Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Here's the place to discuss current events and politics: How they affect us, what the ramifications are, how we should respond, and anything else related

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:57 pm

temporal1 wrote:as far as former governor ryan goes.
HE IS IN PRISON.
i trust nothing he says or claims to stand for.
he knew he was going to prison when he made those political changes to stop executions.
victims' families, at the time, were mortified. they received very little press in illinois - did they receive any in national or world news? - i do not know.


Yes, Ryan is in prison (for some reason, a lot of Illinois governors seem to be crooks.)

But of course this received a lot of coverage in national and international news. There's always sympathy for the victims, so it makes a good story. But this part also makes a good story:

... after the 13th Illinois death row inmate had been released from prison due to wrongful conviction. In the same time period, 12 others had been executed.


Think about it. More death row inmates were proven innocent during this period than executed. Innocent people on death row is a lot less rare than we like to think. And it's awful hard to change your mind after you kill someone.
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

http://mennodiscuss.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8352&p=234867#p233710
User avatar
Bootstrap
Needs MD Anonymous
 
Posts: 15575
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:46 am
Location: North Carolina: The valley of humility between two mountains of conceit.

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby sullymusic » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:20 pm

Dan Z wrote:
bootstrap wrote:...‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ Clearly, the government has the right to do this. But should Christians really want revenge?


As a followers of Jesus, I believe we have been commanded not to participate in "eye for an eye" systems of justice.


:like: Agreed. Vengeance does not belong in the NC followers of Jesus. I personally believe that Jesus is explicit in that. But I believe that God never changed Gen 9:6 that whoso sheddeth mans blood by man shall his blood be shed. I believe God issued that because he is creator of man and that man had no right to terminate another life. I also believe in separation of church and state and that God has ordained the state to punish the evildoer and capital punishment is an option of the state to use to punish the evildoer. I will agree when the state is less than honorable, it is easy to question the ethical aspects or it but I suppose that has been true of all states down through the centuries. I believe the Christian who pulls the switch on an individual has done that which is prohibited by Christ. That is also why I do not participate in the affairs of the state.
User avatar
sullymusic
Menno Guru
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:05 am

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby Jean » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:47 pm

"death in a clean environment with prayer and dignity, with injections that may be similar to anesthesia used daily for surgery"

I am sure that if you do a study of the 'cocktail' you will be repulsed. It is not as nice as being put out for surgery. There is no dignity whatsoever as the person is surrounded by people who do not love him, wish him dead and are willing to do the deed. His family is outside the gates weeping and praying and vilified, hearing catcalls and yelling from people with bloodlust.

I am glad Governor Ryan did something good while he was in office. I am sure many many people are glad for that!! It sounds like you are saying that you are for something because someone who is in prison for entirely unrelated charges is against it!

From Wikipedia: "under Ryan's governorship, 13 people were released from jail after appealing their convictions based on new evidence."

This also: "The issue had garnered the attention of the public when a death row inmate, Anthony Porter, who had spent 15 years on death row, was within two days of being executed when his lawyers won a stay on the grounds that he may have been mentally disabled. He was ultimately exonerated with the help of a group of student journalists at Northwestern University who had uncovered evidence that was used to prove his innocence. In 1999, Porter was released, charges were subsequently dropped, and another person, Alstory Simon, confessed and pleaded guilty to the crime of which Porter had been erroneously convicted."

If someone has done something wrong, no matter what what it is, if they have changed their way of thinking and living, they should be given freedom. If God has forgiven them and made them into new people, we honor God by honoring the beautiful work he does in His people.

It is easy to be punitive and line people up to shoot them, but I see nothing in the teachings of Jesus that tells us to do that. In fact, there is an abundance of testimony of repentance and changed lives and families of victims developing close relationships with the people who tore their lives apart at one time by killing one of their loved ones.
There is no such thing as a lesser person, and every human being is worth more than his or her worst act. - Sister Helen Prejean
Jean
Attentive Learner
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:46 pm

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby Jean » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:11 pm

Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
There is no such thing as a lesser person, and every human being is worth more than his or her worst act. - Sister Helen Prejean
Jean
Attentive Learner
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:46 pm

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:18 pm

sullymusic wrote: :like: Agreed. Vengeance does not belong in the NC followers of Jesus. I personally believe that Jesus is explicit in that. But I believe that God never changed Gen 9:6 that whoso sheddeth mans blood by man shall his blood be shed. I believe God issued that because he is creator of man and that man had no right to terminate another life. I also believe in separation of church and state and that God has ordained the state to punish the evildoer and capital punishment is an option of the state to use to punish the evildoer. I will agree when the state is less than honorable, it is easy to question the ethical aspects or it but I suppose that has been true of all states down through the centuries. I believe the Christian who pulls the switch on an individual has done that which is prohibited by Christ. That is also why I do not participate in the affairs of the state.


