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WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Delaware Death Penalty Repeal (except for current Death Row occupants) narrowly clears state Senate

So the legislation to abolish capital punishment in Delaware has squeaked through the Delaware Senate, albeit with an amendment that preserves the death penalty for the 17 inmates already on death row.

The 11-10 vote was hardly along partisan lines. Three Republicans - Minority Leader Gary Simpson of Milford; Catherine Cloutier of Brandywine Hundred; and, most surprisingly to some, Ernie Lopez of Lewes - joined eight Democratic senators in voting for abolition of the ultimate sentence. Consistent pro-life ethic for Lopez?


You can hear my interview with State Senator Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes)...


Audio Here


Progressive Dems are upset (and somewhat surprised) by the nay votes from Senators Nicole Poore and Bethany Hall-Long.
Irony: Democrat Nicole Poore beat Republican Dori Connor with progressive support, and Connor might have very well cast a vote FOR death-penalty repeal, which would have made her the fourth Republican.

So here's the line-up of those voting for and against.

VOTING for REPEAL 'YES':

Dems: Blevins, Bushweller, Henry, Marshall, McDowell, Peterson, Sokola, Townsend

GOP'ers: Cloutier, Lopez, Simpson

VOTING AGAINST REPEAL 'NO':

Dems: Ennis, Hall-Long, McBride, Poore, Venables

GOP'ers: Bonini, Hocker, Lavelle, Lawson, Pettyjohn

Prime sponsor State Senator Karen Peterson (D-Stanton) tacked on an amendment to retain the death sentences for the 17 existing death-row inmates. Peterson said she did it to avoid any questions about the fates of the existing death-row prisoners that could complicate the debate in the House, or open the bill to legal challenge down the road.

Left unsaid: Death penalty repeal might not have passed at all WITHOUT that amendment. No matter that the final result produced an inconsistency. Things got emotional as family members of murder victims appealed to senators.

The legislation moves to the Delaware House.

Governor Markell remains uncommitted, while Attorney General Beau Biden dispatched two of his top prosecutors to the Senate to declare the AG's opposition to the repeal legislation. Hardly surprising. Then-candidate Beau Biden supported the death penalty during his first run for AG. To my knowledge, he's never wavered. Like his dad, pro-death penalty and pro-abortion rights.

Posted at 7:36am on March 27, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 8:28am
Both Papa Biden and Jr. (kind of fun to do that with DEMs--- as we always tag the Bushes this way) are pro-death. I disagree with them on both counts [These guys are Catholics ???].

I do give the Bidens points for being consistent. Many people are Pro-Life and Pro-Death penalty, OR Pro-Abortion and Anti-Death penalty.

This compromise that's in the proposed Delaware law is what usually is missing in the abortion battles. Many in the Pro-Life community would not compromise by allowing abortion for rape, incest, or the physical life of the mother being threatened, which accounts for less than 1% of all abortions committed in the US; while eliminating abortion as a "birth control" method. Meaning that over 99% of the abortions in the US are for birth control. I've heard these folks say, all or nothing. So rather than have less than 1% of the babies aborted they settle for 100% being aborted; THAT's stupid.

The Pro-Abortion side is just as bad' they too won't compromise either, because they believe abortions should be allowed for any reason, anytime 24/7, including the barbaric Partial Birth Abortion where a full-term baby is 95% of the way birthed and then aborted. Neither side is willing to give an inch and thus the battle rolls on into its 40th year.

So it is unfortunate that those already on Delaware's death row won't benefit by the new law - if it passes - but think of all the other lives that will be saved, so it's not perfect, but far better than neither side giving an inch and nothing getting done. Maybe AFTER this law is passed, then maybe there might be a way to save those 17 remaining souls on death row.

EarlGrey
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 8:43am
I disagree with the removal of the death penalty for proven violent killers and think the victims of these evil murderers have had justice taken from them. How often do we hear about the victims in these crimes and what was done to them by the killer? We rarely hear about the pain they (the innocent) suffered or what their families have had taken from them.

