Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Craig Hicks Judged to be "Death Penalty Qualified".

Craig Stephen Hicks, who is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the February 10, 2015 killings of 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat; his wife, 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha; and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha is "death penalty qualified" according to Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson Jr..

Police have said Hicks appeared to have been motivated by a long-running dispute over parking spaces at the condominium where he lived in the same building as Barakat and his wife.The victims' families are adamant, however, that they were murdered because they were Muslims and have pushed for hate-crime charges.

I'm not at all certain how hate crime charges would affect Hicks' sentence should he be convicted. After all, he can only be executed once.

It's been reported that prosecutors have said that "Hicks confessed; that he was arrested with the murder weapon, a handgun that ballistics experts matched to shell casings recovered at the apartment; that there was gunshot residue on his hands; and that blood from one of the victims was on his pants". The evidence seems to indicate that Hicks is guilty and will, in all likelihood, be convicted.

Regarding the death penalty, I have to be consistent in saying that Hicks should not be executed. I am not arguing that Hicks is innocent. I believe him to be guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. As I've written in the past, my opposition to the death-penalty comes from my belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church, statements made by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Being an atheist - or anti-theist - Hicks would probably disagree with my reasoning behind asking that he not be executed. Perhaps, life in prison may lead him to turn to God.

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