The sacredness of life has been taught for centuries. One can find it's teachings throughout western history. This reverence for life is often cited to oppose the death penalty. 'Those who base their opposition to the death penalty on moral grounds argue that life is sacred and killing is always wrong, whether it is done by an individual or by the state.' (Honeyman .3) It is safe to say that most of us would agree that our lives are precious, and even sacred. Most of us also agree that killing is wrong. But not to punish a criminal that takes the life of another with the ultimate punishment, that being death, is to devalue all human life. Miller shows, 'To punish a murderer by incarcerating him as one does a pickpocket cannot but cheapen human life. Murder differs in quality from other crimes and deserves, therefore a punishment that differs in quality from other punishments.' (87) By not giving criminals the proper quality of punishment, we send the wrong message to our society. We ignore the gravity of the crime by a mere slap on the hand and a trip through a revolving door. 'To refuse to punish any crime with death is to suggest that the negative value of a crime can never exceed the positive value of the life of the person who committed it.' (Miller .88) We've all heard the saying that actions speak loader than words. The fore mentioned viewpoint demonstrates a lack of value for the victims life.
The Bible has always been a source of moral foundations for western civilization. God set forth his word as a guide by which to live our lives. These commandments have stood the test of time. The above viewpoint that holds killing by the state as wrong may site the ten commandments as source. 'Thou shall not kill.' But if one takes this commandment in context it clearly means, 'Thou shall not murder.' Even in the ancient times, God demanded retribution for bloodshed. In Genesis 9:6, God's word says 'whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed.' ( NIV) This scripture explains that wrong doers must face the consequences of their actions. In accordance with the Bible, all authority is instituted by God. The government bears all responsibility in punishing the criminal. In Romans 13 scripture reveals, 'he who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted...he (government) does not bear the sword for nothing. He is gods servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.'(NIV13: 24) Here we see that God intended the government institutions to carry out punishment of criminals. It also shows that if we are not strict...