So, I shall continue to side with the innocent when it comes to the death penalty...including the yet-to-be-born innocents. I'm pro-life for the innocent and pro-death for proven guilty murderers.


mrpizza
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 8:44am
Time to round 'em all up and hang 'em!

billsmith
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 9:57am
The more science advances, the more we find out about people wrongly convicted of capital crimes, wrongly executed, or about to be wrongly executed.

Those who call for the death penalty are no better than those they want to have killed. The only difference between murderers and death penalty advocates is murderers have the balls to do their own killing. Just like those on the right who favor war but don't enlist.

And these so-called "victims" screaming for blood and calling it "justice:" (a) I don't care. (b) The previous paragraph applies to you. (c) Somebody (who may or may not have really done it) gets the needle. It won't make you feel better. Maybe if these so-called "Christians", who keep invoking religion, tried forgiveness, as Jesus recommended, then they would actually feel better. Hate and anger really take up a lot of time and energy.

Funny, how the Catholic Church cracks down on nuns who have opinions but not on big, important politicians.

Shawn
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 11:16am
Genesis 18:32 - "Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten [righteous men] be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."

If God will not destroy an entire evil city for the sake of so few righteous men, who are we to kill "evil men" if there is the chance of killing even one innocent?

John 8:7 - "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

EarlGrey, mrpizza... are your souls truly so pure?

Matt 5:38-39 - "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."

Jesus says not to follow the path of vengeance, but that of justice. The death penalty is the former, not the latter.

1 Peter 3:9 - "Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."

Killing a killer is repaying evil for evil.

Romans 12:19 - "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”"

Vengeance belongs solely to the Lord, not to us.

Luke 6:26 - "“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,"

Pretty sure killing someone is not loving or doing to good to your enemies.

EarlGrey - "I shall continue to side with the innocent"
How dare you imply I stand up for the guilty because I'm against the death penalty. I stand with the victims, the innocent, and the falsely-accused. Of course the perpetrators deserve punishment. But their punishment will not be blood on my hands in the form of state-run execution. Their ultimate punishment will come at the hand of a just God.

Funny how so many on the right scream "The Bible says so!" until you get to the death penalty. Lest we forget, Jesus was an innocent man subjected to the death penalty, too. Have a happy Holy Week!

billsmith
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 11:22am
No, Shawn. Jesus was clearly guilty of blasphemy as described in the Gospel accounts. Blasphemy was/is a capital crime under the Torah (Lev 24:16).

Shawn
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 11:34am
@billsmith: true, but the punishment for blasphemy stated in Leviticus is stoning, not crucifixion. My understanding is that crucifixion was a Roman punishment, not a Jewish one. So while Jesus may have been guilty of a Jewish crime, he was innocent of any Roman crime worthy of his sentence. At least, that's my understanding. But it's a fair point.

Then there's also the issue of all the other stoning-worthy "sins" stated in Leviticus, of which I'm guilty of quite a few.

EarlGrey
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 12:46pm
"Those who call for the death penalty are no better than those they want to have killed".

bill or mark,

First, your logic is tragically flawed...you have just elevated the murderer (guilty and convicted) above the deceased (innocent). Pathetic.
Actions have consequences in a law & order society...those who intentionally and willingly kill (and would glady do so again) deserve DEATH. A life sentence is not truly a life sentence many times...so how is this fair to the person killed or the family left behind (and now in danger of the released killer)?

"Thou shall not commit murder".
Murder is different than justice administered to a killer who has been convicted in a trial under our justice system.
True, both result in death, but only one has been given a trial, a lawyer, a judge and a looong appeals process. The person who was murdered had none of these luxuries. The murderer was judge, jury and executioner...for that the murderer should pay the price for his/her actions.

"The only difference between murderers and death penalty advocates is murderers have the balls to do their own killing."
Really? So, you would prefer vigilante justice vs. courts, judges, lawyers, and a jury? For you see, the actions you describe as having "intestinal fortitude" is a vigilante.

EarlGrey
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 1:07pm
shawn: I am faaaar from being a perfect individual, but that does not mean I am unable to discern between good and evil.

