View Poll Results: Should there be a death penalty?

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  • Yes

    65 47.10%
  • No

    53 38.41%
  • Under certain circumstances, please explain

    20 14.49%
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Thread: Death Penalty

  1. #301
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Man's legal system isn't part of the Christian belief system.
    Actually Western law has deep roots in the Ten Commandments and thus part of the bible. The ingenuity of the Commandments is that they were said to be written by the hand of God. Before that, law had been pretty much arbitrary, with the big enchilada of the time dictating what it was. Obviously, having been written by God put an eventual end to that through Judaism and the spread of Christianity.

    However, I do not believe that mercy and the death penalty are mutually exclusive. Mercy obviously has to be selective, otherwise we would not have prisons or any sort of punitive measures at all. Mercy is feeding the starving as well as forgiving those who have trespassed upon us, but is by no means mandatory nor absolute.

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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Man's legal system isn't part of the Christian belief system.
    Hmm. Perhaps not, but ultra-conservative rhetoric utilizes the Christian value system in defense of its political platforms: anti-abortion, defense of marraige, pro-death penalty, etc. Use Rick Perry as an example.

    My point was that the Christian belief system is injected into "man's legal system" by the conservatives, and, I would argue, the legal system, as another poster said, has deep roots in Christianity.

    It would seem that these far right self proclaimed Christian politicians have some explaining to do with regard to justifiying their positions on the death penalty, abortion, and other things.

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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    If Christ died for our sins, why shouldn't some scumbag die for his own? A bit of a disconnect there
    In the Christian religion, it would be argued that the debt resulting from the scumbag's crimes had been satisfied already with Christ's death. Matthew 5:28 says "You have heard it said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smack you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloke also."

    This was a major shift in Christian theology that occurred after Christ's death. The Old Testament covenent between God and Man had ended, and a new covenant was born with mercy and forgiveness listed as virtuous, rather than vindictiveness and retribution.

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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikaze483 View Post
    In the Christian religion, it would be argued that the debt resulting from the scumbag's crimes had been satisfied already with Christ's death. Matthew 5:28 says "You have heard it said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smack you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloke also."

    This was a major shift in Christian theology that occurred after Christ's death. The Old Testament covenent between God and Man had ended, and a new covenant was born with mercy and forgiveness listed as virtuous, rather than vindictiveness and retribution.
    Few people take the bible literally. Those that do so may oppose the death penalty or any kind of penalty at all. I really don't know. Having said that, I am quite sure Jewish scriptures refer to mercy and forgiveness.

  5. #305
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikaze483 View Post
    One facet of this that I have never understood is how conservatives, who are generally Christians, reconcile their defense of the DP with the theology of the Christian religion.

    There were the concepts of "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" espoused in the Old Testament, but in Christian theology, Christ's death on the cross ushered in a New Covenant- a new set of laws, wherein forgiveness and mercy were of the utmost importance. Christ had already died for the sins of each person. I don't know of any New Testament reference to the DP that would lead me to believe it was justifiable for Christians to support it.

    One of the most recent scheduled executions in Georgia (which was stayed) was that of Nicholas Cody Tate who killed a lady and a little girl in 2001. The victims' family expressed anger, vindictiveness- almost hatred toward the condemned, and when his execution was stayed because he finally, at the last minute, excercised his right to appeal, they were even angrier.

    I don't see vindictiveness, anger, and hatred as emotions that are godly according to Christian tenets. I just don't get how the two reconcile. Most Christians in Georgia are pro-DP, but it contradicts the most basic beliefs of the religion.
    Quote Originally Posted by kamikaze483 View Post
    In the Christian religion, it would be argued that the debt resulting from the scumbag's crimes had been satisfied already with Christ's death. Matthew 5:28 says "You have heard it said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smack you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloke also."

    This was a major shift in Christian theology that occurred after Christ's death. The Old Testament covenent between God and Man had ended, and a new covenant was born with mercy and forgiveness listed as virtuous, rather than vindictiveness and retribution.
    Ideally, a Christian would expect justice from its government and forgiveness from himself. Nothing in the New Testament suggests that a man escapes his responsibilities by becoming a Christian. In fact, he is to accept his responsibilities. If I commit murder, and then I become a Christian, I should ask forgiveness of the family and willingly submit to the law of the land regarding murder.

    If my family is murdered, I should expect the government to do what it is supposed to do. I should expect the murderer to be punished (the death penalty is one historically acceptable form of punishment). But, I should also seek to find love in my heart for the murderer and pray for his salvation.

    Adequate justice/punishment for one's actions is not the same as revenge even if the end result is the same.
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by cthomp View Post
    What do you think of the death penalty.
    I oppose it, the death penalty is revenge and degrades all humans. Not just the one that is killed. I agree that a person's crime can be so heinous as to need to be removed permantly from society, so I'd prefer they be locked away in a Colombian style prison and let them fend for themselves.
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  7. #307
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    But the jail system in general provides significant safety for society at large. There is a real need for jail not just from a government standpoint, but for the individual standpoint as well. There needs to be a system in place through which we can protect the rights and liberties of the individual and a judicial system is part of that. What would happen if we got rid of jails?

