Friday, March 02, 2007

Death penalty for Catholic priests?

According to Paul Burka:
Among the concerns of House members that led to the postponement of the debate on Jessica's Laws was the realization that the death penalty could apply to Catholic priests who have committed two offenses of sexual abuse.
That's an interesting angle, huh?

I've heard from two House committee chairmen today that Rep. Debbie Riddle has agreed to at least some amendments to HB 8 ("Jessica's Law"), but so far everyone's mum on the details. There are quite a few things about the bill that need improving to make this a good law. The Stand Down Texas blog has more insight on machinations behind the bill.


playmisty4me said...

So it's ok to execute child molesters, but not if they are Catholic priests?

Maybe it's the expense they are worried about - imagine how many new holding cells we would need at Huntsville.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I haven't heard ANYBODY talk about the expense, but that's a huge pragmatic problem with HB 8.

Capital cases cost taxpayers about $2.3 million apiece. 99 year sentences and no parole mean we're paying for elderly people's chronic healthcare without Medicare's help.

So the Lege should be thinking about the expense, but whatever it is that made them take a few days to mull it over, even kind of a silly angle like this, I'm glad for it.

800 pound gorilla said...

IF we eliminated most - if not all - of the "personal choices" or "victimless" penalties like those banning prostitution,illicit drugs, and gambling we would have more leeway to impose heavier penalties on chronic sexual abusers who impose their sexual appetites on unwilling partners.

playmisty4me said...

We can't eliminate victimless crimes like gambling, prostitution or drug offenses. Those are personal moral failures that are unacceptable to the Religious Right / Republican Party that currently controls Texas politics. It it the role of the state, under conservative Republican theory, to regulate personal behaviors so as to mandate compliance with what they believe is proper. And if it means cutting children's health care to be able to have the money to build prisons for those who don't comply, that's just fine with the governing majority - who are sure they are doing God's will.