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Capital Punishment


mercyngrace

Capital punishment  

59 members have voted

  1. 1. Hw do you feel about capital punishent?

    • I am LDS and support the death penalty.
      42
    • I am LDS and oppose the death penalty.
      13
    • I am not LDS and support the death penalty.
      2
    • I am not LDS and oppose the death penalty.
      2


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With the coverage of tonight's execution of the Beltway sniper, John Allen Muhammad, I was wondering about the church's position on capital punishment. Lds.org describes the church's position in this way:

Capital Punishment

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law. We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment.

Given that this statement allows for a variety of views, I was wondering how some of you feel about the death penalty. The poll won't be public but if you don't mind explaining your position, I'd be interested in reading it.

Thanks.

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Years ago I did a story for the Daily Universe, where I pitted Rodney Turner against a professor by the name of Smith (I think). This was about the time Utah executed Gary Gilmore. I interviewed Smith and was going to make him the sole subject of the article, but on a stairwell, I heard someone talking about Rodney Turner denouncing Smith in a religion class.

So I interviewed him as well and then kind of pitted them against each other.

It created quite the stir.

As a church it's not for us to say. But theologically we stand by the law that predates the Mosaic law: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." If we fail to do this, the blood of the slain will come against us. The Book of Mormon states as much when a murderer was told, "If we were to spare you, the blood of the one you slew would cry out against us."

I believe injection falls under "cruel and unusual" and I believe in beheading, hanging or the firing squad. John Malvo asked to have his execution overturned. I'm delighted that it was not. Still, I wish he had been shot.

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I'm all for it in certain cases, such as serial murderers, rapists, and pedophiles. Oh, and people who lie about having been raped. (May need something better than sodium pentothal, though. And I got this one from the "Out of the Ashes" book series. Wonderful idea.)

I've heard people say that capital punishment does not discourage or prevent crime. This may be true, but it is extremely effective on an individual basis. That is, the criminal who is executed does not commit any more crimes.

But I'm not a law-maker, just a voter.

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It's simple. Society lacks the moral right to take the life of one of its citizens. Society does not grant life, so it has no right to take life. If God granted life, only God has the right to end it (and not any of the many people who claim to speak and act for God).

What a society has the right (and responsibility) to do is to protect itself by separating dangerous individuals from the rest of us for as long as is necessary to keep us safe.

Immediate self-defense against an aggressor, of course, is a different matter.

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I am in agreement with the death penalty. Far too many criminals have turned the justice system around for their benefit.

Not only am I for the death penalty, but I am for not allowing any criminal have any "special rights" or "privileges" while in jail.

Why should they receive financial aid and pursue an education while incarcerated when there are many people who are struggling to find means to pay for education, and these individuals are law abiding citizens?

Here are my reasons, Murder and Rape are the two most heinous crimes a person can commit. Why is that? When you kill someone, you are taking their life. There is no way you can make any formal restitution for such a crime. Same thing with rape (incidentaly, I believe those 20 plus people who watched the young girl get rape, participated in the crime even if they had not actually physically participated and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as adults).

Now, does this mean that all murders should receive the death penalty? No. A person who kills another and it is proven that though they did commit the crime, it was not a pre-mediated, they ought to be held accountable and do just time for their crime. However, those who not only go out of their way to plot out the murder, but do it by random acts of violence and take more than just one life, they have gone beyond normal judicial and law requirements to fulfill any source of recompense for their crime and therefore are deemed a danger to society and deserving that their own life be taken.

Who should receive the death penalty? Gary Ridgeway, Charles Manson, the guy who shot those people at Fort Hood, the guy being investigated for the assassination of a Seattle Police Department

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Society lacks the moral right to take the life of one of its citizens.

Says...who?

If God granted life, only God has the right to end it

I hope you say this then as a believer in God. If not, it is rather odd to appeal to God as an argument.

What a society has the right (and responsibility) to do is to protect itself by separating dangerous individuals from the rest of us for as long as is necessary to keep us safe.

You use the word "right." I'm curious as to how you draw this conclusion.

Immediate self-defense against an aggressor, of course, is a different matter.

Oh, I see. What if someone used the argument that capital punishment was society's self-defense against an aggressive individual?

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It's simple. Society lacks the moral right to take the life of one of its citizens. Society does not grant life, so it has no right to take life. If God granted life, only God has the right to end it (and not any of the many people who claim to speak and act for God).

