Man to Be Executed for Murdering Boy, 6, in Georgia Trailer Park

Link to news story: foxnews.com/story/0,2933,561444,00.html

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A Georgia man was sentenced to death Tuesday for molesting and strangling a 6-year-old boy inside a mobile home before the child’s body was wrapped in trash bags and dumped near a road.

Jurors deliberated two hours before unanimously agreeing on a death sentence for 61-year-old David Edenfield. He was convicted Monday of aggravated child molestation and murder in the March 2007 slaying of Christopher Michael Barrios.

Edenfield stood passively as the judge read his sentence, and the victim’s family silently dabbed at tears.

Jurors deliberated two hours before unanimously agreeing on a death sentence for 61-year-old David Edenfield. He was convicted Monday of aggravated child molestation and murder in the March 2007 slaying of Christopher Michael Barrios.

*[FONT=&quot][FONT=Arial]Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. [/FONT][/FONT]*CCC 2266

I would say the jurors have fulfilled that duty.

Ender

Jurors can decide/suggest sentences? :confused: I didn’t know that. I sat on a trial about 6 years ago, a date rape kind of thing, and we were not aware of the potential sentence that could have been implemented, had we found the defendant guilty. *

Jurors not only can decide penalties, they MUST be the party to decide whether a person receives the death penalty, per a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. CCC 2266

Indeed, but the Catechism also says that the death penalty should only be available when there are no other means of protecting society from the person, and that in modern society, this is virtually never the case.

Maybe the jury sought the death penalty for this reason, but it is much more likely they sought it out of blood thirsty vengeance. Given our command to refrain from vengeance, and the line in the Catechism that the death penalty is virtually never acceptable, it seems would should err on the side of not killing people. This sentence was a mistake.

If the jury / court system decided that life in prison without parole was appropriate and then in 2 or 3 years the guy kills someone in jail, a guard let’s say for this argument. What then?

What do the “no death penalty Catholics” say? Did the jury / court system fail in doing their duty the first time around and as such the death of the guard is on their hands at least in part?

At what point is enough enough for the sake of society?

Or does society just wait it out and see and that’s too bad for the guards’ family? May God grant them comfort in their loss because we were too limp wristed as a society to do what needs doing in the first place?

And for the Catholic proponents of the death penalty – how do we know if the guy will be a further threat if imprisoned for life? How does the Catholic view of the very rarely used sentence of capitol punishment play out in the US courts systems where capitol punishment is on the table? Are we too quick to deem this life unworthy of taking another breath past the sentence deadline lest he repent?

Just wish to see who has a more convincing argument.

I just read about the crime. :(:mad::(:mad::frowning:

Evil. Evil.Evil and Evil.

I cannot think of a crime more grave.

having also served on juries for trials of capital crimes I think it is much more likely that the jury received specific instruction from the judge that depending on which crime they found the defendent guilty of, that would determine the sentence. He further explained exactly what the wording describing each crime means, and the implications of that verdict. I prefer to assume the jury considered all the facts and rendered their verdict according to their judgment of those facts. Please do not presume to go into the mind of jurors and ascribe evil motives unless you have divine powers, which I beg leave to doubt.

who is “we” in statement of above poster – the jurors, people of the State of Georgia or just some unspecified group to whom you which to ascribe a sinister motive?

If you are asking this of me - I thought I clarified it:

And **for the Catholic proponents of the death penalty **– how do we know if …

The “we” in the above quote is for “the Catholic proponents of the death penalty.”

Since I asked questions from both sides of the issue I’m not sure how you can think I have ascribe a sinister motive to anyone in asking questions from both sides. Maybe you have those divine powers you were describing? :wink:

Maybe the jury sought the death penalty for this reason, but it is much more likely they sought it out of blood thirsty vengeance. Given our command to refrain from vengeance, and the line in the Catechism that the death penalty is virtually never acceptable, it seems would should err on the side of not killing people. This sentence was a mistake

this is the post I was referencing

the “we” gave me pause because so far there have been no Catholic proponents of the death penalty contributing to this thread, so I was confused, forgive me.

I’m afraid that you must be mistaken, because your first assertion is categorically false, and would undoubtedly result in a deprivation of the right to due process. Per U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence, a jury must separately determine guilt and whether a person should be put to death. No one can, if found guilty of a certain crime, be automatically sentenced to death.

While we cannot be sure unless we ask the court, the model jury instruction in Georgia (and everywhere else) with regard to death penalty (if it is allowed) is “If you find beyond a reasonable doubt that the State has proved the existence in this case of the aggravating circumstance . . . then you would be authorized to recommend the imposition of the sentence of death, but you would not be required to do so.” No jury instruction regarding the death penalty deals with the person’s likelihood to do further harm. Thus, I am not presuming to “go into the mind of jurors and ascribe them evil motives.” I am, instead, presuming they honorably undertook their duty, and followed their instructions. Intrinsic in those instructions, however, is a blood thirsty vengeance–if the crime is really bad, our vengeance is worse (aggravating circumstances); if the crime is less bad, our vengeance is lessened (mitigating circumstances).

The primary objective of punishment is retribution, that is, justice; it is not the protection of society therefore whether society is or is not threatened is not the primary determinant of the punishment to be applied.

Are we too quick to deem this life unworthy of taking another breath past the sentence deadline lest he repent?

It is not a question of deciding which lives are worthy but of restoring the order disturbed by the crime. It is not an argument in favor of the sanctity of life to apply an inadequate punishment for murder which does nothing more than imply that killing someone is not really all that terrible.

