The Death Penalty

A high profile murder case in our Kansas City metro area that ended with a guilty verdict and (this just in today) death sentence for Lisa Montgomery has got me thinking about the death penalty again. Lisa's offence was pretty gruesome.. murdering a pregnant woman and cutting the baby from her body so that she could be a "mother". Lisa's attorneys argued insanity and I thought that, even though she was convicted of first degree murder, Lisa would receive a life sentence.. seemed the humane thing to do. Possibly the sentencing was a reflection of the gruesome nature of this murder.. I am not sure.. the jury heard all of the evidence and decide on a death sentence.

At one time I was pro-death-penalty. With the advent of DNA testing and the overturn of sentences for several death row inmates I have begun to wonder how much evidence shoud be required for a death penlty conviction. Now, for sure, I am not advocating a pro-death-penalty position.. I am actually now undecided on this issue.. just wondering how much evidence should be required to give someone the death penalty.


  1. "Peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication. It's like telling someone murder is wrong and then showing them by way of execution." Derek Webb My Enemies Are Men Like Me

    That's how I feel about the death penalty.

    But to ponder the issue of evidence, the DNA issue is tough because a very smart criminal knows how not to leave any. DNA evidence could be present, but the person could still walk. (O.J., anyone? Lots of blood DNA of his was present at the scene. Blood DNA at a murder scene is very different that other types of DNA at a murder scene, I think.)

    A person's DNA at the scene only proves that they were there, not that they committed the crime. It would be nice if prayer were a part of the system. We rely too much on what we think and feel instead of allowing God guiding us.

    But separation of church and state is a part of why our founding fathers made the constitution the way they did, and why they wanted to leave England in the first place.

  2. Great comment Stephanie. I guess it gets down to the whole concept of what the role of civil government is.

    Is it any less moral to incarcerate someone for life than to kill them? If so then what kind of conditions should exist in prison for a person that willfully took anothers life? Is a life of very hard slave-like labor okay or does our prison systems have to a bit more comfortable even for a convicted murderer? I guess it depends on whether one believes that a life prison sentence is a deterrent for a person contemplating murder.

    No easy answers as far as I am concerned.. I don't like the death penalty but I also don't like the alternative life imprisonment.

  3. That is a very interesting question, and one that I have been thinking about for a while (sporadically) I have to say that my opinion train has followed the same track as you. I felt such a strong sense of justice was needed in some cases that the death penalty was more than suitable, but as of late that opinion has begun to wane and I am now against it. A good site to visit on the subject is:
    Then there is the aspect of God. From a Christian point of view, I have to say I don't think that it is God's heart for us to kill each other after all, God said that those who hate are guilty of murder, and if we can be redeemed then so can anyone. Two good sites on redemption are:
    That is just my two cents...

  4. The difficulty in your questions KB, is that ultimately we are talking about "degrees" of sin.

    It;s a sin to kill someone, and it's also equally sinful to hold someone as a slave. Sin is sin, right? That's what we've all been taught. Expect that I believe sin is sin in God's eyes. Maybe we need to look at punishments for crimes (that are in fact sins) from a different perspective. I don't know if that's an answer, but maybe it's a place to start.

    Life in prison gives us more of a chance to reform a person, to lead them to Christ, to allow God to work in their life.


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