Is the death penalty state sanctioned murder?

 Is killing another human being justified? The answer is yes. If society can not be protected from the offender in any other possible, less drastic way. As in the case of the Fort Hood killer, due to his outside contacts, his probability of commiting another terroristic act, and the depravity of his crime make him a continuing danger to society, he can not be left to further harm society. If this is the only way that this goal can be secured is by the taking of his life, his life must be taken and is justified.

I do not not know which of the two, the death penalty or life imprisonment, is the harsher punishment. What I do believe is that except in exceptional cases such as the above, the decision of when one should die should be left to God.

Society teaches the following values:

1. Sanctions and revenge-evil for evil

2. The death penalty weakens, hardens and the God given natural horror of bloodshed:

    Mans natural  reaction to killing another human being is revulsion, but if we are exposed to  it over and over we become complacent.

3. It facilitates and insures the escape of the guilty from punishment by human law:

    Juries dread to convict when they know the penalty is death. Human judgement is infallible. Human testimony can be misleading or witnesses can lie. Through the character of the death penalty, hundreds of innocents suffer an excrutiating death at the hands of the state.

4. It generates sympathy for the convicted:

    We should be merciful to the sinful and guilty. The fact that executions take place in private shows that the state realizes that executions are in no way a deterrant and are shameful in and of themselves.

5. It is more than the truth that executions are "state sanctioned murders" :

    They make us as equally guilty as the one whose life we have chosen to take. The commandment "Thou shall not kill" references no difference between the killer and the state.

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6 comments

PR Morgan profile image

PR Morgan 5 years ago from Sarasota Florida

Did you know that every in 2009 there were 17 people acquitted and taken off death row in the US? I think that is reason enough to give someone life in prison instead. Besides the fact it cost some states up to $100 million more to use capital punishment rather than pay for life in prison...seems like a no brainer to me.


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas Author

Harlan,

Thank you for your comment. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back. Yes there are many answers as to why life in prison is a better alternative than the death penalty. I will soon have an article out on those issues. as to the biblical reference My bible still says "thou shall not kill" I understand that to mean anyone...including the State.

warmest regards,

Chris


Harlan Colt 6 years ago

Thou shalt not kill. "Thou" in the King's english refer's to an individual person, it is singular. In this case it personally addresses the reader of the commandment. Also in the King's english is the word, "ye". Being from Texas, you will fully understand what I mean when I say that the word "Ye" is translated into, "all y'all", ie., meaning more than one person, or a plural audience. The Bible does not say "ye shalt not kill," it says "thou shalt not kill." Thus an organized society of law that moves as a people to execute the law and put someone to death cannot fall under this commandment in its context. Further, reading the same Bible, you will find that it also says there are certain types of "lawbreakers" who should be put to death and removed from society. In biblical times, they stoned them to death as an angry mob. There are stronger arguments for life in prison, but God's commandments are not among them. However, his work in their life during incarceration - might be!

Likewise, one could easily argue that when one breaks the law to the degree that the crime falls within the death penalty, they are essentially committing suicide. No one person is murdering them, they are simply committing suicide, because 1. ignorance of the law is no excuse, and 2. they probably were not ignorant of the law to begin with, and 3. capital punishement is not just about deterent, its about social justice. The social conscience of the people demand justice too. Without it they become frustrated and an angry mob that someday just might crack. That's when vilolent riots happen and even more people die needlessly. While I do support the death penalty for certain crimes, I am not taking sides here, rather trying to help you make your argument stronger. We may disagree on the point, but that is no reason I can't offer suggestions to make your position stronger. You might change my mind! Drop the biblical argument, it doesn't fly because God later in the Bible tells his people to kill people convicted of certain crimes. And the verse refers to the individual person not the society as a legal acting entity of law.

Instead, back up your position with reasons why life in prison is a greater advantage to society than putting one to death. I am sure some very strong points, and testimonies can be made along those lines.

Best wishes,

- Harlan


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas Author

Dudley,

I will not debate the death penalty with you since we are apparently on different sides and will probally never agree. But for your correction, the bible does say "Thou Shall NOT KILL". As for the remark regarding the comment of the Willingham case where you state that you don't put much credibility in credentials, that is usually said by someone who has none. I studied Arson Investigation and crime scene investigation in criminal justice with a major in forensics. I don't think they teach that in real estate , do they??? Therefore I do not consider those who are able to understand the aspects of fire investigation regurgitating the Forensics Panels report. They are only stating what is already well known, Govenor Rick Perry having the evidence of innocence in his hands, refused Todd a 30 day stay and allowed an innocent man to be executed.

Regards,

Chris


Dudley Sharp 6 years ago

You are in error and have reversed all moral issues.

Some correction:

Legal sanctions for crime are based upon a just and appropriate sanction.

The death penalty is also based upon a just and appropriate sanction.

Very few get comnplacent about killing.

Most reserve their sympathy for the victim, that is why about 80% support the death penalty for capital, death penalty eligible crimes.

"Death Penalty Polls: Support Remains Very High - 80%"

http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2009/07/death-penalt...

As a rule, we are extraordinarily merciful to murderers and give little more than lip service to victims and victim survivors.

Obviously, there are substantial moreal differences between crime and sanction.

"Killing equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents"

http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/02/01/murder-and...

"The Death Penalty: Neither Hatred nor Revenge"

http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/07/20/the-death-...

"Thou shalt not kill" is not the correct translation. It is closer to "thou shalt not murder or unjustly kill".

We know that, because we have thousands of years of biblical, theological, traditonal and rational writings on the topic.

An introduction:

"Death Penalty Support: Christian Scholars"

http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2009/07/death-penalt...


remodeling manic 6 years ago from Texas

god says dont murder nobody.

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