Death-chamberBack in the summer of 2009, a woman named Jennifer Hopper lived through a nightmare. As Jennifer and her partner slept in their Seattle home, a man climbed through the window armed with a large knife. He proceeded to brutally attack them with the knife and then rape the two women. Jennifer tried to offer a tiny shred of comfort to her partner as she watched this man violate her partner. Drops of blood and tears fell from their bodies. Jennifer survived the attack, but her partner, Teresa Butz, did not.

Their attacker was later apprehended and brought to court to face sentencing for the atrocious crimes he had committed. The sick personal nature of this crime leads us to want to seek justice on behalf of Jennifer for everything she endured and for the loss of Teresa; this is surely a situation where the attacker deserves to die.

The prosecution moved to seek the death penalty, and we can see why. We can scarcely imagine how we would feel to see our loved ones violated and their lives stolen right in front of us. Do we make decisions about the death penalty from this perspective, and if not, are we disrespecting the survivors of the loss?

Is the Death Penalty Worth it?

In the U.S. justice system the death penalty is reserved for only the worst breed of criminals. Currently legal in 31 U.S. states, the death penalty is an issue which sparks fierce debate in this country. While there have been many horrible criminals put to death under the law, any reasonable person knows that our justice system is not perfect there is always the risk sentencing an innocent person to die.

We've also gone to great lengths to ensure that state-sanctioned killings are performed in a humane manner. We threw out the electric chair many years ago in favor of lethal injection (a process by which a combination of drugs is injected meant to stop the heart). However, this method has proven anything but perfect the wrong dose or a simple mistake can mean the convicted person experiences a torturous death. Given the risks, the question arises: is the death penalty worth the trouble it can cause? Let's consider several other aspects.

Wrongful Convictions

People are wrongfully convicted more often than you might think. While there is some debate over the total, conservative estimates put this number at around 1% of total convictions. This may seem like an insignificant amount until you realize that there are millions of criminal convictions in the U.S. each year. Do the math how many of those people are probably innocent?

In the U.S. justice system, the incentives for prosecutors to win cases are strong. Contrary to what you might think, their job is to spin a story that makes the defendant look guilty, irrespective of its basis in truth. The better they are at winning cases, the faster they can advance their careers. When you take into account the lackluster nature of the public defense attorneys that get assigned to accused criminals, the result can sometimes be enough to sway a jury in favor of a conviction.

Overall Cost

death penalty womanThere is no getting around the fact that it is expensive to convict and incarcerate all of these criminals. On average, it costs $30,000 per year to keep a person in prison; in some states it's as high as $60,000. Thus, it may seem logical to assume that sentencing a person to death may be cheaper than to keep them in prison for life. However, the numbers don't add up. Between lengthy criminal investigations, drawn out trials, and the labyrinthine appeals process, the total cost of a death sentence can actually be higher than regular incarceration.

The purpose of the death penalty is to administer the harshest possible punishment to violent criminal offenders. However, some would argue that lifetime incarceration is even more cruel a punishment. To be locked up in a cell until death finally arrives decades later is a substantial, albeit less immediate, form of justice.

To date, there have been 153 innocent people placed on death row that were later exonerated. Fortunately, their innocence was proven prior to being executed. However, it certainly makes you wonder how many innocent people never had their pleas heard, and were executed for crimes they did not commit. One thing is for sure if someone is sentenced to life without parole, it is never too late to overturn their conviction if evidence turns up later on that proves their innocence.

Isaiah Kalebu's Sentence

This, of course, was not the case for Isaiah Kalebu, the man who raped Jennifer Hopp and killed her partner, Teresa Butz. He was found guilty of committing these horrific crimes and expressed zero regret for his actions. Given the nature of the crime, and the complete lack of remorse from the perpetrator, it seems a clear example of a case that merits the death penalty. However, when the time came for sentencing, Jennifer Hopp recommended that Kalebu not receive the death penalty. She decided to show compassion in the face of unimaginable cruelty, wickedness, and injustice.

Jennifer's actions complicate our traditional understanding of how to apply the death penalty. From a neutral point of view, it seems a just punishment for the horrific crime. But what if the victim herself denounces its usage? Should the judge side with the victim's wishes, or with the traditional application of the law? In the end, the judge decided against the death penalty, instead opting for a sentence of life in prison without parole. What do you think? What role does the death penalty have in our justice system today?


  1. John's Avatar John

    If one considers rotting in prison for life harsher punishment then death penalty is lighter and more humane. Hence Jennifer condemned her aggressor to the worst possible outcome. Having a slight chance of seeing evidence clearing one from sentencing may not counterbalance the pain of life and death in a prison. Of course attorneys would not enjoy their luxurious lives if most of the appeals would be eliminated, and that would be an economic consideration .

    1. Marcus Suitor's Avatar Marcus Suitor

      Let us be clear. In Western Countries, USA/UK/EU, going to prison is no longer a punishment, with three meals a day, gym, best medical care, TV, entertainment, even trailer visits for sex, family visits... eventhough they are locked up, we are all prisoners in everyday life already and so prison is pretty much a walk in the park nowadays and nolonger serves as a deterrent at all. Matter of fact people commit crimes to get that priviledge in many cases. Death penalty should be brought back for crimes against humanity such as rape, child related crimes, murder. The eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth attitude will only leave all sides blind and speechless... so that cant apply to all crimes.. except those in need of harsh punishment rather than a better cushy quality care of life for criminals when the life of a victim has been destroyed.