I highlighted three things that lead me to a strange conclusion: you seem to be saying that God has given a command that is to be followed, but the only people who can follow God's command are non-Christians. Christians are prohibited from following this command, but the command is still binding for us today.

I'm not sure how to implement that if non-Christians decide following God's commandment isn't important. And if someone really wants to follow God's commandments, what happens if they become Christian?
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

http://mennodiscuss.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8352&p=234867#p233710
User avatar
Bootstrap
Needs MD Anonymous
 
Posts: 15575
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:46 am
Location: North Carolina: The valley of humility between two mountains of conceit.

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby ofLI » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:47 pm

I don't really think the death penalty serves as much deterrence. However it is just. God after all kills people on occasion. One might consider the case of Ananias and Saphira. The wages of sin is death. But that doesn't stop men from sinning. So deterrence...not so much. Justice. Probably. But just because something is just doesn't always mean this is the most redemptive or best way to handle a situation. A person's heart of repentance plays a role methinks. Just as God forgives us and shows mercy when we repent, though interestinly he doesn't otherwise unless one agrees with Shane I think who says "Love Wins."
ofLI
Official Official-Sounding Title for JBG
Official Official-Sounding Title for JBG
 
Posts: 2471
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:32 pm

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby Jean » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:21 pm

"I don't really think the death penalty serves as much deterrence."

I agree mostly because it does not solve the problem. It does not make things right or better. If more criminals saw their buddies come to the Lord in prison and get released to live good lives, now, that would be more of a deterrent, no? The death penalty confirms the criminal's belief that the government and society are no good.

If God kills someone, let HIM do it. But I don't believe God killed Anaias and Saphira for lying about money. If He did, that would be a precedent for us to do the same!

I always understood the wages of sin is death to mean spiritual death. Sin does not always mean taking someone's life.
There is no such thing as a lesser person, and every human being is worth more than his or her worst act. - Sister Helen Prejean
Jean
Attentive Learner
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:46 pm

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby temporal1 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:44 pm

there are worse things in life than death.
Thanks be to God, He giveth us the victory thru our Lord Jesus Christ.
ICor15:57
User avatar
temporal1
Needs MD Anonymous
 
Posts: 14525
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Prairie

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:55 pm

temporal1 wrote:there are worse things in life than death.


I'm not sure what point you intend to make with that statement. Surely that's not an excuse for killing people who may be innocent?
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

http://mennodiscuss.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8352&p=234867#p233710
User avatar
Bootstrap
Needs MD Anonymous
 
Posts: 15575
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:46 am
Location: North Carolina: The valley of humility between two mountains of conceit.

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby temporal1 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:03 pm

Bootstrap wrote:
temporal1 wrote:there are worse things in life than death.
I'm not sure what point you intend to make with that statement. Surely that's not an excuse for killing people who may be innocent?
i would have thot that would "go without saying" - but it didn't.
so, officially, "no, i do not mean that to be an excuse for killing even one person."

i have no proof i could kill even a small animal, if i were starving. i can barely kill a spider or mosquito.

if i have any sense whatsoever, and/or any self control, i won't post on this thread again, at least not today.
(just to let you know when you post another question.) i don't intend to be rude, but i need to not answer. for personal reasons.
Thanks be to God, He giveth us the victory thru our Lord Jesus Christ.
ICor15:57
User avatar
temporal1
Needs MD Anonymous
 
Posts: 14525
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Prairie

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby benjoseph » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:04 pm

Jean wrote:"benjoseph:
God commands the death penalty. Man has no right to set it aside. Refusal to obey the command to execute murderers is hatred toward God."

