In Need of the Death Penalty

America has the highest murder rate in the world. And we stab, beat, shoot and rape people as if it were a national hobby. Yet surprisingly we kill very few hardened criminals on a yearly basis. Is the death penalty wrong? Is killing a known murderer somehow anti-Christian?

I believe the death penalty is an important responsibility of civil government. The Bible is clearly in favor of capital punishment as a means of ridding a nation of evil people. So important is the death penalty for murder that it is listed in the first five books of the Bible:

Whoever sheds the blood of a man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in His image did God make mankind (Genesis 9:6). A human being is created in God’s image, anyone who intentionally takes the life of a human being loses his right to life. Any lesser penalty means that taking of a human life is not that important in the eyes of God—which is a blatant deception.

• Exodus 21:12: He who fatally strikes a man shall be put to death.

• Leviticus 24:17: If anyone slays a human being, he shall be put to death.

• Numbers 35:31: And you shall not take reparation for the soul of a murderer who deserves to die, but he shall be put to death.

• Deuteronomy 19:20 reveals that the death penalty helps to maintain the fear of God in a nation—so people shall hear and be afraid.

• The Bible endorses capital punishment so strongly that it states…you shall take a murderer from my very altar to die (Exodus 21:14). Murderers cannot claim sanctuary. Murder was to be punished quickly. When crimes are not punished quickly then the deterrent impact does not take effect: When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong—Ecclesiastes 8:11.

Murderers even when paroled often continue to kill civilians, or kill other prisoners in prison or kill prison guards. That an innocent person may be executed is an argument often used by those who are against the death penalty. But such an argument does not invalidate the death penalty. There are always risks to be attended to in life but we do not stop living life because risk is involved.

Far more innocent people die every day because of our soft approach to crime than die due to the rare mistake of putting to death an innocent person.

The Apostle Paul made it clear that the state has a responsibility before God to deal with evil people, and that includes applying the death penalty when warranted. Romans 13:4 states: The ruler bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him who does evil.

Many claim that the Death Penalty is not a deterrent. It would be a strong deterrent if the penalty was imposed within 1 month as opposed to the years it takes to see through the execution of a criminal. Very few criminals are executed each year (approximately 43 per year in the United States).

God was angry with ancient Israel and Judah because they allowed evil people to continue to live…we are making the same mistake today. Ezekiel 13:19: … and you spare the lives of people who shouldn’t live. It is not compassionate to allow evil criminals to live—it violates God’s law and harms society.

Steven LeBlanc

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