Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Capital Punishment

***Before you read any further please know that I'm writing this blog based on my own opinions and views. If you disagree or have different opinions take it up in the comment section. Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one.***

After the execution of John Allen Muhammad I have many thoughts about the views of others. Do I think that Muhammad was a monster? Of course. Do I believe that he got what he deserved? Of course not. I'm absolutely do not believe in capital punishment. The past 24 hours or so I have been having conversations about whether capital punishment is wrong. I've been getting mixed reviews.

I feel like it is no man's place on Earth to judge whether another man lives or dies. That is for God to decide.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:7).

This is not to say that adultery is the same as murder but is all sin not equal? In the Old Testament the Bible describes various sins that are punishable by death. These include kidnapping (Exodus 21:16), bestiality (Exodus 22:19), adultery (Leviticus 20:10), homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13). Based on this a lot more people in this world deserve to die then.

Another issue I have with people who are for capital punishment is if you were given the choice to pull the lever, inject the needle, let the gas in the chamber, etc. could you? If you couldn't because your conscious or religious beliefs couldn't/wouldn't let you physically take another life then I don't think you are really for the death penalty. In a way it is being cowardice because you want an individual to die but you just don't have the balls to do it yourself.

What about those people that have been wrongly accused of crimes and were sentenced to death? Yeah I know they all say they didn't do it but what about those cases when they actually didn't? It happens a lot more than you think, click this here to see some statistics. Here are two examples:

Earl Washington, a Virginia man with limited mental capacity, was sentenced to death after he allegedly confessed to committing a 1982 murder he didn't commit. He served a decade on death row, once coming within nine days of execution before receiving a stay. He would serve a total of 17 years behind bars before DNA testing obtained by the Innocence Project cleared him in 2000.

Frank Lee Smith died of cancer on Florida’s death row after serving 14 years for a murder and rape he didn't commit. He was cleared by DNA testing obtained by the Innocence Project 11 months after his death.

Where is the justice for these men? What if they were actually executed then who should answer to God for that? I wonder how many people in this country have actually been executed for a crime that they didn't commit.

Yesterday on twitter I saw a barrage of tweets that really had me questioning people's moral integrity. People actually went in on a girl who asked for other to pray for Muhammad. How can you actually get mad at someone who asks to for prayers for another individual? I don't care how much evil that many has done. Once he passes over into the next life he has to answer to whatever higher being he worships.

Do you believe in Capital Punishment? Are you glad that John Allen Muhammad was executed? Am I being overly sensitive? Do you care either way?


Anonymous said...

As the Bible reads, God is merciful; unfortunately, this world will never know where Muhammad has passed on to. God forgives even in the last hour...I don't understand the morale behind capital punishment. I think people support it because they "think" they know Hell is the place for such crimes, but only our God can judge those gates! You're a good one, b/c I can't even engage in convo about this issue in a tactful way:-/

Janina Jeff said...

Interesting thoughts. I have to agree with you. Last night while watching clips I thought to myself who actually administers the drug? Could I pull the trigger? Up until I asked myself this question I was all for criminal punishment. I figured what's the harm in killing one person who took the lives of many. But the truth is all sin is equal in the eyes of God.
There are many sick people in the world and we are so judgmental on them. Never do we sit back and wonder how it may feel to not be able to control your thoughts and actions. Never do we put ourselves in their shoes and ask the same questions. I personally think there needs to be preventative actions taken early in childhood to prevent such monsters from being created. For example the teenage Miami cat killer
What justice is being serve by killing someone who probably wants or doesn't care about dying anyway.

Jubilance said...

Reasons why Jubi is against the death penalty:

-Its hypocritical to kill someone to send a message that killing is wrong.
-States spend an INSANE amount on their death row inmates. For example, CA spends $137 million ANNUALLY to house ~670 death row inmates. CA doesn't even do 1 execution per year, so what are they really getting for that $137 million? Keep in mind that if a criminal is sentenced to life in prison w/o parole, the average length of time they live in prison is 40 years. It costs on average ~$1 million to house a prisoner who has no chance of parole for 40 years. Clearly its MUCH cheaper to do away with the death penalty, especially when essentials like education are being cut. Remember, CA did not cut its budget for the prisoners on death row. Also look at state's like GA, who don't have enough money to pay for public defenders and other personnel in capital punishment cases, which results in those inmates staying in jail without even having a trial. What is that solving, beyond wasting money and resources that could be used other places.
-Finally, my biggest reason why I don't support the death penalty is that man is fallible. Look at the number of men who have been released due to DNA or other issues with their cases. TX most likely executed an innocent man, and now the governor is trying to sweep it under the rug. Its way too easy for a person to be convicted & executed for a crime they did not commit, and that's not justice.

Coco Butter said...

such a timely blog post. i loved the opening cartoon. classic. who are we to judge anyone. sin is sin, which the Word says is punishable by death. but we must rejoice that He came so that we will not succumb to what we really deserve in this life! Hallelujah to that!!! anywho, i do pray for his family and loved ones. the taking of his life will not bring back the lives of those that were lost 7 years ago. we all should live and let live. let us worry about our own salvation and destiny, not the next man's. i'm in no way excusing his actions, but i nor anyone else is any position to condemn or kill! so, in summation, i agree with Like A Dream...

