’s killings as opposed to the garden variety abortion in the late first and early second trimester that we find so offensive? Was it a matter of degree, or kind?

    Clearly a line was crossed, but does that mean that there has become on one side of that line an acceptable limit with how abortion is performed, a sort of ‘decent’ and ‘humane’ level with which we have become accustomed and are not outraged? Does it really matter if they are killed in, or out of the womb? The barbarism, the agony for the child are all the same.

    In a sense, is it not all the worse that what is deemed as acceptable murder of a child is the murder that takes place within the mother’s womb?

    Certainly Gosnell is a most depraved abortionist, but the only thought more frightening than that is the thought that there could be a cool, crisp, professional executioner of the unborn that would be acceptable to us.

    The evil here, the questions Gosnell’s case raises, and my response to today’s news are all pretty unsettling, and for the first time in a long time, I feel rudderless in making sense of it all.

  6. The power of the sword is given to the state. There is no comparison between an innocent victim’s life, specially an innocent baby, and the life of a person who chooses to murder others for profit, in cold blood, with premeditation and malice.

  7. Gosnell would not be a martyr for “choice” if executed. He’d be a scapegoat.

    Everybody whose opinion Gosnell respected, from the kinds of street protesters who defended Bruce Steir and Raymond Showery, to the President of the United States, held that what Gosnell did was “provide vital reproductive health care services.” He just did it in a way people find particularly distasteful.

    That’s hardly grounds for executing a man.

  8. Distasteful? Murdering and butchering human beings is distasteful? My goodness, I’d like to be respectful, but what kind of a twisted world view spouses such cavalier dismissal of the most horrible and malicious use of a medical licence than this? For Pete’s sake, distasteful?

  9. “Gosnell is accused of performing illegal late-term abortions, during which he induced preterm labor rather than use traditional abortion methods. When babies were born alive, according to a grand-jury report, Gosnell and his staffers would slit their throats or stab them in the neck with scissors to sever their spinal cords”

    The Philadelphia Daily News.

  10. Gerard, I see your point, but I think what we are seeing he is that the hypothetical “a cool, crisp, professional executioner of the unborn” doesn’t happen. Or any other great evil. When we contemplate the New Covenant that God offers us, it seems outrageous — we can commit all those sins, even utterly depraved evil, and then at the last moment repent, and we are redeemed.

    But in real life, what we observe is that the person who trucks in evil can’t just “turn on a dime.” That the more and longer you wallow in depravity, the more depraved you become. Gosnell’s office is like Dorian Gray’s portrait in the attic. Your soul is bought and paid for by the Blood of Christ, but if you go selling it to the devil, then as time goes on you become less and less able to prevent yourself from rejecting Christ’s prior claim and going with the bargain you made.

  11. I couldn’t agree with you more Cathy,

    Our Lord said: “What we do to the least of the others we do to God,” he say’s it. I can understand how hard this is to get our arms around, let alone our hearts and minds. I struggle with this sort of stuff too. You’d have to be made of steal (or pure love) to deal with it the way the master would have it. It can be excruciatingly hard. Gosnell, one of the least, probably so, but our Lord teaches us, we can’t leave anyone out.

    Leviticus 19:18: “You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.”


    Matthew’s Gospel, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive others…If you forgive others faults, your heavenly father will forgive you yours. If you refuse to forgive others for whatever reason, your heavenly father will not forgive you yours. I apologize if you think I’m throwing scripture at you. I suppose I am. This I agree with you, is mind blowing and very difficult.

  12. Ernest Van Den Haag
    was a philosophy professor at Harvard up until I believe the late 90’s. He wrote and spoke at length on punishment and murder. He was Jewish. As I remember he and his parents had escaped Nazi Germany. He appeared several times on W.F. Buckley Jr’s Fireing-Line. Anyway, in one of his essay’s on punishment he describes, outlines, why murder is wrong, regardless of (who) is being murdered. He says’ that it brutalizes the one doing, comitting the action. He also talks at some length on the affects of this premeditation, on society, the community, the people who approve of it. I believe Van Den Haag was a very thoughtful man and and a good man, but more importantly our master try’s his best in this regard to protect us from ourselves and to protect us from further seperation from him. If we think about, what this “brutalizing affect” has on us and the one’s we love, it might help us in a sort of detoured route, I guess, to eventually come back to and understand the tramendous value and love of what Jesus taught. Thank goodness for the Van Den Haag’s of the world who can put these sorts of issues into another perspective for understanding the gospel.
    God Bless

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