Oct 22, 2014 |
Inside Out 76: Death Penalty
A majority of Americans say they support capital punishment, according to a 2010 Gallup poll. Yet it’s a fact that juries continue to be wary of sentencing people to die. Perhaps it is a reflection of our wariness of the death penalty that in March 2011, Illinois became the 16th state to ban capital punishment. In signing the abolition bill, Illinois governor Pat Quinn stated that it is the “right and just thing” to punish those who commit heinous crimes with life in prison without parole instead of the death penalty.
How does God want us to deal with those who commit the worst of crimes? How does the Bible address the issue, and is the American church looking for answers in its pages? I recently introduced the subject of the death penalty to a gathering of high school and college students, and what I heard ranged from “Only God should take a life,” to “Some crimes are so heinous that the criminal deserves death.” I’m guessing that you’ve heard the same range of comments in your own conversations.
What do you believe? On what do you base your belief?
To inform our discussion, I was able to speak with Dr. James W. Skillen. Jim directed the Center for Public Justice from 1981 through 2009 and is the author of numerous books on political thought, statecraft and public policy. For more information on Jim, log on to cpjustice.org.
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