Thou Shall Not Kill and the Death Penalty

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Depending on which Christian faith one claims, either Protestant or Catholic, the Commandment to not kill is either 5th or 6th on the list of things that God does not condone. It doesn’t rank as high as Love the Lord or Obeying Parents, but it is in the top 10. However, there are many ways that this particular commandment can be broken, and even though Moses came down off the mountain 1,000’s of years ago, this is still a top social concern of 2018.

A recent poll listed the death penalty as the number eight issue for 2018. Though it is not in use as much here in the states, it is still part of many possible sentences that prosecutors dangle whenever there is a particularly heinous crime. Many states have converted over to life without parole, but there are still many that do allow this sentence to be imposed and it is carried out after the appeals process as run its course. The question is, however, how can we justify the taking of one life in atonement for the loss of another?

The idea of killing someone in cold blood is a thought to terrible for most reasonable people to contemplate. How a killer ever conceives and then carries out such actions is incomprehensible to the vast majority of human beings. Unfortunately, evil does exist in the world and too often, an innocent person loses his or her chance at a full life based on the actions of a deranged individual.

The death penalty is usually reserved for only the most gruesome or detestable crimes. The murder of public servants such as police and emergency responders will usually bring along the possibility of the killer facing death. Likewise, certain premeditated killings or those that target children will also carry the greatest possible punishment.

The question for opponents and even true Christians should be; how does the taking of another life make any sense? The one who is sentenced is then denied the opportunity to redeem his or her actions. He or she is also spared the lifetime of pain reflecting on the loss that he or she brought by his or her own actions. Being denied freedom to life in the manner one chooses while being locked in a cage is a heavy price to pay.

Does imposing the death sentence make government officials culpable of murder, too? How about the people whose job entails carrying out the sentence? Aren’t they also guilty of murder? While the crime of murder is in and of itself a purely despicable act, two wrongs do not make a right. While it may sound like the ultimate justice, government sanctioned killing is still murder. Furthermore, studies have tended to show that the possibility of facing a death sentence is not a strong deterrent for the majority of criminals who seem hell bent (pun intended) on the path of evil they have chosen for themselves.


Writer Bio:  Angela Mose

I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years.  I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia.  A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.

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