Capital punishment can also refer to as the death penalty or execution. It is done upon conviction by a court of law for a criminal offense. It is administered through lethal injection, electrocution, hanging, gas chamber, or a firing squad (Anandavenu, 2019). Some of the transgressions resulting in capital punishment are carjacking, or kidnapping results in death, murder, and causing death by using an illegal firearm. Capital punishment is aimed at deterring others from committing the crime and protecting society although the question of whether it is morally acceptable to convict an offender with capital punishment has for centuries raised ethical concerns.
Capital punishment has faced contemporary arguments from different groups. These groups have aired their perspectives on the morality and effects of the death penalty on criminal behavior (Odoudom et al., 2019). Some argue that capital punishment is an alternative to long-term imprisonment. Others have held the view that convictions may be done unfairly based on racial issues. The enduring period before execution is done on the offender is cruel. Another group has aired its perspective that the death penalty is a form of retribution reinforcing the moral indignation of the law-abiding citizens and the offender or victim’s relatives.
Christianity teaches that sin is part of human nature and so is committing a crime. It goes against convicting a human being of capital punishment. According to the sixth Commandment, it is said to be wrong to commit murder: “you shall not murder.” (New King James Bible, 2021, Exodus, 20:13). Christianity emphasizes the need for forgiving the sins of others as they believe that God forgives them for their sins and are warned against taking revenge when wronged. “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”(New King James Bible, 2021, Matthew, 18:21-22). Criminals should be allowed to reform but not be subjected to death.
However, some Christians argue it is fair to convict an offender for the death penalty to maintain order in society. They believe that the safety of other community members is paramount. Others believe in retribution and cite, “but if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth., hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” (New King James Bible, 2021, Exodus 21:23-25).
This verse has placed them in a situation where they take vengeance for an offense and hit back when hit. Some religious denominations also seem to have supported the endorsement of the death penalty, as seen in Article 37 of the 39 Articles of the Church of England which states that “the Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death for heinous and grievous offenses.” (Udoudom et al., 2019). However, the reformers later argued that execution would only be done if necessary, as all human life is sacred.
In my opinion, as a Christian human life is valuable and no one has the right to be deprived of the value of their life. If the offense done warrants the death penalty, then the offender can be given time to reform or rehabilitate, and if they fail to do so, then long-term or life imprisonment can be issued. Deterrence hoping that the threat of punishment can deter people from committing transgressions warranting the death penalty can be done. Also, reparation can be done as a form of punishment. However, retribution should be discouraged.
Anandavenu, V., (2019). Capital Punishment. International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, 3(2), 494-496. Web.
New King James Version Bible. (2021). Web.
Udoudom, M. D., Bassey, S. A., Okpe, O., & Adie, T. (2019). Kantian and Utilitarian Ethics on Capital Punishment. Budapest International Research and Critics Institute (BIRCI-Journal): Humanities and Social Sciences, 2(2), 28-35. Web.