    2. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      I'm not for the death penalty because it is not enforced equally

    3. Bert chalawsky's Avatar Bert chalawsky

      The death penalty should always be used for murder. It is a deterrent rather than a punishment. The hope is that there will be less murders. All convicted killers should be on death row for at least one year as a punishment and not more that two years. I suggest the electric chair or firing squad be used to further the deterrent. Death AND suffering would be more of a deterrent than any humane execution.

  1. Randy's Avatar Randy

    The death penalty isn't for revenge and it isn't a punishment, it's to protect society. In ancient Rome, the death penalty pale in comparison to exile. Prison is the modern form of exile. The death penalty achieves protection in two ways. First, the violent offender is removed from society. Second, the death serves as a warning to other offenders. Public executions made the consequences of violent acts hard to miss. As for false convictions, the majority of those are due to prosecutorial misconduct. When a conviction record outweighs the need for justice, mistakes will not only be made, they will be encouraged. Holding those sworn to uphold the law to the highest standards, and meting out the most severe punishment for wilful misconduct, will eliminate the majority. Appeals (most death penalty verdicts generate automatic appeals) will eliminate all but the tiniest number, and possibly even those. One of the foundations of our judicial system is that it's better for 10 guilty men to go free than for 1 innocent man to suffer. This is put forth by William Blackstone and Thomas Starkie among others. The death penalty has its place, but only in the most extreme circumstances. I would propose that one of those extreme circumstances is those cases where a conviction is achieved through wilful misconduct by those sworn to uphold the law.

    1. Eric Steven's Avatar Eric Steven

      took the words right out of my mouth

      1. Ron Forzani's Avatar Ron Forzani

        But what if the wrong person is accused and sentenced? We would be removing an innocent person from society?!

        1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

          Dang, Ron! Did you not read the man's post?

        2. John W Snyder's Avatar John W Snyder

          I have had the opportunity to work for a number of years in Texas Walls unit in Huntsville. I believe in the death penalty as a cleanse not a punishment. Also, the laws of the land are to be ahead to as well. Sure, I've heard of wrongful convictions but, as a whole, there was only one that has been proven to be a wrongful execution in another state. Judged and executed by the law is, in my opinion a just method of cleanse. Should death row offenders remain on death row for 20 years? No, by all means. Corrections and state senate has become a bussiness within the last 30 years and those who profit from it will do what they need to insure that it stays that way. "Imprisonment is in humane." Not from what I've seen first hand. With due medical, hot meals, recreatiin, college, jobs inside, tv, pay phones, etc. Hard time hasn't been around since the 50's. When inmates only received a sandwich and water for lunch after a 12 hour work day. And there were no recreation times or stop work due to cold or heat. Inhumane? The only thing that has been taken is the opportunity to go to Whataburger and order through the drive though.

    2. Galen M. Ross's Avatar Galen M. Ross

      I agree with this I would rather see ten guilty men go free than one innocent man die. It is my belief that anyone accused of a crime that seeks the death penalty as punishment be sentenced instead to life without parole, in this manner we can be sure that the person will not leave prison and, if he/she turns out to be innocent that person can be freed and the real perpetrator of the crime can then be punished.

      1. Marcus Suitor's Avatar Marcus Suitor

        No one can NEVER say they would rather see ten criminals go free than one innocent die... in that case ALL criminals would be free and only innocent people on trial. The same happened to Jesus when the Romans were told to free a nutorious murdering rapist and take Jesus instead. We are here today as we are BECAUSE OF such an attitude and that must stop. YES innocent people get falsely accused and may die, but setting free criminals will not ever make any difference to the way the laws are today... only better education, more demands for inquests, people standing up to be counted and advocating for a better justice system will do all that... not giving TEN criminals the key of freedom in exchange for ONE innocent man. We also should learn from this when our Governments let several terrorists go in exchange for ONE prisoner of war... when then those terrorists caused violence, destruction and death of several THOUSANDS in the following weeks and the one prisoner set free killed himself in shame shortly thereafter. We must outweigh the pros and cons of every situation individually, not make statements that are open ended and ignorant to others whom dont understand and take it literally... and let criminals go because of what they hear. Be more mindful and THINK of the consequences rather than making such calls which the governments hear and act upon because the public said so.

      2. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

        I feel the same way

    3. DonBiase's Avatar DonBiase

      Thou shall not commit murder. and he who murders will surely be held to punishment.

      1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

        Unless God tells you to do it. Who were the only two people in the Bible to go to heaven but their physical body never died?

        1. DonBiase's Avatar DonBiase

          Enoch and Elijah

      2. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

        So true ef

  1. John Wilson's Avatar John Wilson

    The death penalty should be outlawed nation wide for many of the reasons outlined in the article above. Some states (Texas) have 'fast tracked' executions to cut the costs and intimidate governors and judges to make sure there is always someone in waiting to die. Personally I think having a death penalty makes society barbaric. That should be reason enough to eliminate the practice. For the pro-lifers out you support the death are not pro-life.....hands down.