"Lest we forget, Jesus was an innocent man subjected to the death penalty, too. Have a happy Holy Week!"
Jesus was the ultimate example of the innocent dying for the guilty (like me and the rest of the world). He was THE most innocent person ever put to death! Jesus died between two guilty convicts and one of them believed in Him and joined Jesus later that day in heaven.
So, yes I believe the state should have the power to administer the penalty of death on the body of a killer...and also believe that same person can (if they believe in Christ) have their soul enter into heaven on the day of their execution.

"For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."~John 3:16

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 1:16pm
EarlGrey: That's the issue for me, our flawed government (representing us) sending someone to Hell, because they at that time still don't know Christ. Shawn did a good job at showing how Jesus set a new standard for us as his followers to follow and somehow I don't see Jesus saying off their their heads.

billsmith
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 1:16pm
EarlGrey: Don't twist what I said. I did not say I prefer vigilante justice. I said people who advocate the death penalty are no better than those they wish to kill (assuming those they wish to kill are in fact killers, which is a big "if").

The death penalty does not bring back the dead.

And the alleged killer also has a family and loved ones who are innocent victims.

Apparently, you are OK with people being wrongly executed. So don't talk to me about the death penalty unless you are willing when it comes out a person was wrongly convicted and executed to have the judge, DA and everyone on the jury get the needle, too.

People are most vehement to pass laws against things they'd really want to do themselves. With all your hatred and anger, you must really be tempted to kill someone.

The death penalty is one more reason the civilized world has such contempt for the United States.

This also shows that while Christians may think they get a "get out of hell free" card, it's clear Christianity does not make them better persons. The only true Christians are those holding prayer vigils outside the walls every time a state commits judicial murder to slake the blood lust of those of you who want to "round them up and hang them all."

EarlGrey
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 2:01pm
Mike: the person who goes through our legal system has ample time (years) to change their heart and find Christ....the person they killed did not have this time. So, again, I side with the victim, not the offender.


EarlGrey
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 2:58pm
"People are most vehement to pass laws against things they'd really want to do themselves. With all your hatred and anger, you must really be tempted to kill someone.

I am not hateful, angry, or murderous...I am, however, for the penalty fitting the degree of the crime.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 3:15pm
EarlGrey: I understand your point, but sending an additional person to hell is not the answer, that makes us no better than the criminal and guilty of practicing an eye for an eye type of justice from the Law that Jesus moved us away from. This is Law and Gospel that Luther was big on. The Law shows us how we fail to make the grade [our righteousness is like filthy rags next to God's, we aren't save by our works, etc]. The Gospel part is the mercy God gives us in spite of what we truly deserve.

I don't condemn you for your view on this [I had that same view for many years], but I just don't see Jesus advocating the death penalty and he is our standard. So even though in my flesh, it would be easy to say, off with their heads, my spirit tells me the Lord has a higher standard.

EarlGrey
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 3:45pm
Mike: As with many issues discussed here, we will simply have to agree to disagree (I respect your point of view but do not agree).

BTW, the only one sending an individual to hell is himself/herself. Each person has the Grace of God extended to him/her and must choose...unless you believe in predestination.

billsmith
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 4:16pm
You people seem to have an unjustified faith in the ability of lawyers playing their games to arrive at the truth (about anything).

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 8:17pm
EarlGrey: From what I've heard, most folks need about 7 folks to witness to them before they come to Christ. So that implies that most folks don't come to Christ the first few times they hear about it. My point is, who are we to decide a person doesn't get their opportunity to repent and come to Christ. A tough thing to accept, but if Hitler or Stalin had repented, they too could have become one of God's people and had even their sins forgiven. I agree, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

This is the basics of what Martin Luther taught:

Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Scripture Alone.

Sola Gratia [Grace Alone]

God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.

Sola Fide [Faith Alone]

By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.

Sola Scriptura [Scripture Alone]

The Bible is God's inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.


markrice
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 8:47pm
Pizza and Earl... I guess you boys missed me. I'm touched. Also you must think there's nobody else who despises tea baggers. Wrong.

mrpizza
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 9:00pm
billsmith: The more science advances, the more we're able to prove the real killer guilty as charged. Therefore, we should be able to apply the death penalty with confidence as never before.