Jesus taught us to forgive our enemies.
Forgiveness is an old testament commandment, side by side w/ the death penalty. It is not something brand new that somehow contradicts the death penalty. Forgiveness is personal. Pardon is legal and a public matter, not a private personal matter.

Jesus had mercy on the woman who had committed capital crime
The law did not require Jesus to execute her by Himself. The law said, "one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die." (Num 35:30) The law required 2 or 3 witnesses. They all walked off.

With your mindset, executing a repentant criminal would be love toward God.
Of course it would be. If we love God then we will obey Him. God commanded it. He did not cancel it. If a capital criminal was truly repentant then they would love God and willingly submit to the death penalty. Paul said, "if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die" (Acts 25:11) - the penitent man on the cross next to the Lord showed his love for God by admitting he deserved to be there.

I can not figure where you are coming from. It seems like you either don't read the old testament or you think it is totally unbinding on people as if the entire thing was abrogated.

God gave the death penalty commandment to your own personal ancestor Noah, not just to the Jews as a temporary thing. The command was given to YOUR family. It's YOUR family's law. You should count the cost before you decide to fight against God's command.

The victims of capital punishment and abortion are both: unwanted humans that we don't have enough heart to deal with.
Putting capital criminals on the same level as innocent unborn babies is about as wrong as you can get. It is the people who refuse to uphold God's law to execute the murderer that do not have enough heart, all their sympathy is with one guilty man and his temporary flesh. They do not have enough heart to care for God's command neither for the rest of the community who will suffer from increasing evils due to unpunished crime. Fighting against God's wisdom is unintelligent and futile.

Biblical justice is 'making things right'. Abortion and execution do not make things right. They do not solve the problem.
Again, God is smarter than you and disagrees. He says execution is the ONLY thing that will make it right. "the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." (Num 35:33) Your argument is with the God who wrote the Bible, not with me.
benjoseph
Accomplished Teacher
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:29 pm
Location: MA

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby sullymusic » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:09 pm

Bootstrap wrote:
sullymusic wrote: :like: Agreed. Vengeance does not belong in the NC followers of Jesus. I personally believe that Jesus is explicit in that. But I believe that God never changed Gen 9:6 that whoso sheddeth mans blood by man shall his blood be shed. I believe God issued that because he is creator of man and that man had no right to terminate another life. I also believe in separation of church and state and that God has ordained the state to punish the evildoer and capital punishment is an option of the state to use to punish the evildoer. I will agree when the state is less than honorable, it is easy to question the ethical aspects or it but I suppose that has been true of all states down through the centuries. I believe the Christian who pulls the switch on an individual has done that which is prohibited by Christ. That is also why I do not participate in the affairs of the state.


I highlighted three things that lead me to a strange conclusion: you seem to be saying that God has given a command that is to be followed, but the only people who can follow God's command are non-Christians. Christians are prohibited from following this command, but the command is still binding for us today.

I'm not sure how to implement that if non-Christians decide following God's commandment isn't important. And if someone really wants to follow God's commandments, what happens if they become Christian?

Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world. In his new covenant kingdom capital punishment is not an option for those that have chosen to follow him. But the state which is not of his kingdom has the option available to them because they bear not the sword in vain if they choose to use it to punish the evildoer who has willfully killed another person. If a person from the worlds kingdom experiences a new birth and becomes a follower of Christ he can no longer advocate the practice of capital punishment because his new Master says it's not part of his kingdom. If the disciples of Christs kingdom can tell the worlds kingdom they cannot do what Christ does not allow in his kingdom, then be assured that kingdom of this world will be telling Christs kingdom what they can't do either. If the state is corrupt and uses capital punishment wrongly and unjustly then God will be the judge. I believe the kingdom of Christ may witness to the state in capital punishment and any other racial injustices that we observe in society but to coerce and mandate to them the principles of Christs kingdom is to violate the commands of Jesus to his followers.
User avatar
sullymusic
Menno Guru
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:05 am

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:44 pm

benjoseph wrote:
Jean wrote:Biblical justice is 'making things right'. Abortion and execution do not make things right. They do not solve the problem.
Again, God is smarter than you and disagrees. He says execution is the ONLY thing that will make it right. "the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." (Num 35:33) Your argument is with the God who wrote the Bible, not with me.


