Capital punishment

Following the shocking Nia Glassie case, and a similar case in the UK, there has been some discussion on the blogs about whether we should bring back capital punishment. Few people have dared suggest this controversial idea in their posts (except for MK at Crusader Rabbit), but plenty of commenters have suggested it.

Back in the early ’90s, the Christian Heritage party (whose policy was to bring back capital punishment for murder) put out an excellent brochure on it, analysing the issue from a Christian perspective, which I will reproduce in part here (skipping only those bits that directly relate to CHP policy). The issue was analysed in detail in this brochure and I think it would be a good contribution to the debate today.

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CAPITAL PUNISHMENT – IS IT BIBLICAL?

There is no doubt that Capital Punishment is an emotive, controversial subject. Many Christians are confused on this issue. Love, grace and mercy are often emphasised without due recognition of justice and the task of the State to uphold all that is good. …

Is Capital Punishment Biblical?

In Genesis 9:6 the Bible says:

“Whoever sheds man’s blood By man his blood shall be shed For in the image of God He made man.”

It is not without significance that this verse should come after the flood. According to Genesis 6:13 the main cause of God deciding to judge the world by sending the flood was because “the earth was filled with violence”. This verse, then, is God’s remedy for violence.

Essentially it is teaching that capital punishment is the just and right punishment for murder. The verse gives a reason why such a heavy sentence should be given, namely, that murder is an attack on the image of God in which we are made. For this reason it is set apart from all other crimes in its seriousness.

We should also note that this verse is not restricted to Israel; it falls outside the Mosaic law and its supporting rationale is of abiding significance: each new life continues to be made in the image of God.

In the New Testament, Jesus says in Matthew 5:17,18:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfil. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law…”

Jesus essentially reaffirms the law. He does not pit the law against the grace He was ushering in. Rather He shows the full significance and extent of the law. Thus we should not be surprised to find in Romans 13 a reference to capital punishment where Paul explains the task and function of the State.

He essentially argues that the State is to act on God’s behalf in promoting good and suppressing evil. He says of the State:

“But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.”
(Romans 13:4)

In this context the Bible everywhere uses ‘the sword’ as a symbol of death and judgement. Thus, it is teaching that the State is to avenge all evil, on God’s behalf, even to the point of using the sword.

The Evidence Required

It is important to also observe scripture’s teaching on the standards of evidence required before conviction. Both in the Old and New Testaments, such a sentence could not be carried out unless it be on the testimony of two or more eye witnesses. This is to ensure that no innocent person is executed. …

In practical terms this means that Arthur Allan Thomas and Lindy Chamberlain could not have received death sentences as they were convicted on circumstantial and forensic evidence. However David Gray, in Aramoana, who killed many of his victims in front of many witnesses, would have been liable to the death penalty. Most people see the justice in that.

Important Distinctions:

Many Christians get confused on two issues.

  1. Grace versus Law
    Some people pit the wrathful God of the Old Testament against the love and grace of Jesus in the New Testament.

    This is, in fact, an ancient heresy. The Bible is clear that God is the same “yesterday, today and forever”. Thus when God judged nations in the Old Testament for shedding innocent blood (e.g. abortion), sexual promiscuity and violence, He is just as likely to do so in our times! The fact that He has not, only proves He is merciful.

    The coming of Christ does not mean that law is totally done away with. Neither does the existence of grace and mercy mean that a Government is wrong to insist upon certain standards in society. In fact the very opposite is true. The Government must restrain evil, if the gospel is to spread and be heard (1 Timothy 2:1-7)! If God cannot ignore evil, neither must we. He even sacrificed His own Son in order to satisfy His own holy and just requirements and allow us to live.

    When the thief, who was under the sentence of death with Christ, repented and believed, Jesus said that he would be in paradise with Him that very day. But the thief, while eternally forgiven, still had to pay for his crime. It would make mockery of the civil law if belief in Christ allowed one to be pardoned. The same is true for convicted murderers. They may be sentenced to death, but be eternally saved. They certainly have more opportunity to repent and be saved than they gave their victim.