    1. Willie's Avatar Willie

      Texas "fast tracked" executions??? You've got to be kidding me! Most of the condemned on Texas' Death Row gave been there for years.

    2. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      I agree with you

    3. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      John your 100percent right

  1. Eric Steven's Avatar Eric Steven

    Hard to think about those that are convicted and incarcerated or worse put to death for crimes they did not do, The USA has some messed up laws putting nonviolent criminals with violent ones together in prison is well. This is just man’s justice and is never going to perfect

    We should not put someone to death if a victim or their survivors ask them not to be, and should only be considered for that sentence if the law of that State votes it in.

    I am a Christian and I am personally against the death penalty. We live in a society that is not just made up with what I believe. We live in a civilization, but seperation of religion from goverment keeps an even playing field for most of us.

  1. Marius Gabriel Burja's Avatar Marius Gabriel Burja

    Death penalty in my opinion also saves the perpetrators as an easy out or a form of suicide after murder. Incarceration with labour details and time may reveal more acts of crime that are unsolved.

    No human in their right mind wakes up and does what this man did. Therefore I suspect as the judge did that time would reveal more.

    I praise J for her decision which I'm sure was not easy to come to. It breaks my heart and infuriates me to know how evil can overcome a human.

    At the same time I pray that This act of hell returned back to where it came from. I pray that these things stop happening and that J's decision is God influenced and not by some other evil fear that shadows her.

    I suspect that this beast has capitalised on similar acts of murder as his courage came from previous escapes from justice.

    Therefore capital punishment is a form of two wrongs don't make a right. Mankind takes it upon himself to judge give life and take it away.

    The precious always suffer at the hands of tyrants yet tyrants are spared the same suffering as we want to say we are humane.

    Well when a predator kills for food we don't put them down unless they feed on our own kind.

    I don't believe a predator can be domesticated without total control of their thought process so now that we have the technology and knowledge maybe trans humanism is the donkey of the past as Jesus Christ had said that this too is useful.

    At the same time a man without God is as a beast or a dog which in my minds eye says they are codependent and need a master.

    So now USA is their trainer and they shall be put to work as a donkey or a dog and where is a will there is a way.

    As for ferocious beasts have to be destroyed yet there can be a recycling use to give life to others.

    Not just our legal system needs revision but the entire world. This man most definitely has the number of the beast in his hand and in his head.

    1is for the father 2 for the son 3 for the holly sport 4 for man kind 5 for the good angels 6 for the bad angels and they grow into beasts with repetition of their 666 acts and doings. 7 is for Jesus Christ who comes to save those who call on him to bring them to 8 heavens gate where you can only get in is the blood of Christ defends you from your evil deeds and if you deny the holly spirit which he clearly did then God will judge you and you are guilty because the only way is to come to Jesus. He gets you to 9 where you are divine and that is the only way you come to the 1 who is A-O & A-Z. So we call that the one complete cycle of life continuous without end zero or O. So if you want to be with our heavenly Father then 1O is where you want to be from there if you are just then you get back what you give multiplied by 1O.

    Some one should have thought this man beast to count his blessings and not be a curse to life. We all hurt but we need not kill others. We justify defense with truth yet so do the offenders in their own way but not our way so the upper hand is with the good and not the bad.

    Granted some are good at being bad so they force our hand to be bad for good reasons. We should turn all bad into good. Where there is a will there is a way. Anonymous organ harvest and or blood bank harvesting and cleansing.

    Make it happen as My God Blesses. He can bring back all that is taken. Peace Love Life in the truth of lite and dark hours of our need.Amen.

  1. Pastor Pete's Avatar Pastor Pete

    The death penalty was abolished in Great Britain in 1965, I am totally opposed to capital punishment, however I can totally understand why the close relatives of a murder victim would wish to seek revenge. Which is what it ultimately is. To phrase the question another way, is it acceptable to exult in the death of another human being, no matter how degraded? Surely the aim is to transcend these base emotions... Don't get me wrong, anger, revenge, hate, these are things I struggle with, but what good does another death do? These people should be studied, examined, in an effort to understand the processes they undergo, if such studies are able to prevent even one killing, surely this would be a better outcome? You don't fight fire with fire, ask any fireman, round my way they use water...

    1. Marius Gabriel Burja's Avatar Marius Gabriel Burja

      Oil rigs fires are sometimes put out with dynomyte and field fires are sometimes put out with controlled burnings ahead of a fire as a breaker line. Ask your local firemen about that.

      1. Pastor Pete's Avatar Pastor Pete

        Ok, I was perhaps drawing the metaphor out too far, my apologies, my point stands however.