[quote=camerong]Indeed, but the Catechism also says that the death penalty should only be available when there are no other means of protecting society from the person, and that in modern society, this is virtually never the case.
[/quote]

The Catechism says a number of things that cannot accommodate what is said in 2267. Since that section is the personal opinion of JPII, however, It doesn’t have the same authority as the other sections that in fact represent the constant teaching of the Church.

Ender

I cannot speak to your first or third paragraphs, as they represent rules of the Church with which I am not very familiar. Your second paragraph, however, seems to desire an “eye for an eye” morality which Christ clearly rejects. You are saying, are you not, that only death can pay for death (which is true, but Christ’s death, not the convict’s). Further, life imprisonment does not in any way imply that killing someone is not really all that terrible. Forever restricting someone’s freedom is not a light punishment. But more importantly, I would suggest that it is not our punishments that define our morality, as you suggest, but our morality which should define our punishments. We know that killing someone is an extreme evil because our morality says so, not because we punish it a certain way.

well I am not in georgia I am in Texas and we were instructed that there were three ways of stating the crime in legalese, and that each of these crimes, if accused were convicted, carried mandatory sentencing, and we had to know the implications going in to the jury room before deliberating. If you want to correct the judges, PM me I will give you their names.

In the United States, mandatory sentencing is constitutional for all sentences but the death penalty. If you were told that a finding of guilt meant an automatic death penalty, that was clearly an erroneous instruction (and had the jury had chosen guilt, would have undoubtedly been overturned on appeal). See the wikipedia entry discussing the cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court decided this.

The Catechism is not full of opinions. This is an official document of the Church describing the teachings of the Church. The Pope’s writing in the catechism was done with him acting as Pope, with the full authority of his office. In fact, the Pope did not even write the majority of the catechism. He formed “a commission of twelve cardinals and Bishops, chaired by [then] Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.” The Pope’s role in creating the catechism was by reviewing and editing the catechism. The Pope then used his Apostolic Authority to declare this to be the entire book to be the teachings of the Catholic Church. In other words, he declared the book to be completely accurate and as he was acting with his apostolic authority, he (and the book) is infallible. That section on capital punishment is the teachings of the church. No man can ever contradict that.

If you want evidence, read “Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum.” That is where I got my source from.

This is so horrible.
Prayers for everyone involved especially the family of the boy and the man about to die.

Scum of the earth. Serves him right.

Ender said:

The primary objective of punishment is retribution, that is, justice; it is not the protection of society therefore whether society is or is not threatened is not the primary determinant of the punishment to be applied.

And:

It is not a question of deciding which lives are worthy but of restoring the order disturbed by the crime. It is not an argument in favor of the sanctity of life to apply an inadequate punishment for murder which does nothing more than imply that killing someone is not really all that terrible.

Thanks, Ender. In case it is not evident I am a proponent of strict sentencing and am in favor of capital punishment. I am intrigued by some Catholic responses that are against capital punishment. I must say that some of the arguments I have seen by those Catholics have been thought provoking.

Is it hypocritical of me to seek and beg for God’s mercy and then turn around and nod in agreement to this guys death sentence?

Very well put. Further, if there are apparently conflicting passages in any inspired book, one should look to the passage that is clearest and that requires the least interpretation.

And really, I have to think that this is the answer. The Catechism says the death penalty is almost never acceptable. Unless this case happens to be so extremely rare in nature as to qualify as one of the few exceptions to this rule, then this execution should be frowned upon by Catholics.

And if this is what the Catechism says, there is really not much sense in debating the value of the death penalty. If I were in charge, there are things I might change about the Catechism–my carnal side should like very much to be able to have sex with my wife without all this NFP charting and abstaining, but just making her pop a pill–but thank God, I am not in charge of anything to do with faith. My charge, rather, is to follow the rules laid out by those who have devoted their lives to studying millennia of inspired tradition; the rules God Himself inspired them to write; and the rules that God Himself approved of, through the authority of the Pope.

To the poster above me–it is a strange thing, I think, to approach a single, minor view Catholicism without the basis in it, if that is indeed what you are doing. I spent several years studying Islam, and there is no way a person could even begin discussing, for example, the concept of multiple wives without understanding a great many other things about the faith system. Not that I am saying you should not discuss this and other topics, of course, but I merely hope that you are also starting at the beginning–i.e. Christs charge to Peter, and moving forward from there. At the very least, I dearly hope that you do not evaluate Catholicism, as many Protestants do, by whether its teachings, taken individually, seem to make sense. As a wonderful philosopher once said, studying religion from outside of it is like looking at stained glass windows from the outside. I think this applies to Catholicism, as well; before I converted, I had put a great deal of study into the Church, but what I thought was knowledge I gained from the outside was dwarfed by the emotional and intellectual growth I received once within. I think that is one tricky thing about faith in something that is true–the best reasons for believing can’t be fully grasped until you actually believe. This applies to Christ, and to His Church.

The question here is one of justice and the Church teaches that: " [FONT=&quot][FONT=Arial]Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime." CCC 2266 [/FONT][/FONT]

You are saying, are you not, that only death can pay for death (which is true, but Christ’s death, not the convict’s).

I’m simply repeating what the Church teaches:
For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning… Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.
The Old Testament always considered blood a sacred sign of life. This teaching remains necessary for all time. CCC 2260

Ender

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