  2. Personal responsibility versus State responsibility
    Some Christians are against the death penalty as violating the spirit of Christianity and the example of Christ.

    However, this is often based on a misunderstanding between personal responsibility and the God-given task of the State. As Christians we must not murder, but ‘love our enemies’ and ‘turn the other cheek’. But the State is given the task of suppressing evil and promoting good; to act as a minister of wrath on God’s behalf (Romans 13:1-4). God has ordained it to do what we as individuals cannot do. This is the only way to understand the Bible which sometimes commands us not to kill, but in other passages gives mankind the right to execute evil doers. Such state executions lift them out of the sphere of personal revenge and hatred, and places them in the realm of justice and the preservation of the lives of others. When Jesus dealt with the woman caught in adultery in John 8, He did not let the woman go free. He told them to stone her, if they were without sin! Clearly, Jesus was dealing with their hypocrisy. But He never said that the law was now null and void. He upheld it! When finally his prosecutors withdrew, He dealt with her on a personal level and forgave her sin, something that only Christ as Saviour could do. This is not to suggest that capital punishment should apply to adultery. We reserve this punishment for murder as the only crime sanctional outside the Mosaic law.

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What do you think of this? Is capital punishment biblical? Is it applicable today? Would it help reduce our violent crime rate? I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

25 Responses to “Capital punishment”

  1. Sb Says:

    What do you think of this?

    A terrible idea. Leave it in the history books where it belongs.

    Is capital punishment biblical?

    No – Thou shalt not kill etc.

    Is it applicable today?

    No – we have other ways

    Would it help reduce our violent crime rate?

    No – it never has why would it work now – but a lot of innocent people have been put to death.

    My 2c

    Sb

  2. Mr Dennis Says:

    Sb:
    Exodus 20:13 was translated “Thou shalt not kill” in the old King James version, but it is now accepted that it is better translated “murder”, a far more narrow term, and accordingly this word is used in most good modern translations. Get a newer bible to use alongside your King James, I’d recommend an ESV.

    Certainly “You shall not murder” (ESV), but if you do, the scriptures appear to say the just punishment for that is death. Can you actually counter the scriptural arguments given in the above post? I am genuinely interested as they sound convincing to me on first reading them, but it may be possible to pull them apart.

  3. Sb Says:

    I will expand. Even if you use the words “You shall not murder” I would still be against it. The chances of it being used to “murder” an innocent person are simply to high using history as a guide. Would you agree that if an innocent is put to death by mistake then it is murder?

    I just don’t trust the justice system to get it right. I also suspect that it would be miss used in other ways, the case of the last person executed in the UK should be a warning to us all.

    Additionally as a Christian I believe that it is our responsibility to pass good, fair and correct laws, and capital punishment is neither good, fair nor correct.

    Also I believe it does no good, murders still happen. Read some history, it would not have helped with the recent case either. Laws are made for sane people by sane people (in the main!) they simply don’t work against people who are not sane.

    Sb

  4. Mr Dennis Says:

    “I just don’t trust the justice system to get it right”
    Does the requirement for two eyewitnesses, which means very few people would be sentenced to death and those that were it would be pretty clear they were guilty, allay your concerns at all?

    “and capital punishment is neither good, fair nor correct”
    I think capital punishment is absolutely fair, if you kill someone it is completely fair that you should die, the issue is whether it is good or correct.

    “Also I believe it does no good, murders still happen.”
    Nothing can stop murders completely. But it would be a deterrant, and would certainly stop reoffending🙂. It is also a lot cheaper than keeping someone in prison for life at over $50,000 per year. I know we shouldn’t decide such policies based on cost but it is still a consideration. If someone is sentenced to life (true life) at 25, and lives to 75, that is 50 years that the taxpayers have to support them for, a total cost of around $5 million to punish one person, as opposed to maybe $50 for a lethal injection.

  5. Madeleine Says:

    We have blogged in support of Capital punishment before. It is definitely biblical, we definitely support its use today and in New Zealand.

