Europeans: Butt out

Advice about death penalty in U.S.: Europeans, butt out

Americans can end their debate on the death penalty permanently. No more will death penalty supporters have to chide death penalty opponents for their lack of empathy for survivors of homicide victims.

We can put an end to the arguments of those who say the death penalty is racist because more blacks than whites are on death row. (That reasoning is specious anyway; in most states, only those who commit felony murder – homicide that involves another crime like robbery or rape – get the death penalty. And blacks are on death row in approximately the same proportion as African-American involvement in felony murder.)

Anti-death-penalty activists would probably counter that with one in their wide range of claims about innocent folks ending up on death row and how executions don’t deter murder. But that’s the sort of cussing and fussing we can end. We just have to think creatively. We have to think collectively. We have to think, oh, well, foreign.

That’s right. Let’s round up all our folks on death row and ship them overseas. There must be some government somewhere willing to take them. After all, so many of them are willing to preach to us about how we awful Americans still have the death penalty.

In fact, some Americans join in this anti-Yankee bashing. American anti-death-penalty activists whine that their country won’t ban the death penalty as other, presumably more civilized, industrialized countries have done. Others rail against the practice some states have of trying some juveniles as adults and imposing the death penalty. Lawyers for Napoleon Beazley, a 24-year-old death row inmate in Texas who shot a man to death in an attempted carjacking when he was 17, complain that giving their client the death penalty violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The ICCPR is a treaty signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. The Senate ratified all sections of the treaty in 1992 except the provision that would have banned giving juveniles the death penalty.

It’s a relief to know that the Senate, even when it was run by Democrats, was leery of ratifying a provision that would have flagrantly violated the 10th Amendment. But Stephen Harper, a Florida assistant public defender, is quoted in the September Savoy magazine thus:

"Under international law you can’t make a reservation to a specific point of a treaty and ratify it." Fret not, Harper, me boy. There’s a plan for all ye who object to executing juveniles.

Send the juvenile offenders on death row to foreign countries. Send the old ones, too. Send them all. Who should get them first? Let’s see now.

When President Bush visited Europe in June, he was greeted by protesters in high dudgeon about, among other things, America’s use of the death penalty. One reporter in Spain had the gall to ask Bush, "Are you a champion of the death penalty?"

Spain clearly does not champion the death penalty. So let’s send Napoleon Beazley and the first batch of death row inmates in America there. Let them serve time in Spanish prisons. Let the Spaniards feed them, house them and clothe them. Let them foot the bill for it. The lives of the condemned will have been spared, America will be rid of them and the Spanish government can pat itself on the back for having done a good deed.

Next on the list is France. When America asked that convicted murderer Ira Einhorn be extradited to serve out his sentence, the French balked. We don’t extradite those tried and convicted in absentia, the French sniffed. Besides, he might get the death penalty.

OK, France. He’s yours. We’ll send the recently extradited Einhorn back to France to serve his life sentence. We’ll throw in a bunch of other ax murderers, serial killers and psychopaths in the bargain. Put ’em in French prisons and give them all the tender loving care you think they deserve.

What’s that you say, Spain and France? Don’t like the deal, eh? We don’t see the rest of you European nations stepping up to the plate either. Then there’s an alternative. Shut up about America’s death penalty laws. And you can climb off our backs about our gun laws, too.

Yes, in addition to preaching to Americans about gun laws, Europeans and others, through the United Nations, are trying to impose tougher gun laws on Americans, too. In the July 15 edition of The Sun, writer Michael Scardaville told about a U.N. committee that recommended that delegates promote "the removal of all arms from society."

Funny how none of these countries worried about America’s death penalty or gun laws when they needed us – like during World War II or when we were helping protect Europe from the Soviet menace through our involvement in NATO. The britches of Western European nations have grown in proportion to the decline of the Soviet threat.

We deserve some compensation for keeping them safe. The cost should be either to take our death row inmates or dummy up about how the death penalty is applied in America.

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