EarlGrey
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 10:10pm
mark: apparently all this time away has not changed your ways in the least...guess it's true, the leopard can't change its spots.

billsmith
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 7:51am
MrPizza: Theoretically, but instead the more we find out people were wrongly convicted (or executed). And the more we hear stories about people in labs tampering with the evidence or with lab results.

The US is the last "first world" or industrial country to retain this barbaric practice, which, with all its ritual, is the coldest of cold-blooded killings.

The question is why are you, and those like you, so eager to kill? A little self-examination might be in order.

EarlGrey
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 7:57am
Republican Sen. Greg Lavelle summed up my opinion pretty well..."I just think, it as an option, it should be used in rare occasions with good evidence against heinous criminals, and that's why I voted against the bill," says Lavelle.

EarlGrey
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 8:03am
"The question is why are you, and those like you, so eager to kill? A little self-examination might be in order."

Should this also be applied to those so blindly pro-abortion? Have you seen what science now enables parents to view in the mothers womb at an extremely early age? No longer do we have to look at an ultrasound and attempt to see the little developing human...we can now clearly view the 3D image of an extremely small child (not mere tissue).

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 8:08am
MarkRice: Welcome back.

As you have observed, since you left, Kavips and Billsmith have joined our ranks as "regulars" of the discussion here.

We haven't heard from Pennsy for quite some time. There are some other occasional voices that drop in from time to time that are new since we last heard from you. Anyhow, welcome back.

Shawn
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 8:49am
EarlGrey: How does your response to me actually address my main point? That you claim to be Christian, and get so many of your daily answers from the Bible, yet the Bible clearly states in the passages that I reference that vengeance (which is all state-sanctioned murder is) is wrong? Yes, I get it, you "stand with the victims" (which I again say how dare you claim that I don't???) and believe that the penalty should fit the crime. But that's not what the Bible says! If you're so vehement in using the Bible to prove your way on other arguments, how do you ignore it on this one? None of your replies explain that discrepancy. Your quote of John 3:16 is great for everlasting life, but bears no relevance to the topic of state-sanctioned murder.

billsmith
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 9:36am
Shawn: Nice thing about the Bible. You can find justification for almost anything. Passages that contradict other passages. Passages obscure enough to mean almost anything. All together, this makes the Bible infallible.

Shawn
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 9:57am
@billsmith: Oh I know this. Which is why I tend to not use the Bible as the basis for any argument I make, unless it's to prove the double-standard used by those who do take it at literal face-value.

billsmith
Fri, Mar 29, 2013 8:07am
DailyMail.co.uk
"Truth at last for man wrongfully jailed for 25 YEARS for killing his wife as the real killer is found guilty

Mark Alan Norwood, 58, convicted today of capital murder for the 1986 beating death of Christine Morton, who was attacked in her north Austin home
He has been sentenced to life in prison
Morton's husband, Michael, was initially convicted in her death in 1987
After 25 years in prison, he was exonerated and freed in 2011 after new DNA testing was done on a bloody bandanna found near the couple's home."
Judge Ken Anderson is waiting to hear if he faces criminal charges for the wrongful conviction

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300199/Mark-Alan-Norwood-convicted-Man-guilty-murdering-Texas-woman-husband-Michael-Morton-wrongfully-convicted-slaying-spent-nearly-25-years-prison.html#ixzz2OvhaU0dT

Rick Perry, Dubya and other Texas politicians love killing people. The DA his exculpatory evidence from the defense (not uncommon) and is now a judge.


EarlGrey
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 12:44pm
John 8:7 - "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
I am not casting stones/nor am I sinless…but we have laws (many based on the Ten Commandments) that have penalties for the breakage of said laws.

Matt 5:38-39 - "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."
Jesus says not to follow the path of vengeance, but that of justice. The death penalty is the former, not the latter.

Your definition of vengeance is getting confused with that of justice. Vengeance is killing/harming out of anger….justice is not vengeance.
Just curious…do you believe God will judge who goes to heaven and who goes to hell at His final Judgement?