  6. Chuck Bird Says:

    Samuel, interpreting the Bible literally is a good reason why religion should not be considered for making legislation.

    “I think capital punishment is absolutely fair, if you kill someone it is completely fair that you should die, the issue is whether it is good or correct.”

    Carrying that logic one step further if some sick sadist tortures people to death then it absolutely fair for society to do the same to him or her. I certainly do not want to go back to the middle ages or to the Middle East.

    In regards the two witnesses scenario there certainly would be some anomalies.

    Some guy finds his best friend in bed with his wife and shots them. The neighbours hear this and he admits the killing. So he qualifies for capitol punishment. Then we get a sadistic serial killer who gets convicted on very good forensic evidence. He does not qualify. Is that fair?

    It makes for interesting but pointless discussion as there is no way we are going to see capitol punishment in New Zealand.

    You spent some time campaigning for the Family Party. Do you plan on standing again? If you do, then floating such ideas certainly will not help your chances. Any serious candidate is not entitled to say whatever think in public and sometimes even in private – look at the secret tapes at political meeting.

    I would certainly like to see a sensible conservative party in New Zealand. Unfortunately it is unlikely to happen. This is because the only ones promoting a conservative party take such extreme positions that they have no chance of gaining public support.

  7. Mr Dennis Says:

    Chuck:
    It is fair / just as you get exactly what you gave to your victim. As you have pointed out if you carry that logic too far you may end up with something that, although arguably just, may not be good or correct. I too would not wish to see us torturing people, that would be immoral.

    “Some guy finds his best friend in bed with his wife and shots them. The neighbours hear this and he admits the killing. So he qualifies for capitol punishment. Then we get a sadistic serial killer who gets convicted on very good forensic evidence. He does not qualify. Is that fair?”
    No, that is not fair – but it may be practical. Any system using “innocent until proven guilty” or requiring a certain level of evidence before a conviction will result in some guilty people not receiving the punishment they justly deserve. But this is better than convicting an innocent person. That is the sad reality of justice, it can never be perfect.

    “It makes for interesting but pointless discussion as there is no way we are going to see capitol punishment in New Zealand.”
    I actually agree with you. I posted as it has been brought up by others and I felt this brochure would be a good contribution to the current discussion. However, rightly or wrongly, I cannot see anyone actually implementing it in NZ at the present point in time.

    “I would certainly like to see a sensible conservative party in New Zealand. Unfortunately it is unlikely to happen. This is because the only ones promoting a conservative party take such extreme positions that they have no chance of gaining public support.”
    This is an issue that the Family Party has no policy on, and I have just brought up on this blog for discussion purposes.

  8. dave Says:

    Samuel, its a great pity that you are not elevated higher in the realms of the Family Party. You appear to have better ideas and a better ability to engage than most of the leadership – although I may not agree with some of your ideas. My 2c worth.

  9. Winston Smith Says:

    A few thoughts:

    The claims that Jesus doesn’t run counter to the laws when questions of mercy and love are involved seems to fly directly in the face of John 8:3-11. Jesus is the only the only person in that scene who would be able to be considered without sin, yet he will not kill. If Jesus wouldn’t kill someone for breaking a mosaic law, I would be hard pressed to let anybody claim they were a follower of christ if they turn around and said it is ok.

    You might claim ‘an eye for an eye’ here but that seems like tenuous excuse rather than rational. Jesus has presented a case where the breaking of one of the ten commandments which by `The Law` should have resulted in death, but the convict was allowed mercy.

    Secondly, you are engaging in another display of double think:
    “Exodus 20:13 was translated “Thou shalt not kill” in the old King James version, but it is now accepted that it is better translated “murder”…” and like the quote you seem to imply that some forms of killing another human are exempt from the classification of ‘Murder’; eg the execution of another human who (by human, not divine) judgement has been marked as a murderer. Yet, you would not allow the same body of misfits (again; thats us – humans) to kill other humans, ie abortion, without labeling them murderers. How is one collection of humans deciding to kill another ok in one instance, and yet in another instance a collection of humans deciding to kill another not ok. You claim rational based on a law that jesus was not willing to adhere to, despite being the only man to ever be in a position to truly do so.