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    I cannot think of a single case where an execution restored or made whole the victim or the victim's family. Additionally, I find it hard to believe that the death penalty is any deterrent to capital crime. Capital crimes occur daily and are usually committed by people who do not value human life. Why would I think that the prospect of execution would change their thinking? It would seem to me that a lifetime in solitary confinement without the prospect of parole would be a far more effective deterrent. But that is just me. I applaud those families of victims who have the ability to not ask for death as payment for death, for understanding that such action does not restore the victim or make families whole again. All deaths are natural whether by illness, accident, at the hands of another or by execution. We will all die. None of us are guaranteed any length of time to live. It is how we live that matters. Placing someone in a solitary cell, removed from society until they die will be a constant reminder to them that they are paying for a grave misdeed. Will they reform? I cannot say. Will they ever realize the gravity of their crime? I cannot be certain. Will they ever feel remorse? I do not know. Will they ever accept that they are being punished? It is unclear. But none of those things will happen if they are just executed. Of this, I am certain. May none of us ever be faced with this situation

    1. Janet DeMar's Avatar Janet DeMar

      Forgiveness from this victim is one thing .But what kind of world do we live in when this person as we all know at some point will be set free.Think really hard it doesn't make sense and everyone knows it'

    2. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      All the death penalty does is allows the family the rite of vengeance eye for eye tooth for tooth this is not going to make a family whole again

      1. Bert chalawsky's Avatar Bert chalawsky

        Penalties for crimes is supposed to be a deterrent. It's not meant to help the victim.

  1. Ted Fryer's Avatar Ted Fryer

    To forgive, is the ultimate gift. We don't all have it. It the entire Bible is used to decide ones' fate in a capital case, it could go either way. This is why capital punishment will always be arguable. God has given us the gift of choice and we choose to live in a democracy. In this form of government, the people have spoken. In all states, the people have spoken. That is the law "we" all must uphold, it is not fair that individuals have the choice to break the law. So a jury is sat. I cringe at the thought of these animalistic, human creatures exists and that I have no way of protecting my 25 grandchildren and of course their parents. I can only protect my wife and myself, which opens another can of worms. God Bless and watch your six.

    1. Ron Forzani's Avatar Ron Forzani

      I wonder if our representatives always speak for the will of their people?

  1. Reverend Robert's Avatar Reverend Robert

    Abolish the Death Penalty, but then establish two types of prisons. One that teaches trade skills, education and rehabilitation. The other, for more serious criminals, would be a form of lifetime punishment with no privileges. Earn rewards by choosing to advance research by testing new medications and treatments. This system would be a much better disincentive than death, fr those hardened criminals that do not respect life itself.

  1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

    Don't be afraid, death is not the end.

  1. Dr Vince's Avatar Dr Vince

    Rather than seeing the Death Penalty as 'punishment', think of it this way: nothing is more valuable than a Human Life. Thus, if you take one, you lose the right to yours. Your forfeiture of your Life reflects the gravity of taking a Life, and reinforces the value of Life.

  1. Minister Edgar Damron's Avatar Minister Edgar Damron

    The Lord tells us, love our neighbor as ourselves. Because one doesn't have God in him, does not give us the right to take what God gave him. However, we can put restraint on him, and Christ Jesus will judge.

  1. Dietmar Pusch's Avatar Dietmar Pusch

    Hello so What shall i say about the. Ofcourse each life is important and it's not right that death penalty is even alowed. But it's also not right to take inocent lifes. I would say the online death penalty is ok wenn Police original rescue original firefighters get killt because those peopel must save original rescue dayli our lives.

  1. Rev Lynea's Avatar Rev Lynea

    Taking a life to pay for a crime doesn't resolve anything. What to do with people who commit heinous crimes is the issue. Maybe there are some who we cannot help or heal or change. What becomes of them? How do we cope with this level of mental and spiritual (and possibly physical) illness? Our prison system is inhumane and does not rehibilitate anyone. Until we recognize this and begin the process of changing our system--which now has moved into the hands of the greedy--nothing will change. No one will heal. No one will be 'safe.' But killing someone is not the answer.

    1. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      I agree with with that

  1. Dietmar Pusch's Avatar Dietmar Pusch

    Hello so What shall i say about the. Ofcourse each life is important and it's not right that death penalty is even alowed. But it's also not right to take inocent lifes. I would say the online death penalty is ok wenn Police or rescue or firefighters get killt because those peopel must save original rescue dayli our lives.

  1. Joe's Avatar Joe

    Is it better to execute a hundred innocent men than to let one guilty man go free?

    1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

      On July 22, 1209, during the Albigensian Crusade the French town of Beziers was attacked while celebrating the Holy Feast of Mary Magdalene. An army of “Crusaders” was sent by Pope Innocent III and directed by a representative of the pope, a French Cistercian monk named Arnaud Amalric. When Amalric was asked how to tell which Beziers were Catholics and which were Cathars. Amalric proclaimed: “Kill them all, for the Lord knows his own.” Over the next four decades, the Albigensian Crusaders killed more than one million people.

  1. Rick Grefori's Avatar Rick Grefori

    Most perpetrators of capital crimes do not value life. Not even their own, so the death penalty is not a deterrent. Besides the fact that every criminal never believes that they will be caught to begin with. It is cheaper and more painful sentence to lock them up in a 8x8 cell, than to go through the years long appeals process. With the understanding that the worst of the worst will absolutely never be release, the death penalty should be abolished. It accomplishes nothing of value.