1 Peter 3:9 - "Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."
Again, evil is not being repaid for evil in the death penalty. And as I have said ad infinitum I think the ultimate penalty of death should be reserved only for those who have committed heinous murders, with no doubts by any that the accused is/are guilty. The case that comes to my mind as an example occurred in Connecticut…two men broke into a man’s house, raped/tortured/murdered the man’s wife and daughter in front of him (after beating him to near death and tying him to a chair)…they then set the house on fire... and they captured all this on their own phones. Murderers like those two men deserve to be judged here on earth, receive their proper penalty here and soon after meet their Final Judgement.

And, sorry if you feel offended by my interpretation of what the Bible has to say about the death penalty, but we will also probably disagree on the Bible’s definition of marriage and on the rights granted to those too young to speak for themselves in the womb.

So Shawn, we will simply have to agree to disagree and each continue on our own quest to understand how God’s Word applies to our lives each and every day.

God bless and peace to you.

EarlGrey
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 12:46pm
1 Peter 3:9 - "Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."

Again, evil is not being repaid for evil in the death penalty. And as I have said ad infinitum I think the ultimate penalty of death should be reserved only for those who have committed heinous murders, with no doubts by any that the accused is/are guilty. The case that comes to my mind as an example occurred in Connecticut…two men broke into a man’s house, raped/tortured/murdered the man’s wife and daughter in front of him (after beating him to near death and tying him to a chair)…they then set the house on fire... and they captured all this on their own phones. Murderers like those two men deserve to be judged here on earth, receive their proper penalty here and soon after meet their Final Judgement.

And, sorry if you feel offended by my interpretation of what the Bible has to say about the death penalty, but we will also probably disagree on the Bible’s definition of marriage and on the rights granted to those too young to speak for themselves in the womb.

So Shawn, we will simply have to agree to disagree and each continue on our own quest to understand how God’s Word applies to our lives each and every day.

God bless and peace to you.

Shawn
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 2:28pm
John 8:7 - "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
I am not casting stones/nor am I sinless…but we have laws (many based on the Ten Commandments) that have penalties for the breakage of said laws.


Ah, but you are casting stones! If you condone the death penalty, you are just as culpable for that person's death as the person who actually throws the switch/presses the button. You decided it was ok for the government to be in the business of killing people. You may not have physically thrown the stone, but you made it possible for the stone to be thrown. I do not want the death of another person, heinously sinful as they may be, on my conscience. So I must speak out in an attempt to prevent their death.

Your definition of vengeance is getting confused with that of justice. Vengeance is killing/harming out of anger….justice is not vengeance.

WRONG! The definition of vengeance from merriam-webster.com: punishment inflicted in retaliation for an injury or offense : retribution. There is no anger, implicit or implied, in that definition. Simply retribution. So again I say, the death penalty is vengeance - a punishment inflicted as a form of retribution. There is no justice in vengeance, only trying to "get back" or "get even" with someone who wronged you.

Just curious…do you believe God will judge who goes to heaven and who goes to hell at His final Judgement?

Yes, but either way, I don't see how that fits into a conversation about whether the Bible agrees or conflicts with the idea of executions. What God does with your soul is between you and God. God is the only one who can judge your soul ("Judge not lest ye be judged."). And only God gets to decide when it's time for someone's soul to come to God for judgment.

And as I have said ad infinitum I think the ultimate penalty of death should be reserved only for those who have committed heinous murders, with no doubts by any that the accused is/are guilty.

Even if I were to agree with you in these extreme cases, what about all the others who are currently sitting on death row? Who don't have that kind of damning evidence? What about Tom Capano (admittedly, already dead, but as an example)? There was no body, no 100% damning proof that he did it. But a jury and judge decided his crime was worthy of the death penalty. And you are certain, 100%, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he should have received it? 100% guilty, no possible chance of an error? I feel pretty good that Capano was guilty, but I'm still not willing to take that chance.

...but we will also probably disagree on the Bible’s definition of marriage and on the rights granted to those too young to speak for themselves in the womb.