    So please, pick a side: humans are fit to killing given a committee, or humans are not fit to kill given any circumstance. It’s not a pick and mix.

  10. Mr Dennis Says:

    Winston:
    As I read John 8, I understand that the men were perfectly justified (if they were to follow the Mosaic law, which I am not suggesting we enforce in NZ) in stoning the woman. They chose not to stone her not because it was wrong for them to do so, but rather because Jesus had shown their hypocrisy and sinfulness and, out of shame, they left. Jesus never stated that the woman should not be punished, however when her accusers had all left he declined to punish her himself. This is very logical as if there is no complainant (and they had all left), there is no case. Even today the police won’t generally take a case to court, even if there is a likely crime, if no-one lays a complaint.

    “and like the quote you seem to imply that some forms of killing another human are exempt from the classification of ‘Murder’”
    Absolutely, not all killing is “murder”. Murder is “The offence of killing a human being with malice prepense or aforethought, express or implied; intentional and unlawful homicide.” (1913 Webster). Accidental killing is not murder for example. There is a big distinction between the words “Kill” and “Murder”.

  11. Matt Says:

    Mr Dennis,

    So you would allow (under some – rare, very strict – circumstances) abortion? (As not murder, but society – government – allowing killing in certain circumstances.)

    And regarding John 8, I’m a little confused as to what you consider the point to be. The way you describe it, it seems you interpret the passage as Jesus intimidating witnesses and complainants – at the very least, interrupting what you clearly consider to be ‘due process’. Surely that can’t be the case?

    I also feel compelled to add that you seem relatively unaware (or uncaring, at least) of the broader thinking behind justice systems. Any consideration of justice needs to take into account the three possible motivations or purposes of criminal penalties: punishment, restoration, and prevention. You seem entirely focused on the punitive. Jesus (and large parts of the mosaic law, too) had a strong focus on the restorative. (The death penalty was as much preventative as punitive; the Hebrews – especially in their desert days, when the law was given – had no ability to imprison, which is the other common preventative measure.)

  12. Mr Dennis Says:

    Matt:
    Abortion is the killing of an innocent person. Capital punishment is the killing of a person who has done something to deserve punishment. There is a big difference.

    The point of John 8 was for Jesus to illustrate that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In this case those whom he pointed this out to chose not to continue accusing a woman because of their consciences, however that was not the point of the incident.

    Certainly you need to take into account punishment, restoration and prevention. Following most crimes it is possible to achieve at least partial restoration. However following murder it is impossible to restore the victim to life (bar a great miracle!). Thus uniquely in the case of murder, as far as I can see, justice can only consider punishment and prevention. So the issue here is whether capital punishment, jail, or anything else is appropriate punishment and effective prevention.

    How do you see “restoration” being implemented after a murder?

  13. Matt Says:

    Restoration is not just victim-centered. It’s a chance to say “yes, damage has been done, but is there any point further compounding it?” It’s a chance to say, yes, something very wrong has happened, but maybe remorse and forgiveness and *change* are possible.

    I see restoration being implemented after a murder when the victim’s family talks with the murderer and says “I forgive you,” and – as *has* happened – the murderer is totally and utterly changed by what might be their first true experience of grace. This happens, and lives have changed for the better, and yes, it’s still tragic and horrible that murders happen, but let’s not make things worse out of some mistaken sense of revenge or self-righteousness.

    Surely that – unconditional, undeserved grace! – is Jesus’ central message? (“As the father in heaven forgives you…”)

    (This, by the way, is one of the central problems of justice: it’s very difficult to satisfactorily mix the three styles, although in theory it is possible. The reason Shariah law will remove the hand of a thief is because it’s an instant punishment, and – theoretically at least – then allows the thief to be restored to society directly afterwards.)

