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Does the death penalty Cheapen life?

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Written by   8
2 years ago

When we value something too much, we are generally willing to pay a high price for it. But if we think it's cheap, we pay little or nothing for it. This is only reasonable.

The punishment for the crime was generally considered in this way. The offender must "pay" for the crime in proportion to its seriousness, usually with a fine or imprisonment. This principle was most closely followed in biblical law. The criminal had to pay compensation for the actual loss and the punitive damage. The principle of "equal with equal" also extended to murder. God's law required "life for life."

Human thought often ignores this equal value relationship when it comes to taking life. The focus shifts from the victim's life to the killer's life. The lives of potential innocent future victims are also ignored, while the lives of the guilty killer are highly valued. To end this life, say well-meaning opponents of the death penalty, means to diminish all life and violate the "holiness of life." Is this a reasonable opinion?

As mentioned above, the amount we put into something is generally indicated by the price we are willing to pay for it. Should the life value of an innocent murder victim be reduced to the value of only property that has been stolen or damaged, simply to compensate for it with imprisonment? Apparently many people think so. But the author of life places the highest value on an innocent life that a murderer must give: his own life. "Whoever releases a person's blood will shed his blood for the man." Far from reducing life, this God-given law gives the greatest possible emphasis, a price that many do not want to pay. 9: 6.

In fact, are not those who impose low penalties to kill those who shorten life? Their one-sided thinking on the subject becomes apparent when we consider how they view other life-affecting issues. annual abortion of about 50 million innocent human fetuses worldwide?

Or how wise is it to reject the death penalty for murderous criminals and at the same time justify the murder of crème de la crème in war against political differences? For example, the Central Committee of the Ecumenical Church Council declared that the death penalty was a violation of the "sanctity of life." At the same time, the council distributed several thousand dollars to African guerrilla groups who committed suicide for political reasons.

Apparently, the "holiness of life" is not the real problem for many opponents of the death penalty. Is it wise to put the minds of those with such contradictory, even well-meaning, values ​​before God's judgment in this matter?

Is it murder?

Even emotionally charged descriptions, such as "legalized murder," avoid the real problem. "Murder" in itself is a legal term for illegal murder, just as "robbery" means illegal intake. When a police officer confiscates a criminal's weapon, it can not be called a "robbery". Judicial enforcement can, by definition, not be defined as "murder". The Bible shows very clearly this difference between murder and murder.

God's law provided security for all who accidentally killed. Because these people are not guilty of murder, they can escape the death penalty once their innocence has been proven in court. But even unintentional attackers had to pay a price, emphasizing the great value God places on the loss of innocent lives. The killer must have accidentally lived in a city that served as his refuge for the death of the reigning high priest. He could not leave it earlier because it would endanger his life.

But where does the state get the power to kill criminals today? The Bible shows that the supreme legislator, Jehovah, authorized the "superior authorities" of the government to act as "servants of God, an avenger to express his anger toward those who are hurting." Therefore, "it is not useless for [authority] to bear the sword."

The apostle Paul showed his appreciation for this state "sword" even when his own life was at stake. When he confronted Governor Festus with false allegations that could have led to the death penalty, he did not question the government's right to act. On the contrary, Paul said: "If, on the one hand, I am truly a sinner and have done something fatal, I ask not to die." - Acts 25:11.

A barrier?

Does the death penalty prevent people from committing murder? The Creator of man, who knows human thought, says yes. Regarding false testimony, the testimony of which could even kill its victim, God's law says, “You will treat him as he intended to treat your colleague. . . You will have no mercy. “Life for life” would be the punishment. The law, emphasizing the crippling effect of this particular justice, says: "The rest of the people will be afraid if they find out." - Deut. 19: 16-21

Some might respond that the deterrent value of the death penalty has not been demonstrated. But consider: if you could deter potential killers but they are not used, who will be responsible for the lives of your innocent victims? In contrast, when the death penalty is applied, only the lives of the murderers are lost. Which life do you think is the most precious?

Murderers often kill again, both inside and outside the prison. “The current price for murder [in prison] is two packs of cigarettes,” said a former US federal prison inmate in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Several people were murdered in this prison and in others. Why is life so cheap there? Long-time murderers "have nothing to lose," he said.

Even "rehabilitated" killers continue to claim innocent lives. In a typical recent case, the killer reports "who spent more than five years in prison for the murder of a young woman and was subsequently sentenced as" prisoner "in 1973," reports The New York Times. "was sentenced to life imprisonment for it. Almost identical murder of a budding actress." It is obvious that it is not the death penalty, but the absence that makes innocent life cheap!

Does the death penalty invalidate prosecutions in favor of certain groups? Another reason is that all offenders should be released because different judges impose different sentences for the same offense. However, in 1971, a black senator from Illinois spoke out in favor of the death penalty: “I know that the majority of those who would receive the death penalty are poor, black and friendless. I also realize that most of the victims are poor, black, friendless and dead. ""

The discriminatory punishment under the current human justice system only shows the wisdom of biblical law that the same punishment for murder is required in every "blameless" case. Therefore, the criminal knew exactly what to expect if he believed he was going to commit murder instead of waiting for a reduced sentence from a "weak judge" or through "settlement negotiations". - Numbers 35: 16-21.

Of course, Christians do not follow the law given to Moses. And that does not mean that the benefits of Christ's ransom sacrifice are denied even to repentant murderers. You can be “unrighteous” who benefit from the hope of the resurrection.

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Written by   8
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