You're missing my point. I'm not using the Bible to back up my opinion. I'm using it to dispute yours. You say you are a Christian, someone who uses the Bible to back up and justify your beliefs and opinions. But there are so many excerpts from the Bible that are against capital punishment, I'm trying to understand how you reconcile the two. If it were simply, you're pro-death penalty and I'm against, I'd be fine with "agree to disagree." But I honestly can't grasp how someone can use the Bible to back up so much of their life, and yet ignore one of the most basic tenents of the Bible: THOU SHALT NOT KILL. Whether someone "deserves it" or not, killing is killing.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 3:25pm
EarlGrey: I'm reading these passages you cite, and frankly I don't see what you're seeing. I read them and don't do evil for evil, eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, etc. No vengeance. The Death Penalty is society acting in a vengeful way, paying eye for eye and tooth for tooth, you killed, so we'll kill you.

The victims families want closure or vengeance, they want to get even, or inflict the same pain on the perp's family as was inflicted on theirs.

One shining example of someone following Christ was when that Amish school was attacked. The Amish woman, who went to the family of the killer and forgave them,showed us all what Christ was talking about. Even the media couldn't spin that in some negative way, because what she did was so powerful and so unlike what usually happens.

I truly don't believe Jesus ever advocated the death penalty, and he is our standard.

I won't disagree that it costs more money to house those folks for life than it would be to simply have a quick trial, one appeal and then shoot them [obviously the current system is more expensive as the lawyers make millions defending these folks for many appeals], but this isn't about doing what is the least expensive, but doing what is right and I just don't see Jesus ANYWHERE saying to kill our enemies.

EarlGrey
Tue, Apr 2, 2013 11:54am
1 Peter 2:13-14
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right”

Romans 13:1-4
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

Acts 25:11
“If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”

Also, in the John8:7 quote “He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone”…Jesus knew that the woman’s accusers were guilty of the very thing that they condemned her for supposedly doing. He knew they were all guilty of the same thing. (Romans 2:1…”You who judge practice the same things”)

And, both Matthew 5:39 (turn the other cheek) and Romans 12:14 (repay no one evil for evil) teach that Christians are not to take the law into their own hands and engage in “vengeful retaliation”. The Amish example from Mike fits this description…the Amish forgave the family of the murderer…yet had he not killed himself, the state would have prosecuted him for his crimes.

Shawn
Tue, Apr 2, 2013 2:32pm
And thus we move to my secondary argument, as I said it to billsmith above! You have found Biblical quotes that seem to support your view of allowing the death penalty to continue. I have pointed out many excerpts that seem to support my view against the death penalty. So which do we believe? Which does the Bible actually support? You'll say yours, I'll say mine. So what good does a discussion that uses the Bible as the foundation of your argument actually accomplish?

But alas, it's what is used for such arguments, so we continue...

Think about what your Peter and Romans quotes could be used to argue! Submit to every human authority? Even human authorities who are promoting obviously wrong actions? The genocide in Darfur? The Salem Witch Trials? Slavery in the Confederate states during the Civil War? These are extreme examples, I know. But if you submit to every human authority "for the Lord's sake", then when human authority is wrong, you're doing wrong for the Lord's sake. Huh? By that logic, you should be ok with abortion, because the American "human authority" has decided it's ok. Aren't we first and foremost supposed to stand up for what is right and just?

Your Acts quote is great for a righteous man who is willing to give his life for what he believes in, as Paul was. He was willing to become a martyr and die for Jesus. It was Paul's decision to lay down his life in his innocence. Not nearly the same situation as a Tom Capano. I'm sorry, I just don't see that quote proving your point.

Your reference to John 8:7 - that's your interpretation, and one I would call tragically flawed. By that reading, if there had been one single person in that audience who had not committed adultery, that person would have been ok to throw the first stone, and everyone else could then join and finish the execution. Do you REALLY believe that's what Jesus wanted? It reads "let he who is without sin...", not "let he who has not also committed adultery..."

But again, this is why basing our government and our reasoning on a reading of the Bible is doomed to failure... because as we're seeing on just this one issue, it can be used to argue both sides. It's all open to interpretation. Who's to say your interpretation is right and mine is wrong, or vice versa?

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 4, 2013 8:18am
For me, the issue of sending someone to Hell makes that not something I want on my hands. I understand why the secular government might choose to execute these folks, but in my spirit, I don't believe it is what Jesus would do.


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