  14. Matt Says:

    (And regarding abortion, yes, I can see your distinction. Thanks. Just wanted to be clear that, by your definition, abortion doesn’t seem to be murder – still a grievous killing, sure, but not murder.)

  15. Mr Dennis Says:

    Certainly, forgiveness can help to restore the situation in people’s hearts. Grace is central to Christianity. If a murderer can be completely changed by forgiveness and grace that is a wonderful thing, especially if it draws the murderer to Christ.

    But I draw a clear distinction between the responsibility of an individual and the responsibility of the State, as I draw a clear distinction between the roles of Church and State.

    The Church and individual Christians are to forgive, as God does. The forgiveness and grace from the individual will help all concerned deal with the terrible situation they are in. God’s forgiveness and grace will give even the murderer eternal life, if they choose to accept it. On earth, this forgiveness may be restorative emotionally, although it can never restore the victim to life.

    However, this does not mean they do not still deserve to be punished on earth. As pointed out in the brochure I quoted in my post, Jesus forgave the thief on the cross. The thief still died physically for his sins, but lives with Christ eternally, as Christ forgave him. Punishment is still valid, even when someone is forgiven – a parent will punish their child for wrongdoing, even though as a Christian they may forgive their child for it, in the knowledge that punishment is required to teach the child not to do wrong in future.

    You have a great point about instant punishments. As a child I preferred the instant punishment of a smack to the drawn-out punishment of “time out”, and the same will apply to adults. A fine (if it is actually paid) or corporal punishment of some form (where that is used, community service is the closest in NZ) will in my mind be in many cases more practical than a drawn-out prison sentence, which costs the taxpayer a horrendous amount of money while letting all the criminals make contacts with each other and plot what to do when they get out. However if this logic is extended to murder, the only instant punishment really available of suitable magnitude is capital punishment, so we end up in the moral dilemma we are discussing at the moment.

  16. Mr Dennis Says:

    Matt: With regards to abortion, you are right that abortion would not be “murder” in that definition I copied, because of the word “unlawful” being there. That is a bit odd as it would mean any killing that was justified by the State, however corrupt, would not be murder. I aren’t really comfortable with that, it is a point I overlooked when I copied it.

  17. Matt Says:

    (Thinking out loud here)

    As you say, instant punishment in the case of death completely misses the benefits of instant punishment, which is the following ability for restoration. Therefore, as I see it, there is no reason for the punishment to be instant – non-instant, non-capital punishment actually has a *greater* chance for the criminal’s eventual rehabilitation than instant capital punishment.

    And as there’s not really any punishment that will be sufficient anyway (even capital punishment will be more humane than murder usually is, if you’re going for “proportionate”), surely there’s no point trying to maximise that axis at the expense of other components in which good *can* be found?

    Also, I disagree entirely that the State can be considered in the terms you seem to think; a State is made up of people, and those people can (and *must*) be held responsibile for those actions of the State they encourage or endorse. The State is not some distant, external authority. The State is us, and should be held to the same standards we hold ourselves. It is not an excuse to externalise those actions we couldn’t justify in ourselves.

  18. Matt Says:

    (My point on the State actually, on reflection, relates back to the abortion point, in that 1. the State should represent the will of the people but 2. the tyranny of the majority can be dangerous, and may sometimes need to be balanced – this is where a carefully-composed constitution can come in handy.)

  19. Mr Dennis Says:

    Good points, I’ll admit I’m thinking out loud a bit too!

    “Also, I disagree entirely that the State can be considered in the terms you seem to think; a State is made up of people, and those people can (and *must*) be held responsibile for those actions of the State they encourage or endorse. The State is not some distant, external authority. The State is us, and should be held to the same standards we hold ourselves. It is not an excuse to externalise those actions we couldn’t justify in ourselves.”

    I agree that the State must be held to a high standard, however note that the State may do things we could not do ourselves. It would be completely inappropriate for me to catch a local thief and lock them in my spare room for a few months to punish them. However it is appropriate for the State to do that. One of the roles of the State is to administer punishments that we cannot and should not do ourselves. So although it must be held to a high standard, it IS a method we use to “externalise those actions we couldn’t justify in ourselves”.