    Now what about the death penalty. We already have jails. Yes people die in them, there's likely A LOT of reform which needs to also happen with our jail system. Not going to argue against that. But the death penalty is on top of that. What does it offer society? Increased safety? No. Deterrent? No. Saved costs? No. What happens if we get rid of the death penalty? Are people going to go crazy, will there be no way to protect the law abiding citizens of the land? No. The death penalty provides us with nothing functional except higher bills. And it consumes innocent life.

    So now we have a system being endorsed which not only provides no net benefit to society on whole, but which in fact costs us more and costs human life (both "guilty" and innocent). And you're argument is "well it's ok to kill these people because people are killed in prisons all the time anyway". Forgive me if I am unswayed by such lackluster logic. Innocent people can and do end in jail as well, we are absent perfect knowledge. Part of this is the power usurped by the courts and laws which give the government much more leverage than they had before. But then your argument is that we should kill them because it's worse to leave them alive for decades in which there could always be a chance of being exonerated and freed on new evidence. Again, lackluster logic.

    In the end, there is no rational argument for the death penalty. It's functionally useless, it's expensive, it consumes innocent life. Anyone calling for the overall use of such system must do so with the knowledge that they are advocating the consumption of that innocent life. It's part and parcel with the system.
    If I could give you two likes, I would. Great post. Matter of fact, I'm finding another post by you and liking it just to give you two.
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    But the jail system in general provides significant safety for society at large. There is a real need for jail not just from a government standpoint, but for the individual standpoint as well. There needs to be a system in place through which we can protect the rights and liberties of the individual and a judicial system is part of that. What would happen if we got rid of jails?

    Now what about the death penalty. We already have jails. Yes people die in them, there's likely A LOT of reform which needs to also happen with our jail system. Not going to argue against that. But the death penalty is on top of that. What does it offer society? Increased safety? No. Deterrent? No. Saved costs? No. What happens if we get rid of the death penalty? Are people going to go crazy, will there be no way to protect the law abiding citizens of the land? No. The death penalty provides us with nothing functional except higher bills. And it consumes innocent life.

    So now we have a system being endorsed which not only provides no net benefit to society on whole, but which in fact costs us more and costs human life (both "guilty" and innocent). And you're argument is "well it's ok to kill these people because people are killed in prisons all the time anyway". Forgive me if I am unswayed by such lackluster logic. Innocent people can and do end in jail as well, we are absent perfect knowledge. Part of this is the power usurped by the courts and laws which give the government much more leverage than they had before. But then your argument is that we should kill them because it's worse to leave them alive for decades in which there could always be a chance of being exonerated and freed on new evidence. Again, lackluster logic.

    In the end, there is no rational argument for the death penalty. It's functionally useless, it's expensive, it consumes innocent life. Anyone calling for the overall use of such system must do so with the knowledge that they are advocating the consumption of that innocent life. It's part and parcel with the system.
    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    If I could give you two likes, I would. Great post. Matter of fact, I'm finding another post by you and liking it just to give you two.
    I believe in the death penalty. And, I still think the above is a great post given the way we handle the death penalty. However, part of the reason there isn't increased safety or increased deterrent or a savings in cost is because of the pathetic way we handle the death penalty which is due to so much outcry against it. Even in it's pathetic state, there is somewhat of a cost savings if the plea-bargaining process vs. trial is taken into account.

    My feelings on its appropriateness notwithstanding, the way we handle the death penalty is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. The convicted should either have a timely process or have the penalty waived for life in prison.
    The US is an odd ship. The captain yells out when he sees obtacles , but 535 individual propellers do the steering.

  9. #309
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Actually Western law has deep roots in the Ten Commandments and thus part of the bible. The ingenuity of the Commandments is that they were said to be written by the hand of God. Before that, law had been pretty much arbitrary, with the big enchilada of the time dictating what it was. Obviously, having been written by God put an eventual end to that through Judaism and the spread of Christianity.

    However, I do not believe that mercy and the death penalty are mutually exclusive. Mercy obviously has to be selective, otherwise we would not have prisons or any sort of punitive measures at all. Mercy is feeding the starving as well as forgiving those who have trespassed upon us, but is by no means mandatory nor absolute.
    All that may be true, but doesn't alter anything in my previous statement.
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


  10. #310
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikaze483 View Post
    Hmm. Perhaps not, but ultra-conservative rhetoric utilizes the Christian value system in defense of its political platforms: anti-abortion, defense of marraige, pro-death penalty, etc. Use Rick Perry as an example.

    My point was that the Christian belief system is injected into "man's legal system" by the conservatives, and, I would argue, the legal system, as another poster said, has deep roots in Christianity.

    It would seem that these far right self proclaimed Christian politicians have some explaining to do with regard to justifiying their positions on the death penalty, abortion, and other things.
    A judges value system may inject itself in the sentencing portion of a criminal case for example, but it still has zero to do with the letter of the law. The law is very specific - and has ZERO to do with Christianity. However, the people who are part of the judicial system, lawyers and judges yes, may marginally have their personal Christian values affect the course of action they take. However, I could say that about anyone's value system whether it be Hindu, Islamic, Tao, or agnostic..... The letter of the law however has nothing to do with a Christian believe system - there is no point to point connection between the two that exists.

    If you think I'm wrong, please point out where in the criminal code or civil code laws are written with a direct connection to Christianity.
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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