NightFall914 said...

Do I believe in Capital Punishment for some crimes yes. I feel no happiness for Allen's execution but I don't feel sorry for him either.

I don't think it's over sensitivity to think over and battle with a topic like this.It just shows you have a conscience.

No man has the right to decide who lives and dies.But once you compete murder you've broken that so now is it "do onto others..." or "forgiveness is divine."

Tunde said...

Anonymous: "God forgives even in the last hour"

- this is where i'm at with it. if God is capable of forgiving such harsh transgressions then who am i (we) to be ready to damn someone to the lake of fire?

Janina: "Last night while watching clips I thought to myself who actually administers the drug?"

- i promise i used to believe "an eye for an eye". but i know that if i ever took a life i would never be the same person after. that's a really big thing. you didn't make that life so how can people be so adamant on taking one?

Jubilance: you put another spin on why the death penalty is wrong. with all the problems with the budget and this recession, that money wasted could go towards so many other things that are positive.

as far as that case in texas, of course the governor is going to try to sweep the issue under the rug. who wants to be known as the guy that could have saved an innocent man but didn't? don't get me started on justice either. lol that's another blog post in itself.

coco butter: yeah i had to stick that cartoon in there. it summed up how i felt perfectly.

"but we must rejoice that He came so that we will not succumb to what we really deserve in this life!"

man say that again because if you truly believed Jesus died for our sins then you CAN'T believe that another man can judge whether someone lives or dies in this life (at least that's my opinion).

Nightfall914: it's cool if you believe in capital punishment. i'm not trying to push my beliefs down the throats of others (pause). just wanted to get some stuff of my chest.

Ni_Ti said...

I don't believe in Capital Punishment. Final Judgement is and should be left up to God to decide point blank...

Ummm, I've been away from civilization cuz of my studies, Who is John Allen Muhummad? LOL (To be honest, I could care less)

Tunde said...

Ni_Ti: John Allen Muhummad is the DC Sniper.

Anonymous said...

You are a scientist Tunde, why are you referencing the bible and God in your argument?

So, no exceptions? Not even the architects of genocides? What if a serial pedophile raped, murdered, and mutilated your child and told you to your face how much he enjoyed it during his confession? Would you really care what others think about capital punishment?

UVaCNL2008 said...

Should science trump personal ethical values...?

Coco Butter said...

question: What does science have to do with anything? i'm a scientist. and i love the Lord! so what is your point? i'm not getting this at all! smh...

Reecie said...

I am against the death penalty. for my spiritual reasons and those Jubilance listed. I work in the criminal justice system, but not corrections and I know that the average person sits on death row for 13 years before execution. Why was Muhammad executed so quickly? things to make you go hmmm. Even as I chose this field because I believe in righting the wrongs of our faulty system, this is a BIG wrong. Man should not play God, and people that are so quick to say "he deserves to die" and have no thought for another human life is absolutely disheartening to me. I know its easy for me to say that being as none of my loved ones have been murdered, raped, tortured--but even then, wishing someone was dead and finding that to be an acceptable punishment is a totally different thing. How many times have we in a fit of anger wished someone was dead? How many of us would actually go thru with killing them though? not many. I have compassion first, and even though I believe in paying the punishment for the crime--murder is never the right punishment. TX first and VA second have the highest number of executions. I really makes me uneasy to know innocent people may have lost their lives do to the inadequacies of our justice system.

Anonymous said...


No. Ethics, like science, should evaluate without invoking divinity.

Tunde said...

Anonymous (2nd One): so because i'm a scientist i can't have faith in God? is that what you're asking?

i also believe i made myself clear. no exceptions. as far as the scenario you gave i'm glad you could come up with such a vivid example to get me to change my viewpoint. but alas i still hold steadfast. i don't belief in capital punishment. any more questions?

UVaCNL2008: exactly what i want to know.

Reecie: "How many times have we in a fit of anger wished someone was dead? How many of us would actually go thru with killing them though?"

- things that make you go hmm.

Candice said...

I can understand the reasoning behind capital punishment...prison over crowding, public outcry the mere cost of housing someone for the rest of their life.

I do also believe that no one sin has more merit than another....that being said a crime is a crime and though some are far more deplorable than others who am I to dictate that a person must die for their actions? I am not God.

DJ GQ/ Martian Man Hunter said...

God forgives but he also said the wages of sin is death. Now if you remove capital punishment, how would you punish those who have committed these heinous crimes? Life in jail? three square meals a day, health care, and no longer having to take care of yourself. Doesn't seem fitting

Ms. Sylaneous said...

My take on this:

It's crazy that I used to think that if somebody was crazy enough or bold enough to take a life his/her life should also be taken. Then- I grew up. Even crazier how I think a movie helped me change my mind about how I felt about capital punishment (mind you, I didn't say it changed my mind, it just assisted in my mental transformation about it..) The movie was the Green Mile.. (possibly random, but hey... it is what it is).