    Just because we could not do something personally doesn’t mean the State couldn’t do it. Please note I am no statist, I prefer the State to focus on defence and law enforcement and be restrained in everything else. Within those roles however the State can do more than an individual would be entitled to do.

    A good constitution might help some of these issues but I would not be proposing one now. I wouldn’t trust one made by our current crop of MPs, it could well just make things worse.

  20. peterquixote Says:

    peterquixote
    open and shut cases of murder and rape and violence,
    and cruelty to man and woman
    will result in immediate loss of life by the perpetrator.

    dear god
    we have 8 billion people in the world folks,
    thats 8,000,000,000,000
    people .
    no need to keep bad people in jail

    google
    peterquixote

  21. Dudley Sharp Says:

    Christian Scholars: Support for the Death Penalty
    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

    The strength of the biblical, theological and traditional support for the death penalty is, partially, revealed, below.

    (1) “Capital Punishment: New Testament Teaching”, 1998, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., considered one of the most prominent Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century. See bottom.
    http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Sacred_Scripture/Sacred_Scripture_014.htm

    “There are certain moral norms that have always and everywhere been held by the successors of the Apostles in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Although never formally defined, they are irreversibly binding on the followers of Christ until the end of the world.” “Such moral truths are the grave sinfulness of contraception and direct abortion. Such, too, is the Catholic doctrine which defends the imposition of the death penalty.”

    “Most of the Church’s teaching, especially in the moral order, is infallible doctrine because it belongs to what we call her ordinary universal magisterium.”

    “Equally important is the Pope’s (Pius XII) insistence that capital punishment is morally defensible in every age and culture of Christianity.” ” . . . the Church’s teaching on ‘the coercive power of legitimate human authority’ is based on ‘the sources of revelation and traditional doctrine.’ It is wrong, therefore ‘to say that these sources only contain ideas which are conditioned by historical circumstances.’ On the contrary, they have ‘a general and abiding validity.’ (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1955, pp 81-2).”

    about Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
    http://www.mariancatechist.com/html/general/stjohnhardon.htm
    http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/archives.htm
    http://www.mariancatechist.com/html/general/fatherhardon.htm
    http://www.saintphilomena.com/newpage4.htm
    http://credo.stormloader.com/Saints/hardon.htm

    (2) “The Death Penalty”, by Romano Amerio, a faithful Catholic Vatican insider, scholar, professor at the Academy of Lugano, consultant to the Preparatory Commission of Vatican II, and a peritus (expert theologian) at the Council.
    http://www.domid.blogspot.com/2007/05/amerio-on-capital-punishment.html

    A thorough theological repudiation of Pope John Paul II’s death penalty prudential judgements and of their improper inclusion into the amending of the Catechism.

    “Amerio has the great gift of going to the heart of a subject in a few lines and very neatly distinguishes genuine Catholicism from imitations and aberrations.” “What makes Amerio’s analysis unique is that he restricts himself to official and semi-official pronouncements by popes, cardinals, bishops, episcopal conferences and articles in L’Osservatore Romano, from the time of Pope John XXIII to 1985 when the book was originally written.” (1)

    titled “Amerio on capital punishment “, Chapter XXVI, 187. The death penalty, from the book Iota Unum, May 25, 2007

    About Romano Amerio
    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/176565?eng=y
    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2006/02/romano-amerio-and-pope-benedict.html
    http://www.latin-mass-society.org/2007/romanoamerio.html
    http://www.angeluspress.org/oscatalog/item/6700/iota-unum

    (3) “Christian Scholars & Saints: Support for the Death Penalty”, at
    http://www.homicidesurvivors.com/2006/10/12/catholic-and-other-christian-references-support-for-the-death-penalty.aspx

    (4) “Capital Punishment: A Catholic Perspective”,
    by Br. Augustine (Emmanuel Valenza)
    http://www.sspx.org/against_the_sound_bites/capital_punishment.htm