Does a society that feels it has the moral right to grant life via "pro-choice" change the simplicity of your views?

I'm not trying to start a discussion about abortion, i'm honestly wondering how a society that DOES feel it has the right to grant life, or deny life, before birth, plays into your beliefs about them feeling they have the right to end life under certain circumstances.

:P

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I posted this on another thread the other day but it's applicable so I'll repost:

History of the Church 6:205

Petition your State Legislatures to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries, blessing them as they go, and saying to them, in the name of the Lord, Go thy way, and sin no more.

Advise your legislators, when they make laws for larceny, burglary, or any felony, to make the penalty applicable to work upon roads, public works, or any place where the culprit can be taught more wisdom and more virtue, and become more enlightened. Rigor and seclusion will never do as much to reform the propensities of men as reason and friendship. Murder only can claim confinement or death. Let the penitentiaries be turned into seminaries of learning, where intelligence, like the angels of heaven, would banish such fragments of barbarism. Imprisonment for debt is a meaner practice than the savage tolerates, with all his ferocity. "Amor vincit omnia."

I love that Joseph Smith ends his statement about the treatment of law-breakers with the simple but profound statement "Love conquers all." Sometimes I wonder if those scriptures about the love of men waxing cold refer to those of us who prefer retribution over rehabilitation rather than simply to those who break laws or sin grossly. It's interesting that as Mormon saw the utter degradation of his people, he described them not only as lawless and depraved, or "without order" but also as unChristlike, or "without mercy". (Moroni 9:18-19)

I'm not sure how I feel about the death penalty but I do know that church members are not immune to the coarsening of society and I've heard ruthless calls for retribution coming from members of the church on occasion (expressed some myself, over the years). I want to be sure that my opinions are aligned with the Lord's rather than the government's.

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I used to believe in it, but now I don't.

My understanding of the Atonement changed. I don't believe anyone must blood atone for their own sins. And I don't believe killing a killer makes restitution, so it seems pointless to me. I think the psychological/spiritual consequences for the person who has to do the execution do not outweigh any supposed benefit.

Capital punishment and death row are extremely expensive from what I understand because of all the appeals and everything (hundreds of millionsof dollars!). So, even from a society pov it is more cost effective to just let them sit in jail.

I think the money could better be spent by figuring out how to keep people from wanting to kill to begin with.

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Says...who?

Say I, since it's my opinion. You believe a group of humans has the moral right to get together and vote to kill any of our fellow humans they wish? I don't.

I hope you say this then as a believer in God. If not, it is rather odd to appeal to God as an argument.

It so happens that I don't, even though I leave open the possibility that one or more gods may have created life. I can't say for certain how human life originated. But it doesn't matter, because it's just an example that represents the common belief (thus the "if"). The same argument applies in the scenario of life arising naturally; we didn't create it, so we have no right to take it.

You use the word "right." I'm curious as to how you draw this conclusion.

It's pretty straightforward. If I create a painting or a manuscript, I alone

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It's simple. Society lacks the moral right to take the life of one of its citizens. Society does not grant life, so it has no right to take life. If God granted life, only God has the right to end it (and not any of the many people who claim to speak and act for God).

What a society has the right (and responsibility) to do is to protect itself by separating dangerous individuals from the rest of us for as long as is necessary to keep us safe.

Immediate self-defense against an aggressor, of course, is a different matter.

Society does have the right to retribution. The commandment "Thou shalt not murder" (the proper translation) speaks to the declaration that killing against the laws of society is forbidden. Penalties included death. Beyond that death is a permanent protection against one that has chosen to kill and so may kill again.

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Society does have the right to retribution. The commandment "Thou shalt not murder" (the proper translation) speaks to the declaration that killing against the laws of society is forbidden. Penalties included death. Beyond that death is a permanent protection against one that has chosen to kill and so may kill again.

Jeff,

I can see Gen 9:6 as justification for supporting the death penalty but the Mosaic law was fulfilled in Christ. Furthermore, if we expect to live in the CK, we must be able to abide the celestial law. Is retribution the higher law or forgiveness?

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I used to believe in it, but now I don't.

My understanding of the Atonement changed. I don't believe anyone must blood atone for their own sins. And I don't believe killing a killer makes restitution, so it seems pointless to me. I think the psychological/spiritual consequences for the person who has to do the execution do not outweigh any supposed benefit.

Capital punishment and death row are extremely expensive from what I understand because of all the appeals and everything (hundreds of millionsof dollars!). So, even from a society pov it is more cost effective to just let them sit in jail.

I think the money could better be spent by figuring out how to keep people from wanting to kill to begin with.

The money is not spent to dispose of the killer, it is spent to keep the killer alive. I think that is an important distinction.

According to roughly a dozen recent studies, executions save lives. For each inmate put to death, the studies say, 3 to 18 murders are prevented.

New York Times

The studies, performed by economists in the past decade, compare the number of executions in different jurisdictions with homicide rates over time

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Jeff,

I can see Gen 9:6 as justification for supporting the death penalty but the Mosaic law was fulfilled in Christ. Furthermore, if we expect to live in the CK, we must be able to abide the celestial law. Is retribution the higher law or forgiveness?

Retribution or permanent removal from society? Isn't that what happened to one third the host of heaven, a judgement made by a celestial being?

Nor do I see the fulfillment of mosaic law as the negation of the ten commandments or all punishments presented.

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Frankly, I am undecided.

On the one hand, I question the morality and efficacy of the death penalty. Executing a person seems to just continue the cycle of violence, and does not appear to prevent violent crime.

On the other hand, if I were guilty of a terrible crime, I might actually prefer the death penalty to spending the rest of my life in prison.

Just my thoughts.

DH

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Does a society that feels it has the moral right to grant life via "pro-choice" change the simplicity of your views?

I'm not trying to start a discussion about abortion, i'm honestly wondering how a society that DOES feel it has the right to grant life, or deny life, before birth, plays into your beliefs about them feeling they have the right to end life under certain circumstances.

Although preventing an abortion does not qualify as "granting life" in the way I mean it, I think I understand what you mean.

That's a much stickier moral dilemma, because you're talking about a personal conflict between a potential human and the person without whom that life cannot be sustained. But a government telling a woman that it won't interfere with her decision to end this dependent life is not the same as the government deciding that its life must end. It does not have that right. Whether the host human (mother) has the right is another question altogether. I, myself, would say that I don't think she has the moral right, but it's not as clear because of the dependence issue.

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Given that this statement allows for a variety of views, I was wondering how some of you feel about the death penalty. The poll won't be public but if you don't mind explaining your position, I'd be interested in reading it.

I would say that quote is in the context of the Church taking a political stand. Lack of a political stand is not necessarily an indication of doctrine. Capital punishment is LDS doctrine and scripture, therefore, if you oppose captial punishment, you oppose LDS doctrine. For example:

GUIDE TO THE SCRIPTURES

Capital Punishment

See also Murder

Punishment by death for a crime committed, especially associated with punishment for murder.

Whoso sheds man

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Retribution or permanent removal from society? Isn't that what happened to one third the host of heaven, a judgement made by a celestial being?

Nor do I see the fulfillment of mosaic law as the negation of the ten commandments or all punishments presented.

The spirits who followed Lucifer were not acting through the veil. They stood in the presence of God and willfully disobeyed. That's a pretty profound distinction.

Regarding the law of Moses... what parts do you consider fulfilled? Should I donate my pants to goodwill and only wear skirts from now on? Should we kill gay people? Not eat pork?

While I agree that the 10 commandments are still relevant - I think the higher law was summarized best by the Savior who gave the two greatest commandments. Love God. Love your neighbor. He even encouraged us to settle as much as we could out of court lest we pay the uttermost farthing. The way I read the accounts of the Savior's mortal ministry, he reserved His harshest rebukes for those who sought mercy from God but refused to extend it to others. I don't see stoning adulterers, for example, as merciful.

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I would say that quote is in the context of the Church taking a political stand. Lack of a political stand is not necessarily an indication of doctrine. Capital punishment is LDS doctrine and scripture, therefore, if you oppose captial punishment, you oppose LDS doctrine. For example:

And yet when Jewish leaders sought to impose the law, a young rabbi wrote in the sand...

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And yet when Jewish leaders sought to impose the law, a young rabbi wrote in the sand...

Probably because there was no fair trial......

If God wants certain people dead, he should come and do it himself, instead of relying on us to kill each other on his behalf.

One either accepts the scriptural command or not.

It's asking too much to expect any of us to perform such killings without being adversely affected.

Who said life would be without adversity?

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If God wants certain people dead, he should come and do it himself, instead of relying on us to kill each other on his behalf. It's asking too much to expect any of us to perform such killings without being adversely affected.

I'm sure the Supreme Creator of the Universe is really worried about how you think he should run things.

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