Copyright 2001 by Diane S. Dew
I. The death penalty is a deterrent against crime.
Deuteronomy 21:21 "All the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid."
II. Under the Mosaic Law, the death penalty was not only permissible but required.
Genesis 9:5-6 "And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed."
Numbers 35:31 "Do not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer, who
deserves to die. He must surely be put to death."
III. Two witnesses were required, that there be no error.
IV. Biblically, by whom should the penalty be executed?
A. By the witnesses.
B. By the congregation.
V. Under the Mosaic law the death penalty was inflicted for the commission of many types of crimes.
A. Sins against life.
2. Offering human sacrifice.
B. Sexual sins.
4. Sodomy (homosexual behavior).
C. Spiritual sins.
4. Desecration of the Sabbath.
5. Promoting false doctrines or false prophecy.
D. Sins against society.
4. Contempt of court.
E. Sins against one's parents.
1. Cursing a parent.
2. Physically abusing one's parent.
3. Disobeying parents.
F. The sword.
DEATH PENALTY LINKS
Note: Inclusion of the following links does not necessarily imply endorsement of the viewpoints expressed but are provided merely for reference.
Death Penalty News & Updates - with a list of pending executions
Last Word, The - collection of final statements of condemmed prisoners.
Focus on the Death Penalty - comprehensive resource which includes history, U.S. Supreme Court cases, statistics, the international context, and views from both sides of the debate. From the University of Alaska at Anchorage.
Death Penalty USA Pages - listing executions since 1976. Includes death row inmates, juveniles executed, and methods.
Capital Punishment: the Death Penalty - information from different religious perspectives.