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The Death Penalty

             The debate of whether the death penalty is right or not is as controversial as the debate of abortion. People stand firm in their beliefs on these issues. There are good reasons on both sides. Both sides of the argument have solid cases and bring in ideas that make us hesitate and take another look. Both sides of the argument appeal to our emotion and moral beliefs. The people who are in favor of the death penalty discuss how it is almost our duty, to eliminate these vicious criminals from our society. On the other hand, those against the death penalty argue that it is not ours or any other human beings right to act as God and take another persons life for any reason. The next few paragraphs will discuss the issues on both sides of the debate.
             In the Old Testament, the death penalty was commanded by God for those who committed murder, rape, and other serious crimes. For example, Genesis 9:5,6 says:Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.? Again, Exodus 21:12 says:He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.? Further in verse 14, we read:Only if one man willfully attacks another, to murder him craftily, you must take that man from my very altar and put him to death.? Capital punishment was decreed and enforced!.
             Obviously, the death penalty for capital offenses was not consideredcruel or unusual punishment? by the early writers of the Bible. It was a part of the law enforcement procedure given to ancient Israel.
             Execution were carried out publicly. The witnesses themselves, after a person was convicted by the judges, participated in carrying out the punishment. Thus other would be criminals wouldhear and fear? to commit the same crimes. And it worked. As long as the laws of God were enforced the people of Israel had peace and safety (Joshua 7:19-26). The shock of public executions for major crimes caused people to obey the laws as long as they were enforced.

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