    (5) “Capital Punishment: The Case for Justice”, Prof. J. Budziszewski, First Things, August / September 2004 http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles4/BudziszewskiPunishment.shtml

    (6) Chapter V:The Sanctity of Life, “Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics” By John Murray
    http://books.google.com/books?id=phoqAAaGMpUC&pg=PA107&lpg=PA114&ots=mFvByHqGSy&dq=Murray+%22It+is+the+sanctity+of+human+life+that+underlies+the+sixth+commandment.%22&ie=ISO-8859-1&output=html&sig=ACfU3U1b0mdM3BfpNSXnhrwFYXaE_9Ij9A

    (7) “Capital Punishment: What the Bible Says”, Dr. Lloyd R. Bailey, Abingdon Press, 1987. The definitive biblical review of the death penalty.

    (8) “Why I Support Capital Punishment”, by Andrew Tallman
    sections 7-11 biblical review, sections 1-6 secular review
    http://andrewtallmanshowarticles.blogspot.com/search?q=Capital+punishment

    (9) “The Death Penalty”, by Solange Strong Hertz at
    http://www.ourworld.compuserve.com/HOMEPAGES/REMNANT/death2.htm

    (10) “A Seamless Garment In a Sinful World” by John R. Connery, S. J., America, 7/14/84, p 5-8).

    (11) “God’s Justice and Ours” by US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, First Things, 5/2002
    http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=2022

    (12) Forgotten Truths: “Is The Church Against Abortion and The Death Penalty”
    by Luiz Sergio Solimeo, Crusade Magazine, p14-16, May/June 2007
    http://www.tfp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=957

    (13) “The Purpose of Punishment (in the Catholic tradition)”,
    by R. Michael Dunningan, J.D., J.C.L., CHRISTIFIDELIS, Vol.21,No.4, sept 14, 2003
    http://www.st-joseph-foundation.org/newsletter/lead.php?document=2003/21-4

    (14) “MOST CATHOLICS OPPOSE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?”,
    KARL KEATING’S E-LETTER, Catholic Answers, March 2, 2004
    http://www.catholic.com/newsletters/kke_040302.asp

    (15) “THOUGHTS ON THE BISHOPS’ MEETING: NOWADAYS, VOTERS IGNORE BISHOPS”,
    KARL KEATING’S E-LETTER, Catholic Answers,, Nov. 22, 2005
    http://www.catholic.com/newsletters/kke_051122.asp

    ———-
    Religious positions in favor of capital punishment are neither necessary not needed to justify that sanction. However, the biblical and theological record is very supportive of the death penalty.

    Many of the current religious campaigns against the death penalty reflect a fairly standard anti death penalty message, routed in secular arguments. When they do address religious issues, they often neglect solid theological foundations, choosing, instead, select biblical sound bites which do not impact the solid basis of death penalty support.

    Footnotes:
    (1) Books: ‘Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church’, by Romano Amerio, Fr Peter Joseph (reviewer)
    IOTA UNUM: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century
    by Romano Amerio (English translation by Fr John Parsons)
    (Sarto House, USA, 786 pp)
    Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 9 No 8 (September 1996), p. 14
    ———————

    70% of Catholics supported the death penalty as of May, 2oo5, Gallup Poll, Moral Values and Beliefs. The May 2-5, 2005 poll also found that 74% of Americans favor the death penalty for murderers, while 23% oppose.

    copyright 1999-2008 Dudley Sharp
    Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part, is approved with proper attribution.

    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
    e-mail sharpjfa@aol.com, 713-622-5491,
    Houston, Texas

    Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

    A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

  22. peterquixote Says:

    dudes forget about your stupid bible,
    we have 6 billion people on eartth,
    this will not work,
    we have to and will reduce population,
    pq

  23. Mr Dennis Says:

    Peterquixote, I assume your suggestion that we must reduce population means you are in favour of capital punishment?

  24. peterquixote Says:

    yes


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