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Contra capital punishment; evaluation of statistics and arguments

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Contra capital punishment; evaluation of statistics and arguments

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  • March 12, 2006
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China, Iran, Vietnam, America, and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps this list of countries, including the world's largest communist nation and a Muslim nation comparable to a nuclear time bomb, would seem odd to include the United States of America as an element, but it should not. This list of countries reveals something that has gone terribly wrong in America, a nation which, supposedly, stands for certain "unalienable rights" of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." This is a ranking, beginning with the Republic of China, of nations that executed the largest number of citizens in 2004 via capital punishment ("Facts and Figures on the Death Penalty"). As young persons of America, we must be alarmed at the systematic and governmental destruction of our fellow citizens. As Kofi Anon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, sardonically inquired, "Does it make sense for the state to hire murderers to kill defenseless victims on death row, in order to prove that hiring murderers to kill defenseless victims is morally wrong?" In the not-so-distant future, we will be inheriting the reigns of the federal, state, and local governments, and now is the time for us to insure that we are not inheriting the reigns of death. We must firmly reject these reigns and realize that capital punishment is historically unchristian, economically disadvantageous, and socially prejudicial, standing as a perverse monument of a truly horrific past.

Any knowledge whatsoever of the early Christian writers reveals a profound disgust for capital punishment, a tool of decidedly pagan rulers. The fourth century writer, Lactantius, comments:

For when God forbids us to kill, He not only prohibits us from open violence, which is not even allowed by the public laws, but He warns us against the commission of those things which are esteemed lawful among men. Thus it will be neither lawful for a just man to engage in warfare...nor to accuse any one of a capital charge....Therefore, with...