    1. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      Agreed Rick

  1. Ruth's Avatar Ruth

    I am going with my own experience with my ex-husband. He said he would rather stay in prision because there are no responsibilities in prison and being there for the rest of his life would be no big deal. He was in prison for trying to kill me and our kids.

  1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

    I have never been able to leave a comment on this website. My comments are always removed by the moderators. I am convinced that the moderators are narrow minded, liberal democrats that would never allow a conservative Christian comment to remain. If you are a spiritual person, then you do not believe that death is the end. Death allows people that do not respect life to move on and let our families live without fear to enjoy their God given time on this earth,

    1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

      Today seems to be the exception. Thank you moderators.

  1. Russel's Avatar Russel

    So many good thoughts. Leaving it to society at large to decide the fate of such persons with all due consideration given to both the imperfections of our judicial system and the need to protect society from these individuals once identified, I am concerned with how we minister to those left behind; to those who may well suffer from the experience over and over again. It may well be that if we as a society kill the perpetrators, then the family and friends of the victim can, with time, put the horrible event behind them and move on with their lives. Let's not ask them if they wish the criminal to be killed or not. They have so much to deal with already. Homicide is a crime against the state. So let the state decide since the survivors cannot seek the death penalty through any other courts. But we can help the survivors deal with their pain and loss.

  1. Ron Forzani's Avatar Ron Forzani

    Creative and perhaps useful ideas

  1. Alvin Jones's Avatar Alvin Jones

    Is the Death Penalty a deterrent? There is separation of State and The Church in this country, so the death penalty is a Secular production. Spiritual law requires us to adhere to the laws of the country we are a part of. If one does not do this then her or she gets what he or she gets. We can only pray for their Souls when this is the conclusion to their lives.

    1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

      The death penalty, if not a deterrent, is a means to remove people who do not wish to participate in a civil society. Rather than considering the cruelty of holding the criminal responsible for their actions we should be more concerned with the cruel and devastating loss that will forever remain with the families and loved ones of the victims. All criminals grave markers should read " Good Riddance".

      1. Pastor Pete's Avatar Pastor Pete

        Not a tremendously Christian viewpoint, if you don't minde saying so...

        1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

          It may not be politically correct but it is certainly a Godly view that evil exists. "I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left. Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth." (Jeremiah 15:1-4 NLT)

        2. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

          Pete, if by "Christian" you mean panty-waist bleeding heart pushover wuss viewpoint, then NO, it isn't. Christianity is not a governmental system. God prescribed what a governmental system is supposed to do to provide justice for its people. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, smiting for smiting, etc. Thine eye shall not pity. THAT is what justice is supposed to be. God is not a wuss, and Jesus Christ was not a wuss. You will be hard-pressed to find "Christian" government in the sense of running a country in the Gospel accounts. In the Kingdom of God, He shall rule the nations with a rod of iron. I pity you for your concept of a weak spineless god, who is NOTHING like the One who created everything and gave the most righteous set of laws ever to mankind.

          1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

            "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, smiting for smiting, etc. Thine eye shall not pity. That is what justice is supposed to be" is pretty Old Testament stuff and not the New Testament dispensation under which we are living presently!!! You would and should consider Jesus Christ a "wuss" and "a weak spineless god" (consistently with your views, anyway) because He didn't advocate an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, smiting for smiting or say 'thine eye shall not pity', but, instead, said "Love your enemies and do good to them that hate you and despitefully use and persecute you, that you may be the children of your Father in heaven, for he makes his sun to shine on the good and the evil and makes his rain to fall on the just and the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). Sounds pretty wussy to me, by your standard, anyway! He will not rule with a rod of iron, but will rule in love and righteousness!!! "Behold, a king will rule in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice" (Isaiah 32:1) and "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6)----in other words, "the King of All Wusses", according to you!!!

          2. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

            Justice for our people can't be the opposite of what God considers justice, as expressed by Jesus Christ, which is loving our enemies and doing good to them or government would be anti-God. So, government must submit to God's view of justice to actually be just or else it is unjust!!!

  1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

    Of course the death penalty is a deterrent. It has a 100% success rate in stopping recitivism on those upon whom it is practiced. Is it fairly administered? I'd have to say, in this country, it is NOT, in that it is not implemented often enough. The death penalty was mandated by God, for many more offenses than WE use it, in order to prevent crime. Now, we don't follow God, as a society. We make up our own morals and have legislatures and bureaucrats decide what is sin (crime) and what is not. The fact is, it IS undeniably effective, when used. When there is doubt as to guilt, I think it should not be used. When there is no doubt in anyone's mind, upon conviction, I think it should be speedily executed.