*I'd also like to know what being a scientist has to do with belief in God. (I'm hoping it was asked in a sarcastic way).

*Candice: Umm I see where you're coming from. Jails are packed, and tax payers are funding all of this stuff... sounds like a good idea to kill some off to make more room, huh? Sad thing is, I think even if I did believe in capital punishment, and advocated it, no matter how many who were executed, the jail population wouldn't decrease because the problem is preventing them from getting in there, not killing them to make more room for more. And I do agree, we can't say we're Christ like and judge a person's fate... death. I'm far from perfect, but I do try to do the right things. I'm certainly going to leave that judging thing to God- like you said!

*DJ- you said that God said the wages of sin is death. (I agree). You asked if capital punishment is removed how would the criminals be punished- with 3 square meals a day? Then you said 'it doesn't seem fitting does it?' (I agree)... I pose to you, that if the wages of sin is death, we'd all be dead. I'm pretty darn sure than nobody who's commented on this post is sin-free. I'm glad that those I've wronged have forgiven me (or at least I hope), and I'm glad that God has and keeps forgiving me...or else I'd be 6 feet under... with some of you I'm sure. As humans we tend to classify sins as 'bad' or 'not as bad'. Yeah, some sins committed are punishable by prison terms. Others are much less fussed over. It doesn't make the less fussed over ones less important in the eyes of God though. I don't think it's fair that the prisoners are getting tax money to pay for their food such. I don't think it's fair at all. BUT I still hold on to my opinion that it's not up to me, to say who's sin (murder) or sin (armed robbery) is more 'wrong' and it's not my my job to say 'you will die by my hands because you killed somebody'. I just couldn't do it... It SUCKS that inmates have better lives (bed-maybe not plush, food-maybe not finest quality, clothes-maybe not name brand) than some non-criminal people/families struggling in the real world (sleeping in cars, begging for food, rags for clothes- all this WHILE employed... ) **A tangent from the main topic** AND speaking of health care... Where I work, inmates get FREE Dental work! So what? you may ask? Well one of my patients- shot in the face in an attempted robbery.... he's gotten about $20,000 in FREE surgery to repair his face. He's currently got about $3,000 worth of implants in his mouth... preparing for about a $1000 denture...ALL FREE. AND I had to turn away a lady who simply asked for dentures, in hopes of bettering her chances of getting a better job to support her 3 kids..

Tunde said...

Candice: check Jubilance's comment. apparently it costs more to execute someone than to keep them in jail for life.

DJ GQ/ Martian Man Hunter: that's the million dollar question.


I think a person would suffer more, if they spent their remaining days in solitary confinement, or behind bars, without ANY access to anything (i.e. tv, internet, music, calls)

Yes there are some crimes that are so heinous, your first thought is you want them to burn at the stake (crimes against children, elderly, or those who cannot protect themselves comes to mind)

But honestly, if someone did something to someone I was close to, my first thought is I'd want them to suffer the way they made my family member suffer.

Even still though, it will never take the place of that loved one, and it would be on my conscious, that I had played a part in their death, whether I injected or pulled the plug.

I’m sure we as a society could think of a million ways to punish someone, but, if they are dead, are they really paying for their crimes????

Tunde said...

DC Diva: good questions. you are right if we want them to suffer for the crimes they committed then we are doing them a favor by putting them out of their misery.

" it will never take the place of that loved one,"

this is also important to note. if you kill a killer it doesn't bring back the people that were lost in the first place. there is still an empty void. there is no sense of satisfaction that was the same that person brought.


I remember seeing somewhere that the family of a victim, wanted that person to write a letter everyday for the rest of their life to their dead daughter even after his jail sentence.

The guy ( I believe it was drunk driving) said that was the hardest thing he had to do.

Streetz said...

Im a devout Christian and I do support the Death penalty. It conflicts me but I pose this question; What if dude killed someone you loved? Mom? Dad? Wife? Husband? Would you feel the same? I know I would probably "feel" horrible, but I would want to flip whatever switch to kill those who killed my family.

I know it sounds horrible and may be wrong by teh standards of the Lord, but I'm keepin it real with how I feel at this moment. Murderers play God by taking lives, why not flip the script on them.

I cosign with your reasons against it too.. especially wrongful convictions, btu I just believe certain criminals deserve to pay that ultimate price.

Excellent Blog homie!

Tunde said...

streetz- i answered that question earlier in the comments. but yes even if a close one to me was murdered i still wouldn't want that person to be killed. now if it happened right in front of me and i had the means i might take matters into my own hands in a fit of rage. but i can't sanely see myself wishing death upon another human being.

Anonymous said...

I personally don't believe in capital punishment. why? For starters it is an economic waste of taxpayer's money. State prison have death row cell block? WTH does that mean (beside the obvious of course)? do these individuals get a certain kind treatment etc??? His execution puts closure to those who lost loved ones (after all, he went to his grave pleading innocence??). Second, people who are so staunchly for capital punishment more than like oppose abortion?? What difference between the two (what makes one right and one wrong; at the end of the day, God is the author and finisher.... *My opinion*