Via Lifesite News:
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.
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.
As John Paul II wrote on the death penalty:
A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that 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. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary. (Pope John Paul II, St. Louis, MO, January 1999)
Punishment cannot be reduced to mere retribution, much less take the form of social retaliation or a sort of institutional vengeance. Punishment and imprisonment have meaning if they serve the rehabilitation of the individual by offering those who have made a mistake an opportunity to reflect and to change their lives in order to be fully reintegrated into society. (Pope John Paul II, Jubilee Homily to Prisoners, Rome, July 2002)
God is Just, and he is Merciful; God will deal with Kermit Gosnell in ways we can never imagine.
We know this: God wills us, loves us, into being; he wants his creation, and his creatures to live in his love and to become holy, as he is All-Holy. We know he longs for us to understand the depths of his love, and to know that his Justice can only be right and perfect (as our own sense of justice can never be) because he is Truth.
We know, ultimately, that what God wants — what he incarnated for, and died for — is the conversion and salvation of our broken and confused hearts, so that we may be reconciled to him. He wants us to let ourselves to be wholly, fully loved by His Majesty.
And knowing that, one can only pray for Kermit Gosnell and his accomplices, that they will one day make a heartful plea for mercy, and find their expression in the words of the prophet, Isaiah 38:17: “…you have saved me from the pit of destruction, when you cast behind your back, all of my sins.”
After all, it’s happened before.
UPDATE I: Ed Morrissey is admitting to a struggle that I think many will identify with:
. . .this is the kind of case that can certainly cause one to question their opposition. Gosnell murdered living babies fully born and separated from their mothers, and did so in a crude and cruel manner. He kept trophies of his victims on shelves in his clinic. If anyone doubts the cruelty and horrors visited upon these helpless infants and the women in the community, please be sure to read the grand jury report from start to finish, if you can stomach it. If the death penalty has any meaning at all, then Gosnell has to qualify for it.
Still, this may end up creating a cottage industry of Gosnell as a martyr, if previous death-penalty cases provide any track record at all. We’ll be subject to numerous media pieces on Gosnell’s “service” to the community, a religious conversion or two, and probably even his artistic je ne sais quoi. Free Kermit rallies will pop up all over Pennsylvania. Inevitably, someone (or a whole bunch of someones) will play the race card, even though Gosnell made a fortune in his butchery and exploited the poor of his own community.
All true. And Jesus never said following him would be easy. We often find ourselves between the rubber and the road.
William Saletan: The Next Gosnell
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Deacon Greg Agrees
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