    1. eugene c farley's Avatar eugene c farley

      I agree totally. Thank you John

      1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

        The trouble is that, sometimes, there is or was NO DOUBT!!!! at all that a person is or was guilty of the crime, and then, after his or her execution, we find out that they were actually innocent and were unjustly executed, and, of course, black people and other minorities in this country are disproportionately subjected to the death penalty and executed, as well as being racially profiled and arrested by the police, compared to white people and especially rich white people, who can afford dream teams of attorneys and get themselves exonerated from charges against them. Occasionally, black people can also hire dream teams of lawyers and get exonerated from the charges, as with O.J. Simpson. The bottom line is: the death penalty allows for no mistakes in judgment about people's guilt, even though such mistakes continually happen, whereas, life imprisonment allows for such mistakes and can remedy these mistakes (as far as they can be remedied, that is) by releasing still living prisoners who have been found to be innocent of the charges back into society and even awarding them reparations for their years of false imprisonment. Every lynch mob that ever strung up a black man or anyone else thought that they had killed "the guilty party"!!! So, obviously, even being assured of someone's "guilt" for a crime doesn't guarantee that they actually committed it. Besides, there is no further possibility of a person's being reformed or rehabilitated after they have been executed and reform and rehabilitation are the foremost reasons, along with getting these people away from the rest of society, for the existence of prisons in the first place, since they are also known as reformatories and penitentiaries (places for reform and rehabilitation and penance, not just colleges of criminal knowledge where they go in as criminals and come out as even worse criminals!!!). That is certainly no good for society and not as good of an answer about these people as reforming and rehabilitating them would be. Speedy executions would allow even less time to discover if we have made a mistake about someone's guilt than the normal length of time involved in appeals of convictions does. Again, no doubt in anyone's mind about someone's "guilt" is just how the lynchers felt and how the Nazis who executed "guilty" Jewish people felt. Following mercy in this matter, too, is following God, as a society, because God, in the Third Person of the Trinity, said "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy". If we don't show mercy even to those who haven't shown mercy to others, we are merely following their standard, instead of God's standard, and so don't deserve to have mercy shown to us, either!!! We can't, as the saying goes, kill people who kill people in order to show people that killing people is wrong!!! Saul of Tarsus was a murderer of Christians, until Jesus Christ knocked him off his horse on the road to Damascus---to knock some sense into him, and made him see the light and transform into St. Paul. Nobody is beyond hope of being changed and transformed and brought into the Light!!!!! If God took the view toward all of us that we take toward some of these people, He would also give us up as "hopeless" and not bother any more trying to reach out to us and get through to us, either!!!! So, if God has shown mercy toward us and reached out to us, we should also show mercy toward others and reach out to them, following His example!!! Furthermore, executions don't deter anyone other than the executed person from committing death penalty crimes because when the person has reached the point of anger and insanity to commit such a crime at all, they aren't even concerned with the consequences of their actions anymore or reachable through reason, anyway, and he is just too cold-hearted and hard-hearted and set on their intention to be able to be deterred, anyway. So, deterrents to this kind of person are irrelevant, anyway.

        1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

          Obviously, I meant "God, in the Second Person of the Trinity".

  1. James Shoup's Avatar James Shoup

    Justice is just, it is not retribution. When I was young I was brutally raped. The person is dead now but I wish hm not dead, I wish him not In prison his whole life. I wish him to made whole; hurt people hurt. Sick folks need medicine and the best medicine is an understanding ear and a generous hug.

  1. Chris Staddon's Avatar Chris Staddon

    If the death penalty is a deterrent than why does the US have one of the highest rate of homicides in the western world.

    1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

      There were only 28 people executed in the US in 2015. There are about 15000 homicides in the US every year. The death penalty is not implemented enough for it to be an effective deterrent.

      1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

        Vincent, totally mad with rage and intent on killing, no matter what, people aren't deterred from killing by any deterrents that you could threaten them with because they aren't concerned with the consequences of their actions and so couldn't be deterred from doing what they want to do by thoughts about those consequences. If all of those 15,000 homicides had resulted in 15,000 executions of the killers for murder, that still wouldn't phase or stop people who were intent on killing from doing so, after those executions, and we might be looking at 15,000,000 homicides in the U.S. every year. Those would, then, have to be revenged, too, and the murder rate continue to spiral out of control!!! Killing people who kill people doesn't show people that killing people is wrong. It might even convince some people that killing other people is a "good idea", even if they hadn't thought so before, because they could say "Well, look, even the government is doing it to all of these people, and so what's wrong with my killing just a few people myself?". Killing only leads to more killing. Hate is not overcome by hate at any time, but only by love!!! The solution to murders isn't murdering the murderers, but reforming and rehabilitating the murderers and where that is absolutely not achievable, keeping them in prison for the rest of their lives (not cruelly or to school them in becoming even worse criminals, but always striving to make them better people). Even Nazis and Mafia hit men have been able to repent of their pasts and turn away from hate and killing, when they were given the chance to do so. Saul of Tarsus was a murderer of Christians before Jesus Christ knocked him off his horse on the road to Damascus (and knocked some sense into him!) and transformed him into Saint Paul. Jesus said "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy". Read my post above as well.

  1. Steve's Avatar Steve

    I agree the death penalty is not a deterrent. Look at other countries where it is used much more liberally. They still have theft, rape, murder, and so on. But, it is an absolution, a guarantee that this person will never again commit these crimes. People escape from prison all the time, sometimes the consequences of their escapes far exceed their original crimes. This happened recently here in Arizona. An escapee is desperate and dangerous, more dangerous than someone who may have committed a crime of passion. Locking up someone "forever" is not absolution. The death penalty is. No, two wrongs don't make a right. Neither does one.

