Horrible Crime Deserves Death Penalty?

Here is an article on an unthinkable tragedy arguably deserving the death penalty for such an atrocity: (if you can stand the reading – not for the squeamish!) :frowning:


"Jurors deliberated for nearly 81/2 hours before recommending that Kevin Underwood, 28, be put to death for killing Jamie Rose Bolin. He was convicted last week of first-degree murder.
"Underwood, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read, was handcuffed and led from the courtroom, while 10 armed deputies stood guard. He is scheduled to be formally sentenced on April 3.
"His mother, Connie Underwood, sobbed quietly after the verdict was announced.
"During closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Underwood should be put to death because he is plagued by deviant sexual fantasies that make him want to kill, rape, torture and eat his victims.
"Jurors also had the option of sentencing Underwood to life in prison, either with or without the possibility of parole. For him to be sentenced to death, prosecutors needed to prove either that he is a continuing threat to society or that the crime was heinous, atrocious and cruel.
"Prosecutor Greg Mashburn recounted the final moments of Jamie’s life, struggling for air, as the former grocery stocker suffocated her after luring her into his Purcell apartment.
’“This was the worst of the worst,” Mashburn said as he displayed some of the items found in Underwood’s apartment, including a cutting board prosecutors say he used to beat the victim before suffocating her.
’“There are cases for life without parole and for the possibility of parole. This just isn’t it,” he said.
"Underwood’s attorneys declined to comment after the jury handed down its verdict.
"They did not dispute that he killed Jamie in April 2006 but argued that he suffered from a host of mental illnesses and was overcome by deviant sexual urges.
"Underwood said in a videotaped confession that he fantasized about torturing and killing a person and cannibalizing the body. No evidence has been presented that any cannibalism took place.
"The girl’s body was found in a plastic tub in Underwood’s apartment. Her head had been nearly cut off.
’“Mr. Underwood suffers from several severe psychiatric disorders,” attorney Wayne Woodyard said. “Is there any question that Kevin Ray Underwood was a sick and disturbed young man when he committed this homicide?”
"Woodyard said Underwood expressed remorse and could be helped with medication. [Really? I have my doubts of that!-Julius]
"About a dozen of Jamie’s family members sat in court to listen to closing arguments, including the girl’s father.
“Family members each wore a red ribbon signifying her middle name, Rose, and a green ribbon representing the color of her clothes when she was buried. Underwood’s family, including his parents, were also in the courtroom Friday.”

This is followed by some “uncharitable” comments by some posting on AOL:

Well considering we live in a free society, I don’t think you ought to be bullying anyone if they have an opinion against the death penalty. You can’t judge another if they decide they aren’t for the death penalty. Perhaps the question ought to be, what kind of crimes deserve the death penalty, instead of name calling others for their opinions.

No argument. --Julius :cool: 

this is why Canada should re-install the death penalty…for cases like this…where the criminal shows no remorse for his/her cruel and disgusting acts… rather than have him put in jail and waste tax payer’s money…individuals like this guy don’t deserve our sympathy nor to be present in ANY society.


Any bleeding hearts against the death penalty for this scum bag ???

 Not me. --Julius :(

Any bleeding hearts against the death penalty for this scum bag ???

Yes. No matter what he did, no matter how heinous the crime, the state has no right to take his life when life imprisonment without the possibility of parole can keep society safe.

And that option isn’t available or won’t work?

– Mark L. Chance.

Then and only then is it allowable to put someone to death.

This is basic Church teaching.

“Bleeding Hearts” have nothing to do with it.

In my few decades on this planet, I have only seen 1 case where the death penalty was even remotely warranted and that was in the case of Saddam. There was always a chance that his followers would try to free him (including some in the US) and put him back in power.

I recall the Ted Bundy story. He escaped his holding cell only to kill again.

Killers are dangerous to society but also to other inmates in prison. So what else is there?

Note that Fidel Castro was under sentence of death in Cuba when a bishop interceded and had the sentence reduced to life. Shortly thereafter he escaped, and payed the bishop back by expelling him. Thus the bishop was not there to interecede for the many Fidel shot in the Soccer stadiums, without any effective trial.

I don’t think it is a prequisite of showing mercy to others that we expect to receive mercy in return - at least not in this life.

When I read about terrible crimes and my emotions are running high I am not only pro-death penalty, I’m eager to be the one to carry it out. But this is a human response, a desire for vengence, a desire to inflict pain on those who hurt others. It is revenge, pure and simple. Hatred. And that is how I know it is not from God. So, no, I do not think this man should be executed.

Of course we can just put him in with the general prison population and see what happens then.

Did I read the article correctly? Does the young man have proven mental problems?

I am torn on the death penalty. Some cases, like the one above, are so heinous that they warrent the death penalty. But I can also understand the other side too who feels that God, not humans, should have the sole right to kill.

What a horrible case. We should say a prayer for the poor family.

Just curious, if the killers meds work could he be set free? It seems like I remember having heard of this happening.

Yes, Ted Bundy escaped, made his way to Florida and took the lives of several young women in a Florida dorm. He then murdered a little twelve year old girl.:mad:

According to Traditional Catholic Teaching.

The death penalty, unlike abortion or homosexuality/homophilia/sodomism, is not inherently immoral and may be resorted to when necessary to protect the common good.

There are times when it is necessary, especially in third world countries where the jail system does not protect the common good.

Of course when it is not necessary, it becomes a sin to resort to it.

Basic Church teaching is that crime deserves punishment and the state has the obligation of inflicting a punishment proportionate to the severity of the crime. For some crimes, such as the one described here, the only proportionate punishment is execution. The primary purpose of punishment is not the protection of society, rather it is to redress the disorder caused by the sin, that is, it is punishment itself that is required. It is a question of justice.

The teaching in the Catechism that the protection of society is the only valid justification for capital punishment is a change to what the Church has always taught on the subject and is the prudential opinion of JPII.


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