Let’s Talk Religion: Is capital punishment murder?

Let’s Talk Religion: Is capital punishment murder?
March 05
11:49 2020

I know that all sin is equal in God’s eyes, but for me, murder is the ultimate sin, especially since man was created in the image of God. I understand in the case of self-defense or protecting loved ones, but what about the courts ruling a person should be put to death?

I know that people can be guilty of some pretty heinous things and sometimes death seems to be the only recourse. I don’t see things that way. For me, to have a court system be the judge, jury and executioner, is putting too much power into one institution.

I am sorry, but the only person I feel is qualified to say whether a person should live or die is God. With all of the death row convictions that I have seen over the years, that point alone says that capital punishment should not be allowed. With all of the sins we all commit on a daily basis, who are we to say that someone else does not need to live?

I have had several discussions with individuals about the merits of capital punishment. I can understand both the arguments for and against it. The person I was recently discussing the topic with, brought up scenarios and examples that if a person committed that sort of crime, they deserved the death penalty. Extreme crimes against children, elderly or women are looked upon more harshly in the eyes of many and I can understand that, but that still does not warrant taking another person’s life by execution.

When I sit back and think about how the whole process works, I think about the liability of each person involved with sentencing someone to death. What responsibility does the judge, the jury and the prison personnel all bear? Is the judge more guilty because he/she was the one who allowed the death sentence to come into play? Is the jury more responsible because those 12 individuals chose that outcome for the defendant? What about the person who actually has to push the button or flip the switch to administer the execution, whether it’s gas, lethal injection or electric chair?

If I were any of those people involved in that scenario, I am not sure I could chose to send a person to their death.  There would be so much guilt on my heart, I am not sure I would be able to live with myself, knowing I had a hand in taking someone’s life.  

When I think about crimes human beings commit against one another, restitution can be made in most occasions, while others cannot. Taking someone’s life would be one of those crimes, because obviously you can’t take that back.

The bigger question I have is, what does God think about our system of capital punishment? Once again, I am no biblical scholar, but I can’t imagine He is pleased with one of His children being taken from this earth by the decision of man.

I remember my grandmother used to quote Romans 12:19 to me: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord, when I used to tell her someone wronged me. I took that to mean that I need not worry about getting someone back for doing something wrong to me, because God had it handled for me. 

I just don’t think we as human beings should have the final say in whether someone lives or dies. That should be a judgement left up to my Lord and Savior.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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