    1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

      Steve Portwood, non-escaped from prison people certainly kill other people far more often than escaped from prison people do because there are far more of them and they happen far more frequently. So, saying that we should just kill death row people right away on the chance that they might escape and kill some other people---and just beat them to the punch and head them off at the pass---makes no sense at all and is just a scenario "justification" for capital punishment. Escaped prisoners aren't any more angry or violent than non-escaped prisoners who commit horrific acts of murder, as did Robert Bowers, who killed 11 Jewish people in the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA or Ted Bundy or Richard Speck or Richard Ramirez (the "Night Stalker") or Charles Manson or John Wayne Gacy, and the list goes on and on!!! They didn't need to have escaped from prison to be that angry or do what they did!!!! They might even have taught escaped prisoners something about anger and violence!!! We can't base our treatment of prisoners or anyone on the basis of what might possibly happen, but only on the basis of what HAS!!! happened, while still trying to reasonably prevent such occurrences in the future. Reasonable prevention of such occurrences doesn't mean killing people right at the start who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong, since that is unreasonable and illogical. Locking up someone isn't absolution, whether forever or only for a few years, but rehabilitation of them is absolution---and where that isn't achievable, then keep them in prison for the rest of their lives, while still constantly trying to make them better people!!!!

      1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

        What nobody in here is considering, so far, is society's responsibility for serial and other killers. We can go on claiming that "society has no responsibility for these people' and also go on suffering and being afflicted from cases of mass and individual murders, crying crocodile tears every time one of these atrocities happens, or we can wake up to our responsibility for much of this and look in the mirror when we want to understand the cause of such horrible acts and, possibly, avoid many such occurrences in the future!!! Until then, the death penalty is an exercise in futility because it only deals with the symptom and not the root of the problem. Nobody has ever just woke up one morning and, out of the clear blue sky and for no reason whatsoever, said: "You know. I think that I'll go out and kill as many people as I can or kill this one person before I'm killed, too, or kill myself or am arrested by the police"!!! Aileen Wuornos was abused by men and unloved all of her life, until she finally had had enough and went off on a murder spree against men. Charles Manson was also unloved by his mother and driven into a life of crime by his environment and upbringing (or lack of it!) and then we wonder why he sent people out to murder Sharon Tate and all of the others who were killed by his "family" in August 1969. Even Adolf Hitler became what and who he became because of an abusive father and his environment and failures. There are many other examples of this. Yes, people are responsible for their own actions, but that includes us and not just these people and makes us responsible, too, for not driving other people into such actions as these. Loving our neighbors as ourselves and treating them as we would want to be treated aren't just "pious and pie-in-the-sky sentiments and goody-two-shoes actions", as many people may characterize them, but, rather, of very practical necessity and importance, in helping us to avoid just such terrible incidents as all of these murders in our society!! Since we can't tell, without a heart and mind reading machine or psychic ability, who may be the next person to go berserk and start murdering other people because of the next incident happening to them that is the last straw for them, isn't it better to just be kind and loving to everyone, as much as possible for us, rather than run that risk? This doesn't mean our walking on eggshells around other people, but just doing what we should be doing, anyway, and loving our neighbors as ourselves and doing unto others as we would have others do unto us, even if such incidents as these never happened. As Eddie Cantor said, when he saw Wanted posters hanging up in a post office: "If we had shown them that they were wanted before, they wouldn't be wanted now". Yes, there are many people who, no matter how well they are treated, will return hate for love (again because of how they have been treated), but most people will respond to love with love and even these other people may eventually be reached and gotten through to, as well. If not, we, at least, will have done what we were supposed to do and not let their hatred dictate our attitudes and actions to us..

  1. Rev. Keith A. Neal's Avatar Rev. Keith A. Neal

    We need to stop the death penalty again. I forget when it was not used in the United States. Again the Federal Supreme courts need to stop it, along with all of our state Governor's. All of the death penalty does is cost the tax payers a lot of additional money.

    1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

      Can we discuss the morality of the death penalty without trying to justify how much it costs? When God commanded Abraham to kill his son, did he pass or fail the test? The surprise answer is that God failed the test.

  1. Grizzly's Avatar Grizzly

    Until our justice system reforms we are stuck with a quandary. How do we punish those who have no hope of returning to the flock as productive citizens that respect our laws? There is no easy answer. Until we are able to have a clearer path we must work with what we have. I support the death penalty because there are people who are not able to be "rehabilitated." I do think our justice system should work more on the facts than the persuasion and innuendo thrown around the courtroom today.

    1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

      I also believe that the justice system in an effort to be politically correct and make more money is very inefficient at actually enforcing the laws and punishing the criminals. It takes way to long for sentences to be implemented. If you refer to the book of Jeremiah chapter 15 you will see that God is not very wishy washy about removing the wicked from society.

      1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

        I meant to say unwilling not inefficient.

  1. Lee's Avatar Lee

    Lobotomy seems to me the best solution. We are our brothers keeper and I do not feel comfortable either leaving him in a prison environment for life, or taking his life. We all make mistakes and no one should spend his entire life paying for a mistake that he will probably never make again.

