INTRODUCTION – Capital punishment/Death penalty: legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime. – The most common forms of capital punishment include electrocution, gas, firing squads, lethal injections and hanging. – Australia abolished the death penalty in 1975, but since then there have been many debates about whether it should be re-introduced. – Most Christians are against capital punishment, but a few Christians support it. ONLY GOD HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE A LIFE – We are all human; so we don’t have the right to determine who lives and who dies.
There is nothing in the world that gives another human being the right to kill another, when it’s don’t out of revenge it’s worse. ?Job 1:21 – The Lord gave me everything I have, and they are His to take away. – Human life is sacred, as God created it. God made criminals, too. Man is made in God’s own image so they have special value and dignity. Therefore, human life should be protected and preserved no matter what happens. – God has a plan for everyone; we should not interfere with this plan by shortening someone’s life.
We are only stewards of our bodies; God gave us responsibility to take care of them so God is the final authority over our lives. – The Bible clearly states that killing a person is wrong. ? Exodus 20:13, one of the 10 commandments is ‘thou shalt not kill’. Killing another person is wrong; “he did it first” is not a valid excuse. REPRESENTS ONLY REVENGE – Killing offenders only lowers us to their standard; stooping to the level of the criminal – Capital punishment is technically murdering a murderer ? Government breaking it’s own laws – Is it right to punish violence with more violence? Important: the Bible teaches not to seek revenge: Matthew 5:39 – If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek. This verse is Jesus saying to avoid retribution and not to try and right a wrong with another wrong. UNCIVILISED AND BARBARIC – Brutalises witnesses – Brutalises executioner: they have to lie with the guilt/shame of having killed someone ? When an execution is carried out through a firing squad, a blindfold is placed over the firing squads eyes. This is done so that the shooters don’t know who fires the killing shot. Therefore, they didn’t have to live with the guilt and shame of killing someone. The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states that everyone is entitles to life, liberty and the right to not be subjected to cruel, inhumane treatment or punishment. However, the death penalty violates this right. – Australia believes in justice, but we don’t believe that a brutal killing is the type of justice that we feel comfortable with as a nation. MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE – Tragic mistakes can be made through the death penalty as executions cannot be reversed or undone – There are atleast 40 confirmed cases of wrongful executions in the US alone. There have also been many miscarriages of justice in Australia: Lindy Chamberlain – Eg. Colin Ross: wine bar owner executed for the rape and murder of a child despite there being evidence that he was innocent. In the 1990’s, old evidence was re-examined with modern forensic technology which showed that Ross was innocent. – Nationally, in every 10 people who are executed, 1 person is later found to be innocent. GOD TEACHES FORGIVENESS – Rehabilitation is possible in jail ? Everyone deserves a second chance ? Karla Faye Tucker: committed two horrible murders with a pick axe when she was 23 and high on drugs.
In jail, a pastor visited her and led her to the saving knowledge of Jesus. From that time on she led a changed life and demonstrated her Christian faith in prison. However, she was not granted clemency and was soon executed. – Colossians 3:13 – Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Jesus demonstrated the ultimate forgiveness, by sending his son Jesus to die for our sins. We should follow this and also learn to forgive others. – There is no sin too great for God to forgive: Titus 2:14 – He can redeem us from every lawless deed. IMPACTS FAMILIES Even though people commit crimes, they still have friends/family who love them: if the criminal was in jail, his/her family could still visit ? With an execution, they are gone forever – The families of the victims are also affected. The death penalty is a disturbing experience and the families must deal with media, press, police investigations, etc. while also dealing with the grief and trauma of the execution. This causes many psychological issues. – Carole Hodson Price: daughter of a man executed: “Ryan is gone but his family and myself, we’re the ones serving life sentences”
FOR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT – Some Christians realise that Capital Punishment is a necessary part of society – Pope Innocent III: “The secular power can, without mortal sin, exercise judgment of blood, provided that it punishes with justice, not out of hatred, with prudence, not precipitation. ” This quote states that the authority can order an execution as long as they do so with justice. – Murderers do not respect the value of life and it is costly to keep them in jail, where they are clothed, fed and given a bed. ” Many people feel like their taxes are being wasted on keeping criminals in jail. Protection of life: Death Penalty protects the innocent from being future victims of the murderer. – Romans 8: God has sanctioned the government and given them authority to enforce laws ? God has given government the authority to determine when capital punishment is due – In the Old Testament, God prescribed the death penalty on certain crimes such as Adultery, Murder and stealing – Death Penalty is a deterrent: states in the US with the death penalty have consistently lower violent crime rates than those without the death penalty