I agree that God is smarter than Jean - or you, or me.

I also notice that you're completely ignoring the biblical arguments that have been raised so far. Please take the time to respond if you want us to take your opinion seriously. Loudly denouncing is not the same as carefully examining Scripture together to see what it says.

Here are two posts you might want to start with:

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

http://mennodiscuss.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8352&p=234867#p233710
User avatar
Bootstrap
Needs MD Anonymous
 
Posts: 15575
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:46 am
Location: North Carolina: The valley of humility between two mountains of conceit.

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby barbara10 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:30 pm

Romans 13 makes it clear that the state has the right to "punish the wicked" and he "does not bear the sword for nothing."
Instead of arguing about whether or not true criminals should be executed, let's concentrate on the fact that so many are wrongly convicted.

We can remind the victims that the real killer is probably out there loose (unless he was arrested for something else).

The government found many cases in which people were wrongly convicted, but did not tell the convicts or their attorneys: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/cri ... ml?hpid=z1

We can write to our elected officials to complain about all these false convictions, imprisonments and executions. With the rise of the private prison industry and the power of prison lobbies, there are vested interests in this country who want to see as many people imprisoned as possible.
We need transparent oversight to minimize false convictions and improve the processing and collection of evidence.

I think contacting officials about these issues is entirely appropriate for Christians to do. It's not a partisan issue, but a case of efficiency, professionalism and integrity.
barbara10
Voluble Menno Guru
 
Posts: 2418
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 5:17 pm
Location: near San Antonio, TX

Re: Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Postby benjoseph » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:33 pm

Bootstrap wrote:So you believe that all Old Testament commands are still binding today?
No.
Or that this particular one is?
Yes.
Do you believe that all Old Testament directives to the government of Israel are binding on all governments today?
No.
Do you believe that the death penalty must be used whenever it would have been in the Old Testament?
I don't know but I've wondered about it.

The death penalty law was given to our great-great-.etc..grandfather Noah, not to a particular nation, not as a symbolic law. This command came even before the Bible. God gave that command to all of Noah's family regardless of what religion or nationality we are.

There was never any problem w/ eye for an eye. God has no problem with justice. Eye for an eye is fair. Two eyes for one eye is not fair. A lock of hair for an eye is not fair.

The problem in Israel was personal grudges and personal retaliation. Grudges were forbidden in the old testament. Personal vengeance was also forbidden. The old testament taught showing kindness to your enemies. Eye for an eye is a governmental regulation. It does not give us the right to personal vengeance. American law is the same way. The old testament both commands public retribution and simultaneously forbids personal retaliation. Apparently the Jews were wickedly misapplying the Bible in order to justify a selfish spirit and personal revenge. Probably neighbors or even spouses were trying to spitefully one-up each other and trying to justify themselves w/ "eye for an eye".

Any statistics gathered in a nation that kills babies, leaves their murderers unpunished, and even executes those who use force to defend the unborn - the statistics are completely useless because of the hypocrisy. There is no real death penalty in a nation that fails to execute those who murder the unborn. The statistics are all invalid.

The Bible is very obvious on this one if you ask me. The pre-flood world had no death penalty and became completely filled with violence to the point where God had to wipe it out and start all over. You have the mark of Cain, which is the opposite of the death penalty, and Lamech taking it to mean that God will avenge him for his own lethal retaliation. You have the command to Noah in Genesis (this is sufficient on its own). God saying that the entire society will be ruined by the influence of unpunished murder (in Num 35:33) and Solomon confirming it again in Ecclesiastes 8:11. Peter says Jesus preached to the sinners from the preflood world who did not have the influence of the death penalty during their lives. Then of course Paul says the death penalty is for our good and that paying taxes is our God-given way of supporting the death penalty (Rom 13 "a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil ... for this cause pay ye tribute ... this very thing") which is for our benefit. And greatest of all is the Lord's atonement. God commanded His Son to endure a public execution so that God would be justified for all the mercy He had personally shown to men in the past who deserved to be executed such as King David (Rom 3:25-26 "to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past ... that he might be just").
benjoseph
Accomplished Teacher
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:29 pm
Location: MA

PreviousNext

Return to Current Events and Politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests