Death Penalty: the Christian View

2478 words 10 pages
In almost every society, there are crimes and violations of human rights. To deal with these things, there are laws that prescribe the prevention of their occurrences. However, if the law is broken, commensurate punishment is put on the violator. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, the punishment may be light such as imprisonment for up to one year with corresponding fines, or it could also be severe as death penalty.
Capital punishment or death penalty is usually imposed on persons who committed heinous crimes and are those that endanger the safety of the society. Some countries and societies implement capital punishment while others do not. There are various reasons for this policy of countries, including the social view on the
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Furthermore, St. Thomas Aquinas talked about the need to impose death penalty on the crime doers. "The fact that the evil, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit the fact that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement. They also have at that critical point of death the opportunity to be converted to God through repentance. And if they are so stubborn that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from evil, it is possible to make a highly probable judgment that they would never come away from evil to the right use of their powers" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book III, 146). The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross is at the centerpiece of Christianity. Without such sacrifice, there would be no Christian faith. Such sacrifice is also a form of capital punishment in the sense that he bore the sins of the whole world. Such sin therefore requires the death penalty and Christ willingly went to the Cross to satisfy the requirements of a just and loving God for the remission of sins. Although the Old Testament has a number of provisions for death penalty, the New Testament appears to emphasize the love of God. This has been seized by anti-capital punishment advocates in moving towards the abolition of capital punishment.


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