In that debate I took a much harder line for the anti capital punishment debate than I actually feel, for the sake of good debate. No, I don’t support it – however, I understand how someone could justify it. Biblically, there is some support for the pro capital punishment stance. Read the Old Testament. This article was brought up, which is an effective (but somewhat incomplete) encapsulation of the Biblical support for pro capital punishment. The core of the argument is this:
The reason the death penalty is pro-life is that it puts the highest possible value on the life of the person murdered by exacting the life of the person who violated that value by murdering. It’s a strong way to say, “It is not OK for one human being to take the life of another. If you murder, you forfeit your own life because the person you killed is so valuable.”
I hear that. However, I don’t know that I am comfortable with humans making that judgment. First of all, that logic would require the death penalty for all who commit murder, which is just nowhere near practical or ethical. Second, if we are judging the value of human life, we must also take into account the value of the victim. If the murderer commits his crime in the midst of gang violence, for instance, it’s probable that the victim was also involved in the same violence. Does that then remove fault from the murderer, as he has served punishment to another?
I don’t believe it is ever okay for us to remove the most basic of rights. However, I was asked if I could support a pro – capital punishment candidate. The answer is yes. Here is the difference.The adult has had the opportunity to make a choice. The innocence of a fetus should not be subject to judgment.
More importantly, for every capital punishment that takes place, there are about 10,000 abortions. There were roughly 1.2 million abortions in America in 2007. The same year, 115 people received capital punishment. There is hardly a comparison. The widespread nature of abortion deserves more attention than the capital punishment issue. While I would disagree with a capital punishment stance, and see the inconsistency in supporting it while fighting abortion, support of capital punishment is not a dealbreaker in my eyes.