  1. Rev Jim's Avatar Rev Jim

    If you believe that there is a life after death, not sure what the problem is. If Adolf Hitler was put down, just how many lives would have been saved? Yes I agree that a number of years should go by before a sentence is carried out, just to be sure. There are monsters and angels among us. There have always been. I doubt many of you had a sister that was brutally raped. I doubt many of you had a family member brutally killed because he pissed off a disturbed individual. Those entities for the most part, can't be cured. Their energy exists and contaminates the population. And no doubt they themselves are suffering. We kill animals and plants to exist. Life is not a right, but a privilege. Earn it.

    1. Jailyn's Avatar Jailyn

      tell that to the unborn babies

  1. Kathy Kovachick's Avatar Kathy Kovachick

    Should there be a death penalty? The man in Texas, beat a 12 old boy with a pipe slit his throat and drank his blood. Can he be rehabilitated? Better still would you want him released? Would you him walking among us? What if he was released,In your community? Lock your kids up, follow them every where, with shot gun in hand. I would. I will protect my children with all I am. I speak from experience.My Andrew was murdered. He was 3 years old. Just a baby.

  1. eugene c farley's Avatar eugene c farley

    We are only people and imperfect. The justice system is formed by people and it to is imperfect. There have been rules to live by since the beginning. A game without rules cannot be played. Of course there should be a death penalty and it should be carried out swiftly once judged by ones peers.

  1. Ed's Avatar Ed

    First off, with the starting story, this is exactly why so many of us advocate for the 2nd Amendment. Someone tries to break into the home of my grandparents, especially my 66 year old grandmother home alone, they're going to meet her 30-30. Obviously, there's smaller handguns, at need. "The doors aren't locked for my protection, they're for yours!"

    When people are this dangerous, and it can be proven that they are the culprits, then yes, they NEED to be put down. We have criminals, especially those who are illegals, who commit repeated crimes of rape and violence, and yet, nothing's done. Then, they kill, and sometimes multiple people. The families are left wondering why. It's known that said person has committed numerous heinous acts. How many people must suffer and die, because of it. That's always been one thing I've never liked in main stream comics. It's why I like characters like The Punisher. If those people who have a history, especially, of crimes, then by not giving them the death penalty, you become guilty the next time they murder. I, and many others, carry conceal, and fight to defend The Second, for just this reason. If fools are actually going to allow these rabid maniacs to roam free, while trying to tell us The Second needs to be repealed, then you continue to validate our concerns, especially with the simple fact that no police force can be everywhere.

    You bring up a valid point, regarding the wrongful convictions. These do happen more often than we're led to believe. Again, if I'm armed, and having been trained [and living 30 minutes from town, in a rural area], I'm only going to be shooting someone whose actually a threat. There's also always rubber bullets.

    A senile look could be "At least now, they are safe in heaven..."

  1. Rev. Wayne Gibbons's Avatar Rev. Wayne Gibbons

    Americans subscribe to the notion that use of the death penalty is a deterrent to crime. We have the death penalty and citizens still commit murder at an alarming rate. In ancient times, some societies required the person who murdered another to provide for the victims family and support them. While we execute murderers, or at the very least, condemn them to a life in our prisons, which all citizens pay for, little is done for the victims of violent crimes. Perhaps we should adopt a system where we hold violators in prison, and have them pay "financially" for the offense they have committed. I am sure there are jobs inmates could perform that would generate revenue, and the funds put toward the support of the victims of their crimes. Since murdering the murderers does not work to stop crime, why not put violators to work and help the poor and the victims of violent crimes. Also, take the private profit out of the prison system and stop making the wealthy more wealthy by letting them make money from taxpayers. In this way, we can stop the "Crime Does Pay" at least for the corporate private prison owners" and the corruption it generates in our country. Perhaps I am just a silly old man, but I believe this would be a more humane and Godly solution. Rev. Wayne Gibbons

    1. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      I agree with you 100 percent

  1. shane's Avatar shane

    Children,we are note to kill or wish bad on someone. We are to be Christ like. Christ did not condem the people to death that were killing him.. Children you still have no understanding.......

    1. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      Your so very right shane

  1. Patricia Ransom's Avatar Patricia Ransom

    God said vengeance is his... That means it is not ours. Thou shalt not kill applies to all people, including those in the judicial system. His law is all inclusive.

    1. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      Your so right patrica

  1. Randy's Avatar Randy

    The death penalty isn't vengeance, as I said earlier it's a way to protect society. "Thou shall not kill" properly translated is "Thou shall not murder." Thou shall not take a life without cause. Remember Ecclesiastes 3:3 - A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. When society is in danger, it is time to kill. When this drastic action has been taken, it is a time for those involved. those affected by the acts of the one executed as well as those forced to take a life, to heal.

  1. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

    I do not agree

  1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

    For any civilized country to remain civilized, the death penalty must remain in effect for certain crimes. It should be enforced fairly and without regard to race, income, religion, gender, or upbringing, only in cases where there is no reasonable doubt of guilt. Any argument against that has no basis in reality.

  1. ranganr's Avatar ranganr

    With the rise in crime rates, it is tempting to think again if we should abolish death penalty. But i do agree that death penalty should be limited to very severe crimes.

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