Friday, February 17, 2006

The Death Penalty and my Personal Views:-

One English Christian perspective

I have in the past actually thought that the Death penalty was in fact a good way to deal with Murderers and Child Molesters, once found guilty:- hang, shoot, electrocute, poison or whatever them. Then when I became a Christian I actually started to think……

(A) What if the police or courts made a mistake and in fact they are innocent, just how many innocent victims have been killed by mistake? (There are still doubts over the last person hanged in England in 1962, James Hanratty)
(B) What happens if the full evidence has not been used because it has been stifled or there was a bad defence? Like Veron Evens -
(C) What happens if there has been a "Plea Bargain" with the District Attorney? I have watched numerous programmes where innocent people have actually plea bargained away their freedom because of the way the have been interrogated. Later to be released because of DNA evidence, there are quite a few FBI Files on this and also Barry Scheck's Innocence Project do great work on this.
(D) Is there any chance of redemption, how can a person be sorry if they are dead? Also how can a person be truly sorry if they are under threat of murder? Yes they can say they are sorry, is that because they got caught and are now going to die? (under these conditions people will say anything)

The death penalty is a barbaric antiquated way of dealing with people, surely in this the twenty first century; we are a civilised society even if the criminals are not. We should always be striving to improve and not to go backwards. I am not saying rehabilitate and put a violent murderer back into society. But men or women who can be rehabilitated and become useful members of a community like a prison, they could become a Chef there or even an artiste, but they deserve that chance. I really believe all people deserve a chance to be rehabilitated and made to see their wrongs. That is what makes us better than the animals is that we have conscience and free will and are able to act on it. I know some prisoners will never be rehabilitated, we have them here, and they will stay in secure mental hospitals and be looked after, they are ill they need treatment.

The lethal injection, actually:- First paralyses the nervous system then stops the heart, lungs and brain, and suffocates the victim, how nice!!! This is the 21st Century, not the 17th Centaury surely we have evolved a little more in the Western World haven’t we?

The death penalty is one way of dealing with problems, not my choice but one way, but to leave a person on death row for years and years is a cruel and unnecessary treatment. So "John Doe" killed victim (A), he had a smoking gun in his hand when caught. He is tried and convicted, he even admits the crime. He is sentenced to death by lethal injection. You would expect that happen within a few days maybe a month on the outside? No, it will take years and years, how cruel is that? An argument I have heard is that the criminal was cruel, he deserves no mercy? Or what mercy did they show their victim? I am sorry but that argument makes you no better than they are, or the argument "What do you call a murderer who accuses and kills a murderer?"

As a committed Christian who loves God I try very hard to live my life in a way that would please God, he says forgive your brother or sister. I know it is hard to forgive, infact at time its almost impossible, I have had to forgive people, I have been wronged. I lost a friend to a horrific and very brutal death, but God is gracious and he heals us and leaves us wonderful memories. Putting that person to Death would not have made things right; in fact it would just ruin another family. He will have to live with his actions; he will have to live with knowing what he has done.

I have heard the argument The Bible says an Eye for Eye, yes it does, that is the Old Testament and the Old Testament is still very important, but we now have the New Testament which Jesus taught, he says Forgive your Brother, he also says, Turn the other cheek. The New Testament is all about "love, forgiveness and Grace" it is not about revenge and brutality. These are no good they will only cause you more pain, they will fester inside you, I know, I have been there, through prayer and love I have released these feelings, I can honestly say it feels amazing.

God sent his son so everyone can be forgiven, not just the nice people.

I believe in a God who is Merciful and full of Grace and Love and will forgive anyone who repents with a true heart.