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New! Supreme Court Decisions

What about the death penalty? Many "pro-lifers" are in favor of capital punishment. Isn't that inconsistent?

No, not necessarily. I myself adamantly oppose the death penalty. However, as a strictly intellectual matter, I think one can oppose abortion and support capital punishment without necessarily being inconsistent.

There is a crucial difference between the unborn and those on death row: the unborn have been convicted of no crime. If a society must kill anyone--and it need not--it is better to kill those convicted of heinous crimes than to kill those who are entirely innocent. Before the trial of the major Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, the Allies were uncertain whether they would consider capital punishment. In his opening argument for the prosecution, Justice Robert Jackson argued for the death penalty, saying, "I cannot subscribe to the perverted reasoning that society may advance and strengthen the rule of law by the expenditure of morally innocent lives but that progress may never be made at the price of morally guilty lives."

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