Death, judgment, and European interference in US affairs 20

In an article in the Telegraph, Niles Gardiner reveals that the (undemocratic, left-leaning) European Union is actively interfering in US affairs. It is shelling out taxpayers’  money to groups in America that oppose the death penalty.

Here is a large part of what he writes:

Why on earth are British taxpayers being forced to fund European Union lobbying for policy campaigns in the United States? Furthermore, why is the EU directly interfering in domestic political debates in America, and so far without Congressional oversight? As the research detailed below demonstrates, the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is spending millions of Euros on US-based campaigns against the death penalty. An extraordinary development. …

This extremely unusual funding for US groups – by a taxpayer-funded foreign entity to advance a political cause – deserves to attract a great deal of public attention, including Congressional scrutiny in Washington and parliamentary scrutiny in London. …

Here is a list of US recipients of EU EIDHR aid in 2009, which amounted to €2,624,395 ($3,643,951). The recipients of EU aid include the rather wealthy American Bar Association, whose annual budget approached $150 million in 2008.

American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education: EU grant: €708,162 ($983, 277)

Project: The Death Penalty Assessments Project: Toward a Nationwide Moratorium on Executions

Death Penalty Information Center: EU grant: €193,443 ($268,585)

Project: Changing the Course of the Death Penalty Debate. A proposal for public opinion research, message development, and communications of capital punishment in the US.

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty: EU grant: €305,974 ($424,829)

Project: National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Intensive Assistance Program

Reprieve LBG: EU grant: €526,816 ($731,591) (some of these funds also went to “European countries”) Project: Engaging Europe in the fight for US abolition

Murder Victim’s Families for Human Rights Non-Profit Corporation: EU grant: €495,000 ($686,608) (some of these funds also went to other countries, including Japan and Taiwan). Project: Voices of Victims Against the Death Penalty

Witness to Innocence Protection: EU grant: €395,000 ($548,538)

Project: American DREAM Campaign [Note that this is a far left project – JB.]

MPs reading this should be asking questions why British taxpayers’ money is being used by the European Union to fund campaigns against the death penalty in the United States, without the consent of the British people. (Not least when 51 per cent of the British public support the reintroduction of capital punishment for murder, with just 37 per cent opposing it, in a recent YouGov poll.)

This is also an extraordinary intervention in a highly charged, intensely political domestic debate in the United States over the death penalty, the use of which has been ruled Constitutional by the US Supreme Court on several occasions, and is backed by 64 percent of Americans according to Gallup, with just 29 percent opposing. Can you imagine the outcry in Brussels if the US government funded policy groups in the EU, and the charges of “American imperialism” that would inevitably follow?

It is bad enough that Brussels consistently interferes with the internal affairs of EU member states, but it is surely a bridge too far when it tries to intervene in the affairs of one of the world’s greatest democracies that isn’t even part of the EU. This is hugely insulting to the US.

Evidently, unelected bureaucrats sitting in the European Commission feel they have a divine right to lecture the United States and its citizens on how they should decide their own policies. This demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for US national sovereignty, and a sneering condescension towards the American people. But perhaps this should come as no surprise. A supranational entity like the EU that has no respect for the democratic rights of hundreds of millions of Europeans can barely be expected to respect freedom and democracy outside its own borders.

The interference is wrong, and the cause is wrong.

We are for the death penalty.

To remove the death penalty is to permit murder.

The strange inclination some have to pity a murderer facing execution more than his or her victim is the sheerest sentimentality.

Some argue that mistakes can be made, and if someone is executed and later proved not guilty of the crime, there can be no redress. This implies that there can never be certainty; but there can be and there should be, and the law allows for ample (it could be argued too much) opportunity for arriving at it.

Some say the death penalty is not a deterrent. Sociologists and others of that kidney have toiled to show statistically that states with the death penalty have higher rates of murder than states without it. What the statistics cannot show is how many more murders there would have been in the death-penalty states if they did not have it.

We apply a simpler test of the efficacy of the death sentence as a deterrent: does it deter us? And our answer is yes: we’re absolutely sure that it would deter us if ever we thought of killing (and we can’t say the thought has never crossed our mind).

The only argument against it we think has some merit is that a lifetime in prison may be worse for a murderer to endure than execution. But it doesn’t persuade us. Prison these days – for those who don’t feel the lack of freedom to be the worst thing about it – is not unpleasant. Nowhere near dreadful enough to be fitting punishment for murder.

We would also favor the death penalty for treason, a crime that seems to have been removed from the book.

Justice is the prime responsibility of everyone all the time. It may be hard, even impossible, to achieve perfectly. But it has to be attempted constantly, unremittingly. It is what the law is for. Without law and the hope of  justice there is no civilization.

Be judgmental. Without personal judgment there is no morality.